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Your Survival Guide to Attending a Virtual Conference
The next real estate conference you are most likely to attend won't require you to drive or fly. You won't have to book a hotel or dinner reservations. Instead, you will go online via your computer or smartphone. Virtual conferences have rapidly taken to replacing major in-person meetings and conventions in every industry. Even the largest meeting of Realtors, the annual convention of the National Association of Realtors, has announced it will be virtual this fall. The NAR Annual Convention announced it will move from an in-person event that was set for New Orleans in early November to a fully virtual event online from November 13-16. Attending a conference or convention online sounds a lot easier, right? Be forewarned that attending a virtual convention for three or four days in a row can be as exhausting as attending one in person. But you can reduce the stress and strain that can come from attending a virtual meeting by following these tips before, during, and after an all online conference. Before a virtual conference Plan early: Block your calendar as if you are attending a real conference. Select your "must attend" events. And if technology fails during a must-attend session, have a "Plan B" alternative as a backup. Make sure you build in breaks – even if the schedulers appear to overlook this need – we are all learning how to adapt! Take a test drive: If you have never attended a virtual conference, before you block your schedule for three or four days, test out a half-day online event. There are many free conferences and meetings online locally and nationally that cover many industries, including real estate. Try out how it feels to attend a virtual conference – being online for four or more hours straight – you'll discover in advance if you need better equipment. You might find you need a more comfortable office chair or a large computer monitor. It's better to learn this in advance of attending a multi-day event. Be tech ready: Explore the website of the conference you are planning to attend to see if it offers a mobile app. The earlier you can download, install, and set up the app, the better. There are often built-in tools such as an event schedule calendar featuring alters, a list of attendees, and ways to connect with others. If you know the conference is going to use video, some browsers (Google Chrome, Windows) allow you to add features that can speed up video playback. Research and install these, and they might come in handy. Finally, test your viewing technology. If you are going to have interactive sessions where you can be seen and heard along with other participants, make sure you have the essentials for two-way participation. You need to make sure you have the right set up: a good video camera, proper lighting, and a microphone. While built-in cameras and mics may work fine, investing the dollars you are saving by attending virtually to better equipment can help you make a great impression. Remember to clean your screen: Smudges can make a laptop's camera blurry. Set your brightness level. Make sure everything is plugged in well in advance of your meeting. If you know you are using technology like Zoom, Webex or GoToMeeting, make sure you have the latest software installed well before you try to connect. During the virtual conference Breaks will save your back and your eyes: You need to stand and stretch – and often – when attending a virtual conference. You will not be getting up anytime soon to walk several blocks to your next session like you would at a regular convention. So, don't be stuck at your desk either. Walk around your room, and remember to exercise your eyes as well. Eye fatigue can give you headaches if you stare at a screen too long. You can learn about different ways to exercise your eyes here. Remember, breaks are vital to virtual conference endurance. Use a video playback speed hack: Most virtual conventions won't be completely live, as it takes too much bandwidth. While live sessions may be more common for smaller breakout panels and workshops, General Sessions are most likely going to be on video. There's a hack to speed up your viewing to squeeze out extra time to get all the content still but stay on top of your regular business responsibilities. The most common commercial video platform is Vimeo and YouTube for general videos. YouTube has a built-in speed adjustment found by clicking on the gear icon at the bottom of the YouTube video player. Microsoft Edge offers users a tool that adjusts YouTube playback as well. Vimeo Pro and Business accounts also have this feature built-in, but Google Chrome users can add a plugin that allows them to control Vimeo videos' speed. This can be a huge time saver when you have a presenter who speaks slow. While the average person speaks at a pace of 100-130 words per minute, our minds can fully comprehend speech at 180 words per minute. Ask questions and engage whenever possible: A virtual conference can't replace the energy one gets from being in a room with other people. Keep the Chat Box open and do your best to ask questions. Use the Chat Box to read and comment to all – or directly to others – when you have a thought to share. Being engaged online can help you get more out of a virtual conference. If you get the opportunity to participate in a live two-way session, make sure you look directly at the camera, frame your face correctly, and avoid backlighting so you can look your best. After the virtual conference Recorded sessions: If you know for sure you'll have access to all or some recorded sessions soon after the virtual conference, take advantage of it. Look at the convention schedule for potential conflicts of overlapping sessions you want to attend. If you know one session will be available for playback later, visit the one that won't be viewable. It's great when you can "attend" a virtual meeting you would have certainly missed in person. Electronic handouts: Often, a speaker will mention that they will make their PowerPoint presentation or other material available after the meeting. Send yourself a reminder to follow up to collect these items if you don't automatically receive them as promised. This often saves you a lot of time taking notes – or trying to capture a screenshot. Post-conference networking: While we can't attend a major real estate convention in person, we can try to take advantage of the fact that more people than ever are likely to participate in a virtual meeting of the Florida Realtors or the National Association of Realtors. That means a shared experience with more people whom you know. And while you may not be physically sitting next to them, think about how you might follow up with them afterward to discuss. Perhaps even hold a Zoom meeting post-conference to share what you learned and discover what others learned. The great thing about virtual conferences is that it is hard to beat the ROI — return on investment — it offers versus an in-person meet. The downside is that even the most creative attempts at hosting a virtual Happy Hour can't replace having a drink in the lobby bar with a colleague or friend. The good news is you can get a lot out of a virtual convention if you get organized, stay focused by taking breaks and creating ways to stay engaged. You still might need a vacation afterwards. And if you have any issues with your technology, remember you can always contact Tech Helpline. Your tech support team available as a member benefit at no additional cost. To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline blog.
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Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity are on the road again!
Each year, thousands of real estate agents and brokers who use Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity have the opportunity to meet some of the folks who make the magic happen for these two Florida Realtors owned products at local conventions and conferences. This year's schedule includes visits as far north and east as Nova Scotia, Canada, as far south as Hollywood, Florida, and as far west as Los Angeles, California. As real estate's number one tech support firm, Tech Helpline serves more than 600,000 real estate professionals in North America. Available through MLSs or local associations, as well as real estate brokerages, connecting with Tech Helpline is typically accomplished via a phone call, online chat or email inquiry. Our annual direct outreach gives agents and brokers, as well as MLS and association executives and staff members, an additional opportunity with face-to-face communications. Opportunities to connect This year, we kicked off our spring and summer schedule for Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity with an appearance at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in mid-May. Tech Helpline was just represented at the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) Association Executives Seminar in early June, held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Next up, Form Simplicity will be at "Rock the Market" at the Hard Rock Event Center in Hollywood, FL on June 25. The next two days on June 26 and 27, both Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity will be heading to the Florida Realtors Association Executives Education Workshops in Cocoa Beach, FL. August marks two major conventions for Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity. Association leadership from all business disciplines will convene at the ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo in Columbus, OH on August 10-13, followed by our own Florida Realtors Convention & Trade Expo (August 21 and 22) and Governance Meetings (August 23-25) in Orlando, FL. Tech Helpline will head to another big convention as the Colorado Association of REALTORS® hosts its "REfresh Expo" in Denver, CO on September 5. The summer tour schedule ends with two back-to-back events. The first one is in North Carolina, the NC REALTORS® 2019 Convention & Expo "Xchange'19" at the Pinehurst Resort during the Expo dates of September 14-16. That's followed by the Arkansas REALTOR® Annual Convention & Tradeshow being held in Memphis, TN at the Guesthouse at Graceland, during the Expo dates of September 16 and 17. More to come As the fall begins, Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline will be back at it, with appearances by Tech Helpline at the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Expo "REImagine!" held in Los Angeles on September 24-26, followed by opportunities to ask your questions about Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline at CMLS2019 in Salt Lake City on October 16-18. The last two conventions for Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline currently are scheduled for both the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco this year (booth #1234), November 6-11, and finally December 9-12 at the 2019 Triple Play REALTOR® Convention & Trade Expo in Atlantic City, NJ, which brings together members from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania Realtor associations. If you happen to be attending one of these events, please stop by and bring your questions about Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline. We hope to meet you face-to-face! Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.  
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On the Road Again: Tech Helpline May Be Coming Your Way
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Hot New Tech from NAR Midyear
Artificial intelligence, digital automation, hyperlocal marketing, and 3D posts for Facebook. These are just a few of the hottest technologies that new companies – and established ones –showcased at NAR Midyear. Officially called the "REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo," Midyear is where NAR members go each May to Washington, DC, for special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities and, of course, the trade show. Here are some of the hottest new tech offerings – both products and services – for agents and brokers that were on display: BoxBrownie It touts itself as providing "high-quality photo editing, virtual staging, floor plan redraws, and CGI renders at (an) unbelievable price." Grammar aside, BoxBrownie is all-pro when you see their before-and-after offerings. Their offer can be summarized in just two words: photo magic. If you have an empty room, but would love to show it fully staged with furniture, BoxBrownie does that. Have a dead, brown lawn in a photo because it's the middle of winter – or summer? Not a problem. BoxBrownie can give you lush, green grass and turn any season into blooming spring with bright blue, sunny skies to match. Or what about a house for which you need a nighttime shot with the rooms all lit? Other software that has tried to do this automatically have gotten the shadows and the interiors all wrong. BoxBrownie nighttime photos gets them all right. This is one tech company that stood out at NAR Midyear for several reasons. First, their technology looks fresh, practical and cool. Second, it's highly relatable as it attempts to dramatically improve what every agent does: post and use listing photos in all their marketing. Third, agents will love their price points: if you want to use their service for just one picture, you can, and it could cost you as little as $2.00. All of their pricing is far less than the alternatives. They are a NAR REach Class of 2018 member. Their website – with pricing and lots of before and after photos – is at boxbrownie.com. Streak If Google and Salesforce had a baby, they might very well have named it Streak. Streak is Gmail with a native CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software interface. If you know how to navigate Gmail, you won't have a lot of struggles finding your way around Streak. It isn't just a Gmail widget-like experience (think SalesforceIQ or Insightly). It is fully CRM entirely woven into your Gmail account. Its deep integration with Gmail eliminates a few of the biggest objections that agents who still don't use CRMs have: it's pretty intuitive, it's a program agents probably already use, and the leads that come in from Zillow or realtor.com and many other lead gen sources are automatically identified and readied for a response. The downsides? Some agents and brokers might find the price tag high. The monthly subscription isn't as expensive as most Salesforce options, but the $49 a month price tag for a single user isn't cheap. Then there's the fact that Gmail spam rules prevent any drip marketing campaign integration coming from Streak. The Streak salespeople tell you that's a good thing since email marketing barely works today anyway. Details at streak.com. zavvie This tech firm's DNA comes from a real estate brokerage. It was born out of the technology used by 8z Real Estate in Boulder, Colorado, the fastest growing brokerage firm in Colorado last year. Their focus: hyperlocal marketing. They practically wrote the book on it. Earlier this year, zavvie published the first white paper on hyperlocal marketing for real estate. They've been on a roll ever since and have expanded from Colorado to coast-to-coast. Inman News just nominated zavvie and 8z Real Estate for an Inman Innovator Award. NAR just announced zavvie is part of their NAR REach Class of 2018. zavvie creates a hyperlocal platform for an agent to dominate his or her neighborhood online. Through neighborhood websites, neighborhood Facebook Pages, and actively contributing to sites such as Next Door, zavvie helps agents digitally farm their neighborhood. While zavvie automates some of the social media content posts for agents, zavvie also makes it super easy for agents to post content from their mobile app on the go during their regular workday activities. zavvie targets brokerages, teams and even has an individual agent offering that starts at $299 a month. Learn more at zavvie.com. MoveEasy Technology is driving the rebirth of concierge moving services being adopted by brokerages. MoveEasy is one of the newest entries, and it is leveraging the use of APIs (Application Programming Interface) to reduce the stress of moving for home buyers and sellers. Let's face it: nearly everyone hates moving. Just the planning stage alone can be maddening: you have to make so many phone calls. You have to find a mover, get bids, worrying about packing and possibly storage. But that's just the beginning. You have to stand in line at the post office and pick up your moving kit. Then you have figure out which gas and electric utility providers, cable or satellite company, and Internet services firm provides services to your new home. Worst-of-all: you have to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get your new driver's license with your new address. The entire process takes so much time and is a significant stressor. Most agents just let their customers go it alone. MoveEasy is a service an agent can offer their customers for free. It acts as a virtual concierge and puts everything at the fingertips of the home buyer, so they can go online: click, enter and select. For agents, it's a free service that makes them look like rock stars because they don't lift a finger. For brokerages, it's a no-brainer because MoveEasy handles all the tech the setup and agent training. MoveEasy is fully integrated with MoxiWorks and say they can integrate with just about any CRM. Check them out at moveeasy.com. Chime IDX integrated with CRM Chime uses an ad management system to generate leads. Leads are directed either to your Chime IDX Website or your Facebook page. There, they are prompted to register. The inbound lead data is collected and goes into your Chime CRM. The Chime CRM then uses Artificial Intelligence to send an email to the new lead and an alert to the agent that they have a new lead. Chime's pricing model offers a starter version at $25 a month (no lead routing) and a pro version at $49. While it provides a team collaboration feature, teams have noted in online reviews that the product is not as well designed for a team as it is for individual agents. Chime has done well integrating with the major ad portals, all the primary email platforms, and many marketing offerings. It continues to integrate with other software. It is a NAR REach Class of 2018 member. The website is chime.me. Matterport From the folks that gave the world three-dimensional home tours without the need of headgear or glasses, Matterport has a cool little feature they added and were talking about at Midyear. Agents know that Facebook marketing remains one of their most powerful and cost-effective ways to maintain top-of-mind awareness and generate a new kind of lead process: inbound, where the leads reach out to the agent. That's the magic of social media marketing. Matterport has a neat feature for its users that is largely going overlooked. It will instantly generate a "mini-movie" for a Facebook post. These video teasers, just 10-15 seconds in length, showcase one's 3D Video Home Tour, and include a shorter animated GIF file for use as well. Here's the coolest part: Matterport used Deep Learning (aka Machine Learning) to create and automate this process. The agent or broker does not have to do a thing. These are generated automatically as Matterport Spaces with more information here. Check out their cover video on Facebook here at the top of the page. Find them at matterport.com. More tech ahead There were more great tech firms at NAR Midyear, and there are sure to be an exponentially higher number in Boston at NAR Annual. From Active Pipe, a hot startup that offers automated email marketing to Quigler, a high-tech compliance solution firm (both NAR REach Class of 2018 members), Midyear scratches the surface of what's out there. With innovations in areas like Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning, we can expect to see even more breakthroughs for agents and brokers in the months ahead. For insight on other hot tech trends from Tech Helpline, check out these articles: Drone-in-a-box for real estate? How Drones Are Transforming Real Estate Marketing Future Tech: Tools that will change our work and our homes A Quick Review of Smart Home Technology Gifts and gadgets for under $15 Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®. Florida Realtors owns both Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.    
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Network, Brainstorm, and Energize the Last Half of 2018
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Six Social Media Tips to Make You a Pro at Real Estate Conferences
Conferences bring together some of the greatest minds of real estate to consume knowledge, share insights, comment on new trends and network. The thing about real estate conferences are that they typically occur during standard work hours, so trying to keep your business moving forward while doing all the above can be a juggling act. Your smartphone can be your best ally, but if you're spending 95 percent of your conference with your head craned downwards, you'll miss the entire experience. But with a little preparation and strategy, you can master the real estate conference game to solidify your brand – and fuel your pipeline with fresh leads. Whether you are a speaker, hosting a booth or an attendee looking to peruse the events, take a step back and determine what your ultimate purpose is, and what you would like to take away from it.
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Top Headlines from NAR Annual
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Following #ICSF: Day 1 at Inman Connect SF
Inman Connect kicked off today in San Francisco with a full schedule. Between all the talk about data, marketing to Millennials, and the Zillow PR machine, we took a moment to peruse the conference's Twitter hashtag, #ICSF, for the best tweets of the day. Consider them little glimpses into the excitement that is this year's Inman Connect SF.
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Following #ICNY: Straight Talk from Barbara Corcoran, Zillow, and more
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Following #NARAnnual: Conference Wrap-up
Today marked the final day of NAR Annual in New Orleans. As we write this, Realtors from across the U.S. and Canada are on their way home after 4+ days of educational sessions, events, giveaways, parties, beignets and po' boys (all the food pictures were seriously mouthwatering!). As usual, we took to Twitter to follow the official conference hashtag, #NARannual, and the ongoing events. After all, the best reporters are often the attendees themselves. Although there were far too many great Tweets to include here, we've done our best to round up the best. ### Valerie Garcia - If you don't want sellers rating, ranking, and reviewing you, it's probably because you are doing a crappy job. Just saying. #NARannual JenniferArchambeault - Brokers should take control of brand consumer experience & not leave min standard up to individual agents #cryeleike #narannual #RISmedia Brandon Martens - Verbiage change! "Charge a brokerage fee not a commission" @alexmils. Even @leighbrownremax wrote that one down! #narannual Brandon Martens - Have sellers help you select comps from what's on the MLS @leighbrownremax #narannual Valerie Garcia - Ask questions in your listing appointment that you can allow them to say yes to! @leighbrownremax #NARannual
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Conferences, Conventions and Local Organizations: Are They Worth Your Time?
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New to Real Estate? 5 Great Ideas to Let People Know
Please, please, please! Can we do away, once and for all, with the dorky new agent announcement card, letter or whatever else that agents use to announce their exciting venture into real estate?! Here's a typical letter: "Dear Friend, I'm pleased to announce...blah, blah, blah...my company is great...blah, blah, blah...I promise to provide the highest level of service...blah, blah, blah...please send me referrals. Love, Me" Nice, but so what? First, if you are new in the business, I strongly urge you not to announce this fact to the world. Sending out an announcement from your real estate contact management system that you JUST got your real estate license and are looking for business won't give anyone much motivation to call you. Okay, well, maybe your mother and your Aunt Lou, but no one else. I'd rather you approach your "announcement" a little more casually. Just slide into "being in real estate." Don't make a big deal that you Just Got Your Real Estate License and are Looking for Business. No, simply start communicating with people you know and "reminding" them that you're in real estate. Most of those on your SOI list haven't been keeping track of your every movement (sorry), so if you're suddenly in real estate, they won't think twice about it, probably. They might even think they forgot that you were a real estate agent! And that's fine.
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#ICSF Day 2: Tech Adoption, Branding, UX and...Surfing
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#ICSF Day 1: Culture, Social Media, Leads, and More
The Inman Connect conference kicked off in San Francisco today. As always, the agenda was packed with choice sessions like "The Uberification of Real Estate" and "From Lead Generation to Client Generation" and far too many others to list here (see the full agenda here). The winners of the 2014 Innovator Awards were also announced today, with Ben Kinney taking home the Innovator of the Year honor. Other winners include the Houston Association of Realtors, realtor.com's AgentMatch app, Doorsteps Swipe, and more. And then there were the after-parties (including RE Technology's killer event at The Great American Music Hall). But we won't get into that. What we will get into is all the wonderful live updates coming from Twitter. As in previous years, we took to the social media platform to keep tabs on the event. Here are the best 140-character bits of real estate knowledge coming from #ICSF: *** Ingrid Menninga - Consistency is critical! You need a seller intake questionnaire, buyer intake questionnaire and ALWAYS get the same info! #systems #icsf Erik Poje - If you're going to invest in #SEO, go all out. As a navy seal friend of mine is fond of saying, "Moderation is for cowards" #ICSF Angela Raab - Don't be bitter about the competition, get better. #icsf
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How to Be a Trade Show Pro
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Did you miss it? Catch what you missed at Conference Live and Playback NAR.
It's okay, we know you're busy – successful real estate professionals often are. But if you missed this year's REALTORS® Conference & Expo, you can still experience the event! First, visit Conference Live 2013, a virtual window into the conference experience. This free resource takes you behind the scenes of the conference in San Francisco. Catch Lawrence Yun's residential and commercial economic forums, watch interviews with real estate speakers, and find new exhibitors, as they talk about their latest products and services. Next, visit Playback NAR to check out the lineup of education session recordings from the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo. The recordings are a great way to review industry issues, find experts for niche market consultations, and increase your professional value to your clients. Conference attendees with a Premier Access pass can activate an 11-month subscription free as part of their registration. Others can purchase individual sessions or a complete set of recordings – packages are available for any schedule and budget. Brokers: Purchase a package for your team to review, and share sessions with your agents. Agents: Easily build a customized training schedule for the New Year, or download individual sessions to listen to at open houses or in the car on the way to client meetings.
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DO’s and DON’Ts of Networking Events for Agents
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REach™ Accelerator Class of 2013 to conclude at REALTORS® Conference & Expo
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 is set to conclude at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco in November. During a panel discussion just before the Expo opens, some of the industry's top executives including Rick Davidson, CEO of CENTURY 21, Pam O'Connor, CEO of Leading RE and Errol Samuelson, President of realtor.com®, will discuss how they are using technologies from the REach™ companies to streamline communications, deploy social media and enhance their brands. Following the panel discussion, the REach™ companies will demonstrate their products and the progress they have made throughout the program. Meet the REach™ Class of 2013 at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco: 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.
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5 Ways to Have a More Productive Conference
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Hurry! Register now for the REALTORS® Conference & Expo and receive an MVP Reward!
Two weeks only! When you act with the Member Value Plus (MVP) Program and register for a Premier Access pass to the 2013 REALTORS® Conference and Expo you'll get rewarded with bonus education PLUS a chance to win a $250 gift card! No other real estate event can compare to the education you'll get at the 2013 REALTORS® Conference and Expo: 100 education sessions, 400 industry exhibitors and unlimited networking opportunities with 22,000 REALTORS® and friends from all over the world. A Premier Access pass is your best value to the 2013 REALTORS® Conference and Expo. Not only can you choose from 100 education sessions in San Francisco, but after the event is over, you can download all session audio recordings free for a full year – a $400 value!
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The REALTORS® Conference and Expo: A Year-Long Learning Experience
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#ICSF Day 2: Off-MLS Listings, Tech Tools and beyond
Day 2 of Inman Connect wrapped up just hours ago. As I write this, conference goers are pausing to catch their breath before embarking on what's sure to be an exciting night out in San Francisco. Today, attendees participated in a full schedule of engaging sessions with titles like "The Paperless Revolution" and "Software is Eating the World." (When they weren't networking at Lobbycon, that is.) Since we believe that the participants themselves are the best reporters of the Inman Connect experience, we turned to Twitter to follow the conference's official hashtag, #ICSF. See below for highlights of the best Twitter updates from Inman Connect, day two. * * * BoomTown - No. 1 consumer complaint: agents don't communicate what they're doing. @benkinney says be transparent. Let them know how u r helping them! #ICSF Coldwell Banker - "You are not selling things. You are helping people to make an informed choice." - @ThePeyman #ICSF Bill Risser - If you email a client a listing and they can't view it on their phone, you blew it. - Jessica Swesey of @1000watt #ICSF Coldwell Banker - Listening to Bruce Zipf (NRT CEO) discuss the importance of continually building a salespersons skill set. #ICSF pic.twitter.com/pnZgFHRV5F
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Inman Connect Day 1: Robots, IDX, and C.A.R. vs. dotloop
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The REALTORS® Conference & Expo Can Help You Make More Money
Did you know that REALTORS® Conference & Expo attendees make twice as much income from real estate than the average REALTOR®? Based on survey data, last year's attendees reported making a median income of $87,500, compared with the average NAR member income of $43,500. What do conference attendees know that you don't? They know that the REALTORS® Conference & Expo is the best real estate event to learn about the latest trends and opportunities in the business. They know that networking with other successful real estate professionals is the best way to exchange ideas and build referrals. They know that it's not about what issues make REALTORS® different, but what common challenges we all face in the real estate industry. The REALTORS® Conference & Expo is the largest event just for real estate professionals. This annual four-day event includes 100 education sessions, 400 exhibitors and unlimited networking opportunities with 22,000 attendees.
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Is it Important to Network With Other Agents?
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Big Announcements Kick Off NAR Midyear Trade Expo
Day one of the National Association of REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo saw major news break in the real estate technology space. The biggest announcement of the day came this morning, when DocuSign announced its acquisition of transaction management platform Cartavi. Reactions to the deal were more delighted than surprised. The two companies have been partners for 16 months, with DocuSign providing eSignature capability to Cartavi users (see our recent webinar for more on how this works). That integration has proven so successful, that today's marriage of the two solutions seems inevitable in retrospect and, well, just right. Cartavi co-founder Glenn Shimkus said as much in a blog post earlier today. In it, he looks back to the early days of the partnership, where he previewed the integration for the first time at Inman Connect NY 2012: The reception for [the integration] was even better than what we had hoped. In fact, it was at that show that I met Krisstina Wise and Jack Miller from The GoodLife Team for the first time. [By the way, that one interaction led to The GoodLife Team becoming a customer of Cartavi and what has turned out to be an AMAZING partnership!]. I'll never forget Jack Miller's words after I showed him a demo of our integration with DocuSign. He said, and I quote "Wow. Amazing. DocuSign is going to buy you guys!" [Jack, you nailed that one!].
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RE Technology's Guide to Midyear Exhibitors
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zipLogix to Preview Next Generation of zipForm at NAR Midyear
NAR Midyear is almost here, and REALTORS® across the nation are packing their bags and finalizing their schedules. Some of you may be planning to just hit the trade show floor and explore, while others are using tech tools like NAR's Midyear Mobile App or Online Planner to figure out what booths and events to attend. Whatever your approach, we recommend visiting zipLogix® at booth 1900. zipLogix® was the pioneer of forms management in real estate and they continue to bring cutting edge innovation to each upgrade of their system. This year, they are highlighting progress made to improve usability, store and manage documents, and improve forms automation. Nearly every real estate professional is familiar with their flagship product, zipForm®, and this year the company will be previewing the next generation of zipForm® at the trade expo. Dubbed zipForm® Plus, this updated version takes all the functionality that users are accustomed to and wraps it in a new, more attractive package. It's more than just attractive, though. zipForm® is a powerhouse of a solution--sometimes to an intimidating degree. We're excited to see zipLogix® adapting to the larger tech sphere's movement towards clean aesthetics that Apple started years ago. After all, a well-designed interface is more than just pleasing to the eye. When form meets functionality in an intentional way, the entire user experience is transformed.
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Why Real Estate Conferences and Conventions are Important for Business
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Highlights from NAR Annual in Orlando
Today marked the final day of the NAR Annual conference in Orlando. Attendees left with new connections, new ideas, and tons of inspiration to push them to new heights in 2013. We followed the conference on social media--the perfect medium for such a tech-oriented event! We saw lots of Instagram photos (like Chris Nichols' pic of NAR President Moe Veissi), iPad giveaways, educational sessions on digital marketing, and so much more. We were especially impressed by NARconferencelive.com--a fantastic site full of up-to-date conference happenings! For those of you who couldn't make the conference--and for those who did, but couldn't possibly attend every session--we've compiled a list of Twitter updates from the conference. Each one is a bite-size nugget of great information. Real Estate Trends @RETrends - ECONOMIC TRENDS: Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, on His 2013 Forecast (video) @NAR_Research #NARAnnual Rod Alderink @NAIwmRod - "You can't sow the seeds of mediocre patterns and expect extraordinary results" NAR Convention #cre #NarAnnual #naiwwm
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#ICSF: Final Day
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#ICSF: Day Two
Many of my RE Technology teammates are representing at Inman Real Estate Connect in San Francisco this week. Unfortunately, I am not among them. So that I don't feel like I'm missing out completely, I'm following the conference on social media and sharing it with you nice people. If you missed my coverage yesterday, you can read it here. Now let's get started with today's highlights from ICSF. Follow ICSF 2012 If you'd like to follow ICSF yourself, you can check them out here: Twitter – also check out #ICSF Facebook RealEstateConnect.com/sf12 #ICSF on Twitter Some of my favorite Tweets for Thursday, August 2nd: Alain Pinel Realtors @alainpinel : Quote: "Can we stop calling it social media? It's media! Why call them Internet consumers? They're consumers!" @MattBeall #ICSF Matthew Shadbolt @Corcoran_Group : Nice advice at #ICSF from @LisaArcher "Any time you receive a compliment, ask for a referral, and build your lifelong book of business." Jeffrey Kershner @jeff_kershner : 5 ideas to get the mobile experience right: 1. Play to your strengths. @1000wattbrian #icsf Jeffrey Kershner @jeff_kershner : #2 Deliver the greatest good to the greatest number of users. Search should be simplistic. Forget the weirdos. @1000wattbrian #icsf Jeffrey Kershner @jeff_kershner : #3 Care about the design: Think about the beauty of your application. Make the interface pleasing. @1000wattbrian #icsf Jeffrey Kershner @jeff_kershner : #4 Kill friction. Don't make it hard to use your mobile app, ie remove passwords, usernames and barriers @1000wattbrian #icsf Jeffrey Kershner @jeff_kershner : #5 know what you want: define the goal of the mobile app. Is it to generate calls, leads, showcase brand etc. @1000wattbrian #icsf Cynthia Hoskins @Cynthia_Hoskins : "Pulling Your Listings from Aggregator Sites: Who Wins?" session at #ICSF. Now this conference is going to get good!
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#ICSF: Day One
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Video: Tech Tuesday with Maya Paveza (Nov 8)
Our social media guru, Maya Paveza, talks about the topic that's on the top of all our minds: the National Association of REALTORS® convention in Anaheim.
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Re-Connect with Inman
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Agent Image at the National Association of REALTORS® Expo 2009
Catch a glimpse of the Agent Image and imFORZA real estate booth at the National Association of REALTORS® Expo 2009 in San Diego. November 13-16, 2009   7 Deadly Tools to Make Your Social Strategy Killer Need a New Year’s Resolution? You Can't Network Online Without Generating Conversation
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