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Mission Focused: Behind the Scenes of a Top Team
The Nick Shivers Team is mission-driven, dynamic and red hot. What's their secret? Peek behind the curtain of one of the most successful teams in the Pacific Northwest. Nick Shivers Team, Keller Williams Realty Portland Central Building a Culture In real estate, we talk a lot about culture — and culture seems especially important when it comes to building, growing and sustaining a team. How would you describe the culture of the Nick Shivers team? Our team culture is about giving back, through our Sell a Home, Save a Child initiative. So at the core of it, we all believe in trying to help people; that's the basis of the team and the business. But as the team leader, I know that if my agents don't have business opportunities, they can't help clients or give back. So, we recruit with a combination of making sure the culture fits, but also by feeding them high-quality business opportunities and leads so they can better jumpstart their businesses. Extending Your Brand Online and Listings Statistically, sellers list with someone they know and trust. How do you carry your brand over to online to start building trust with those who don't know you and your team? The Local Expert™ product from realtor.com® really helps us in our listing presentations. It's an online ads solution that targets buyers and sellers with ads on realtor.com® and Facebook. And I know it works because my agents are using it to win the listing. The biggest thing that I've seen my agents do there is show sellers, "When people click in your area, you can have your open house advertised right there." It's massive exposure and I know that sellers, who are really interested in their house being seen by as many buyers as possible, are impressed. I can tell without having a lot of data (because we're in the early stages), that it is working right now. We also have our rocket listing, which is our instant buy program that I run on radio and billboards and advertise on realtor.com®. Lead Nurture, Persistence and Conversion If you meet a potential seller online, they may be months away from making a decision to sell. How do you keep the relationship fresh? To be successful, you need to be structurally able to follow up immediately. We offer new agents a 90-day ramp up where they're trained on scripts, dialogue and follow-ups for leads. The key is the follow-up and how they can use our technology to do that. We also focus a lot on staying the course. When I started in the business, I was really good at working with the leads who were interested in transacting in the next 30 to 60 days. I was not so good at the longer-term prospects and that's where the gold is. The sale might come after seven, eight or nine follow-ups. That is where you're going to get a lot of those deals, but it is in those repeat contacts that a lot of agents will give up. So we are laser-focused on training our agents not to give up too soon. Retention Once your agents "get it" and start using these guidelines, do they stick around? If I get my agents on the system, my retention improves. I suggest agents stick with me for a minimum of three years and then if they decide to start their own team, that is completely all right with me. I had an example in 2018, my number one producer decided to go out on his own. We are really good friends and I said, Great, go for it. He made less money this year and admitted that it's a lot easier to think about it and talk about it than to actually do it. Final Thoughts from Nick What defines your company? What are the main reasons that should someone consider joining your brokerage? Our big mission statement is about serving people — saving kids by selling real estate. Everything that we do is based on how we can give back to underprivileged children around the world, so that's number one. If that strikes a chord with you, then you're going to get past the first layer. The second thing is we love the underdog. I don't care where you have been. I want to see that you've had success, but I also believe that it doesn't matter where you start, it's where you're going. Last, it's about our systems and our lead generation and solutions and their long-lasting impact. And from this, we've built a tribe of loyal clients. In today's market, that's so important for agents. And of course, a big part of that is that our followers and clients know what we stand for. Because when you can literally say that your industry has helped — our Sell a home, Save a Child movement has raised over a million dollars to help kids — I think that makes a point where people go, "Wow, I'm not going anywhere else but with these guys and gals."    
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Real Agent Story: Online Branding Key to Winning New and Past Clients
How are real estate agents building their business online? To find out, we've been speaking with successful Realtors. Today, Delaware-based agent Debbie Phipps shares how she reaches buyers, sellers, and past clients through lead generation and strategic branding on realtor.com. Your branding on realtor.com—is this a tool to secure listings? I use realtor.com® Local Expert as an important element in my listing presentations. I log them onto realtor.com® and I show all of the exposure and how it drives everything to my DebbiePhipps.com site. I have a 15-inch laptop I bring to the presentation. I talk about realtor.com®. I tell everyone that it's the only site that's affiliated with the National Association of REALTORS®. I recognized early on that this was where I should focus my marketing dollars because the site would be there over the years. The other sites don't have the same correctness and accuracy and the amount of people looking at them. Other sites come and go. But realtor.com® will always be there. I tell my potential listing clients that this particular program I use gives them maximum exposure that is better than you could ever get with any other agent. Of course, it's a tool to make sellers understand the exposure you are giving them; but it's also a presentation tool. While presenting, I show them an example of a listing. I put in the appropriate Zip codes, so they see that my listing and my links to my website where they are featured are coming up 50 percent of the time as they scroll through three or four pages. If I get an appointment where I don't have the Zip code, I will still be able put it in nearby areas. Usually they're very impressed when they see how their home will appear on realtor.com®. Does this help you on the buying side? I use the featured property piece of the Local Expert for listings and the other piece of it as a way to help us close our leads. When the realtor.com® leads come through, they recognize me as someone that's a local expert. I have worked primarily in New Castle County, Cecil County, Chester County area most of my life. I've been in this business 30+ years. I want past clients to know how to find me. So past customers are reminded by your branding? You can't imagine how many calls I get because people remember me from our past association. When it comes to selling their house, they're still calling me. I keep my brand out there so that they can see I'm strong in business. Most people say they would use their agent again. But although they were happy with the agent they used last time, most don't even know what their name is now. If they can't remember their agent, how could this help draw them to you? Are they seeing your branding? As an example, I recently went to a $550,000 listing in our average $250K marketplace. They didn't know me at all, but they were impressed with my marketing. I am always marketing my brand through my website, social media and print ads. It is not easy to measure, but you eventually can see the effect. My marketing appears in quite a few places, but the realtor.com® Local Expert really grabs their attention. Many of my listing leads say, "Oh, we saw you on the internet," and when I drill down, they saw me on realtor.com®.    
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Kendrick Realty Clones Business Model to New Locations
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Agent Builds Veteran Homebuyer Resources He Wishes He Had
After 10 years of service, three deployments and 500 missions in the U.S. Army, Austin-based REALTOR® Raoul Rowe transitioned to civilian life, earned an IT degree and became a licensed REALTOR®. Today, he's using his personal experience to help more veterans transition back home and succeed in their path to homeownership. "It felt like you finished your military service with a bag of benefits and a simple 'good luck.' There was no one to really fully guide you through critical next steps of transitioning, including buying a home," said Raoul.
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Boyenga Team Delivers Online Excellence through Chime
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Gratitude in action: How Bev Blume is building a business on a pay-it-forward philosophy
Operation: Impact Portland agent Bev Blume has always operated from a "Pay it Forward" philosophy. Whether in her personal or professional life, Bev tries to go one step further to provide value and a deep impact to everyone she meets. This isn't always easy in the lead-hungry world of real estate. After farming to a title-provided list for nearly three years and not making much headway, Bev worried that she wasn't building the lasting relationships she needed to succeed financially and feel personally fulfilled.
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20 Years of Staying in Touch Leads to Multiple Transactions
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Why Use the RPR app? Hear from These 7 REALTORS®
1. Impress clients with instant access to data Open houses present a prime opportunity for RPR users to demonstrate their ability to respond instantly to every type of inquiry. As guests express interest in nearby properties, a quick RPR search on your tablet or phone will yield current listings by list or map view. Use the buyer's preferences to email or text RPR Property Reports on potential properties, as well as an RPR Neighborhood Report, which presents an in-depth portrait of the people who live in a target area. Others may ask about area schools. Here, jump right back into RPR and offer to email or text them an RPR School Report, an in-depth portrait of student populations, testing outcomes, parental reviews, ratings, and contact information about a public or private school. For those interested in your listing, an RPR Comp Analysis will demonstrate your razor-like precision on how you determined the home's list price. "I downloaded the RPR app three days prior to my open house and played around with it for about 30 seconds," says Gregg Center, a REALTOR® from Sarasota, Florida. "I'm new to RPR, so I had honestly forgotten about it. The RPR app returned search results within seconds, instantly displaying every home for sale within a half mile radius of where we were standing ... including, of all places, a listing right across the street." Watch Now: Hail Mary Effort Proves Worthy of This Realtor's Strategic Open House Move
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Agent tried online leads and received a lead that closed on day one!
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Easy Icebreaker Ideas for Creating New Business
In supercharged real estate markets like the Denver metro area, every move counts. That's why Jickson Chacko never overlooks an opportunity to shop for new clients, literally. "Wherever I am, personally or professionally, it just comes naturally to talk to people about real estate," says Jickson, a REALTOR® with Cherry Creek Properties, Denver, Colorado. "And using the RPR app as my icebreaker, I'm able to transition a casual conversation into a working relationship with ease." At grocery store checkouts, a dentist's office, or while at the local playground with his young son, Elijah, Jickson is confident enough in his abilities and the tools at hand to spark conversations about the real estate market, knowing he can act upon any inquiry just by tapping into RPR's app on his mobile device. "It's always awkward for an agent to open with 'Hi, I'm a REALTOR®. Can I have your contact info for my marketing lists?' It's much easier to just start talking to them about the market or the value of their home and then instantly give them accurate information." Jickson's next "natural steps" include pulling up RPR on his phone the moment a potential new client demonstrates curiosity about the value of their home, or what another home in the neighborhood has sold for. "RPR's app is a great way to initialize conversation with a potential client without even seeing their property," he says.
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How Digital Ads Helped a Rookie Realtor Sell 100 Homes in 2 Years
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Hail Mary Effort Proves Worthy of This Realtor’s Strategic Open House Move
In real estate, you win some, you lose some. Yet for this REALTOR® from Florida, losing one turned into a trifecta of wins. All because of a very unusual set of circumstances at a very popular open house. As every real estate agent knows, open houses can be feast or famine. On this particular day, Gregg Center, a REALTOR® with Premier Sotheby's International Realty, Sarasota, FL, lucked out. His luxury property listing had quite the appeal for a number of discreet buyers. "I was somewhat surprised when six different couples entered the property at once," said Gregg. "It was a blessing and a curse because, obviously, I wanted to engage all of them equally." With questions about the property looming and little time to waste, Gregg turned to the app he traditionally relies on in similar circumstances. This time he wasn't so lucky. "I tried to engage each of my open house visitors by relying on data from my real estate app," he said. "But its unresponsiveness frustrated them. I felt frustrated as well. High-end buyers have high expectations, and my 'go-to' app didn't perform when they wanted more information." What makes Gregg a good agent? He's quick on his feet. "Right then and there, I remembered that I had downloaded the RPR app about three days prior to my open house and played around with it for about 30 seconds, with no real strategy in mind. I'm new to RPR so had honestly forgotten about it. But I had to do something and followed my instincts."
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How Technology Training Revolutionized One Realtor's Business
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Conversion is Key for this Open House Expert
When one-third of your annual sales in a single year stem from open houses, you pay attention. Something is working. For strategic-minded REALTORS®, open houses are an opportunity to convert market watchers, tire kickers, and fence sitters into clients. What sets apart a “showing” from a “client conversion and closing opportunity” can be attributed to a REALTOR’s style and RPR. That's according to this San Francisco based agent who was recently named Rookie of the Year by the Bayeast Association of REALTORS®. “I have a clearly defined strategy for planning and carrying out an open house,” said Nicole Nicolay, a REALTOR® with the Engel Group at J. Rockcliff Realtors, Pleasanton, California. “It’s a game plan that has consistently resulted in above-average performance.” Nicole, who has more than a decade’s worth of real estate marketing and technology expertise under her belt, said the data and reports found within RPR fulfill three vital components of her open house strategy: Using insightful, engaging icebreakers Providing credible, relevant information Ensuring a timely and consistent follow-up method
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How RPR Covers Every Angle of Buyer-Realtor® Relationship
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5 Best Practices for Advertising on Property Portals
Husband-and-wife team Eric and Janelle Boyenga were among the very first agents to start advertising with Zillow. A decade ago, portals were still new and agents were beginning their first tenuous steps into online marketing. "Years ago, and still even now, we'd spend money in different places and just see what sticks," says Janelle. "If something stuck, we'd spend more money." Zillow was one of the places that stuck. They joined the site in February of 2006 with an initial investment of $1000. In the 10 years since, Zillow has consistently been their best source of leads and business growth. "Zillow really catapulted our business," says Eric. "We get a lot of leads--somewhere between 100 to 200 leads a month. If we had Zillow 20 years ago, we would be where we are today 10 years earlier because you can really speed up your growth." Over the past decade, the Boyengas have perfected their Zillow game and they now share their knowledge with other agents as trainers in Zillow's Accelerate Program for Zillow Premier Agents. They shared their favorite best practices for leveraging Zillow during our interview. Best Practices for Leveraging Zillow Providing great customer service is the best way to make the most of your investment in advertising with Zillow, according to the Boyengas. "A lot of Realtors don't understand what clients are looking for and don't take online client contact seriously," says Janelle. "They're looking for a Realtor that's professional, and so many times agents don't even respond to clients when they email them or text them--and all they want is your help!"
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What's behind this agency's successful farming strategy? Relationship building
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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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A New REALTOR® Shares 3 Ways RPR Helps Her Business Grow
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How One Realtor® Leverages RPR for Lead Generation
You're likely aware of the reports and other features of Realtors Property Resource® that can help drive the success of your business. But did you know that you can use RPR as a valuable lead generation tool, too? We didn't either until a recent chat with Dale Chumbley, a second generation Realtor® based in Vancouver, Washington. Don't be surprised if you recognize Chumbley; he's shared his real estate technology expertise with audiences at Inman Real Estate Connect, NAR Annual and Midyear, and beyond. Today, he's going to share a few tips for leveraging RPR's new mobile app in your marketing efforts. Responding to Leads from Anywhere For Chumbley, the mobile app is central to how he uses RPR with leads. "RPR came to life when the app was released," says Chumbley. "I'm such an on-the-go agent that the app has made RPR become part of my day-to-day world as opposed to a tool I use once in a while." "One of the cool things to me about the app is anytime I receive a lead inquiry, I have it set up so that I get a text message," he says. As soon as that text alert comes in, Chumbley pulls up either the property's MLS number or address. Then he goes into RPR Mobile, pulls up the data from RPR and generates a Mini Report and immediately emails it to the prospect. "What it's done is allow me, within just a couple of minutes, to be able to reply to the person that's inquiring on the property," says Chumbley. "I'm not just able to reply saying, 'Hey, I got your message. I'll get back to you later.' I'm able to reply to them immediately, 'I'm here. I'm happy to help. Here's a bunch of data for you to start looking through. Let me know when you are at a point where you want to be let in the house, talk to a lender, whatever it is that needs to happen.' It's just a very quick easy way for me to get some real value information to that consumer."
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Building Trust and Business with RPR®
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How a Top Agent Goes to the Next Level
A while back, I did an interview with Justin Havre, a top real estate agent in Calgary Alberta working at CIR Realty. CIR is the largest independent firm in Canada with about 650 agents. With his team, Justin Havre & Associates, he has been number one or two in his market for a number of years (number one team for 2011-2013). To put things in perspective, at the time of the first interview he and his team were doing nearly 200 transactions a year. I sat down with Justin in our original interview to understand some of the things he was doing successfully to reach this level as well as to see where he thought he could improve his business practices. In our original interview, Justin noted the significant investment he makes in technology every year. He operates multiple real estate websites and the leads generated from these sites form a significant piece of his business. At the time of the first interview, he had six people on his team. One of the problems he noted as needing improvement was the ability to respond effectively to the large number of leads he received every day. The second key area that needed to be improved was his communication and contact with customers he has already worked with. He realized that largely due to the huge new lead volume he was experiencing, he was neglecting the people that he had already done business with. I interviewed Justin recently to get an update on how things were going and to see what he had been able to do to address the specific business needs noted in the first interview. Most importantly, I wanted to see if whatever steps he took had the outcome that he desired.
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Commercial Real Estate Success, Courtesy of RPR®
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An Appraiser’s Perspective on RPR®
We've been collecting stories about real estate professionals' use of RPR®. In October, we gave you an agent's perspective. Today, we're bringing you another side of the story: an appraiser's take on the technology. Francois "Frank" Gregoire is a REALTOR®, broker, and full-time real estate appraiser. As a member of RPR's® Appraiser Task Force from the very beginning, Frank has had a unique opportunity to observe and shape the growth of the tool. His insights can aid agents and appraisers in growing their business. Busy Agent Summary We understand that you're busy, so we're going to provide a quick summary here. In one minute or less, these are the things you can take away from Frank's success with RPR®: Take advantage of free resources available to you as a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. Use RPR® to help gain a better understanding of an area that's new to you. Whether you're relocating to a new city or expanding outside the boundaries of your usual geographical area to help a client, RPR® can provide valuable insights. RPR® reports can help facilitate communication between agents and appraisers. Adjust the RVM® to ensure that it is accurate. Use RPR maps to overlay heat maps, flood zones, neighborhood boundaries and more. There are plenty more tips for success - read on for the full story. We also recommend getting better acquainted with RPR® in our product directory.
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A Brokerage Can’t Do for You What You Can
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Secrets to Success with RPR®
Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) is a free member benefit from the National Association of REALTORS®. The compelling cost-benefit ratio and impressive functionality create an appealing package, one that we were interested to see "in action." So, we've spoken with a variety of agents around the country to learn how they are using RPR® to be more successful. Our series of articles sharing what we discovered begins today. Ressie Wilson is an agent working with RE/MAX® Allegiance in Washington, D.C. Within just a few moments of speaking with her, it becomes obvious that she's an especially articulate communicator and someone with an excellent understanding of her local real estate market. Interestingly enough, these are two of the things she seems to use RPR® for the most: communication with clients and educating herself (as well as consumers) about real estate. Busy Agent Summary We understand that you're busy, so we're going to provide a quick summary here. In one minute or less, these are the things you can take away from Ressie's success with RPR®: RPR® helps build your clients' confidence in you and your own confidence in your decisions. Give your clients a choice about the kind of information they want to receive, and then deliver. (Spoiler alert: they'll probably ask for "more, more, more.") Use the RVM to guide uncomfortable pricing discussions with sellers. Take an active role in ensuring an accurate RVM. There are plenty more tips for success - read on for the full story. We also recommend getting better acquainted with RPR® in our product directory.
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Beyond Residential: Commercial Agents Can Use RPR, Too!
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RPR Success Stories. Are you next?
By now you've heard of RPR® (Realtors Property Resource®). We figured that while you've been hearing from us, you should also hear about RPR directly from your fellow REALTORS®. Each of these REALTORS® are successfully using RPR all over the country. While all different, each of these REALTORS® has found their own way to incorporate RPR into their business. Sit back, relax and prepare to be inspired. Have you ever gotten a listing appointment call at the worst moment possible? That happened to Gordon Corsie from California. Gordon was preparing to leave on vacation when he got a call for a new listing. Completely out of paper in his printer, Gordon decided to create an RPR Report and show it to his client on an iPad. Once he handed the potential client his iPad with a Property Report displayed, Gordon had a good feeling. And he was right...he secured the listing! See Gordon's RPR All Star video and learn more here. Looking for an impressive way to quickly respond to leads? Joanne Taranto from Massachusetts can help you with that. Joanne uses RPR to help her respond to cold leads she receives from her website, or other real estate portals. Providing a comprehensive report from RPR, Joanne turns these cold leads into face-to-face meetings and even clients. Check out Joanne's story here.
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Do you use a Client Relationship Management Product? Tell us all about it!
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What REALTORS® Can Learn from USAA.com
If you think of the "best" website you visit – what site do you think of? The answer is easy for me. I think of USAA.com. Although the USAA site is focused on financial services (not real estate), I believe there's quite a bit that REALTORS® could learn from USAA – online and offline. Who is USAA? USAA offers insurance, banking, investments, retirement solutions and advice to more than 8 million active duty military members, veterans who have honorably served, and their families. Twenty-five Army officers founded USAA in 1922 to insure each other's automobiles. Approach Your Website as a Consumer It is obvious that the designers of USAA.com approached their task by adopting the perspective of a consumer. You can see this in the details, things like: The exceptionally easy navigation. The text they've used for the different navigation elements make it simple to figure out which option to choose. For instance, from within a summary of accounts, you select the drop-down menu under "I want to" and choose the appropriate action. The clean design. Please don't overwhelm me with too many design elements or navigation options. USAA doesn't do this. They keep the design clean and simple, making it incredibly easy and inviting to use.
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7 Things I’ve Learned in a Year of Real Estate Technology
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A T-Mobile Royal Wedding Tribute
It takes a lot to make me watch a phone company's ad. I do not normally attribute humor to cell phone companies. When given the choice, I'd bypass a Verizon or AT&T ad as soon as possible. But with over 19 million views and enough posts to my Facebook, this T-Mobile ad made it to the desk of our CEO and into my inbox. It was unavoidable.  That's the power of viral social media marketing. If it's good, and enough people like it, it stalks you until you like it too. So now I'm dropping this into your world too! I hope you feel the love! To commemorate the Royal Wedding between Wills and Kate last week, T-Mobile's marketing team released a genuinely funny and staged "dance-off" between members of the royal family at the wedding. It just goes to show edutainment is a great way to market your services to your target audience. I may never have given T-Mobile the time of day before, but they made me laugh and now I'm more open to listening. Does this marketing video have the same effect on you? Watch and see!
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9 Easy Ways to Get Unfollowed on Twitter
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6 Reasons You Want an iPad 2
After seeing the beautiful iPad 2, my iPad appears sadly ordinary. It’s hard to think how advanced the original tablet, sitting off to the side of my desk, used to look. The original iPad now appears fatter, heavier and incredibly lacking, without a tiny camera on the front. 6 Reasons I want to trade my iPad in for an iPad 2:
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You Tweet, But Do You Know How to Measure Twitter Success?
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What Sells Homes - Agents or the Internet?
Technology Warrants a Return to Basics for Modern Realtors by Alan Shafran, President of The Alan Shafran Group What sells homes - agents or the Internet?  With the use of technology becoming increasingly more important to the real estate business, do consumers really need a Realtor?    We have all heard the statistics, which indicate that 90% of buyers have been researching homes online for a minimum of six months prior to contacting an agent.  A wide variety of information can easily be obtained with the click of a mouse: virtual tours, homeowner’s association fees and assessed values to square footage, neighborhood and community amenities and the reputation of local schools. Technology Warrants a Return to Basics for Modern Realtors Guest contributor Alan Shafran says: What sells homes - agents or the Internet? With the use of technology becoming increasingly more important to the real estate business, do consumers really need a Realtor? We have all heard the statistics, which indicate that 90% of buyers have been researching homes online for a minimum of six months prior to contacting an agent. A wide variety of information can easily be obtained with the click of a mouse: virtual tours, homeowner's association fees and assessed values to square footage, neighborhood and community amenities and the reputation of local schools.
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Want an Easy New Way to Share Your Expertise Online?
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Here Comes the Blackberry Tablet!
Many in real estate have taken great interest in the iPad. For many of us over 40, it is a great solution to mobile computing. The screen is big enough to read! The problem with the iPad for real estate is that most of the tools that agents and brokers use in real estate are not built to work on Apple OS. In real estate, Blackberry took major marketshare after the Palm Treo appeal melted. The Pre did not live up to the performance and usability of the Blackberry or the iPhone. Real Estate folks who needed a phone that worked with the MLS wireless products flocked over to Blackberry. Others that just wanted a cool phone choose the iPhone. Recently we have seen a variety of new companies emerge that are bringing real estate tool to all devices – iPhone, Blackberry and Android (Google). Here is a link to a pile of them on RE Technology.
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Ethel's First... What's the Word?... Online Video!
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Digital Addiction: Blurring the Lines of Reality
I never realized how much my ability to use my computer has taken over my life. Recently, severe storms caused a power outage that lasted for over six hours. Of course, I noticed the black clouds rolling in and had partially listened to the television warnings in the other room announcing possible tornado touch downs, but I had a deadline to meet as I busily typed away on my computer. Then everything went black as high velocity winds pummeled my office windows. My first thought was, “I wonder how long my battery will last?” and not, “Run for cover, we are going to die!” The sheer inconvenience of having to remove my computer from the docking station and reboot it into life drew a frustrated curse from me: “I don’t need this!” That’s when I looked out my office window and saw the eerily yellow and black clouds on the horizon and watched our mature maple trees bend at impossible angles as their leaves whipped about. My next thoughts were about gathering up my computers and backup batteries, cell phone, husband, pets, and flashlights. Notice the order in which I gathered up my most precious possessions. I assumed that my husband and pets could take care of themselves, but my electronics were helpless. As we sat in the darkened house I understood emotionally how much technology has become an intricate part of our lives. I began to fantasize as to what I would do if I didn’t have a computer to work with or a cell phone that I could use. I would have to watch movies from the 60s and 70s to remember what we used to do!
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A Customer Service Confluence
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Google Is Playing in the Twitter Sandbox
I came across a really interesting new Google user interface today called Follow Finder - followfinder.googlelabs.com. This is a new google application that helps link Twitter users with other Twitter users that share the same interests. I start by entering my Twitter user name—mmchone—and it quickly returned a list of people within our industry that I was absolutely interested in following. I was impressed with the results. I don't know if the list would be as useful for someone with a large number of followers, but since I am still in the beginnings of my account and learning the real estate industry, I found the results to be very useful. It did return multiple results of people or companies that I was already following, but it was interesting to see the mix. I was looking at an industry snapshot of Twitter users.
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Generate Leads with Texts!
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How to Make Use of Twitter Lists
Twitter has been rolling out their new Lists feature to tweeps over the last few weeks. If you’re still waiting, be patient (or whine about it in the public stream like I did). The feature was made available to me last week and unfortunately I was so busy I had to wait until the weekend to play with it. But now that I have, I’m excited to share my experience and suggestions with you.      
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Using Technology
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