post

HomeGain Launches New Agent Blogging Network

HomeGain launched their new agent blogging network tonight. Since Max the HomeGain Gorilla isn’t returning my Facebook messages and tweets, I had to hit up Louis Cammarosano (General Manager of HomeGain) with a few questions. Thanks for the lowdown Louis!

HomeGain members can now blog directly to consumers! Each agent blog will have a distinct URL with the member’s city, name, and zip code (ex: http://blog.homegain.com/real-estate-blog/sanfrancisco/NicoleNicolay/94133). Unlike the agent to agent blog platforms, HomeGain’s blog network provides agents with a forum for helping consumers with the home buying and selling process. Agents can reach out to consumers via their blog, as well as make, receive, and approve comments.

The HomeGain Blog recently scored a page rank of 7, so agents looking for a SEO boost could potentially get one from blogging there. Louis adds, “Also since our traffic comes not just from SEO but from HomeGain.com (which is a source of traffic that far exceeds our SEO traffic), SEM and from hundreds of partners, there is a built in audience so the agent does not have to write for Google to get noticed.”

The new HomeGain member profile features the agent predominantly with a link to their web site and phone number. There is an email box that the customer can use to ask a question (the email box remains a fixture at the top of all tabs). The HomeGain member interface incorporates carefully organized tabs for quick links to the agent’s blog and profile, as well as other home buying and selling tools including the Homesale Maximizer. And, if the consumer wants to they can fill out a form and get a professional CMA or they can just ask for one by calling or emailing the agent. Louis shared that he’s got one more tab coming that will complete the offering and there will be NO ADVERTISING!

HomeGain will continue to enhance its functionality with additional features. A new HomeGain Search Feature and Library of Syndicated Content are in the works already! Check out the HomeGain real estate blogs here.

post

New Feature from MyBlogLog Builds Your Contact Manager

So, you just discovered a rockin’ new real estate blog and want to know more about the author. What about adding the author to your contact manager? If you are a MyBlogLog member, you are in luck! MyBlogLog recently added a new feature that allows you to easily add your favorite bloggers contact information to your address book via vCard and hCard.

vCards are commonly used in eSignatures or attached to business emails. They are standard electronic business card files that usually include an address, phone number, email, Website or blog URL, etc. vCards can be added to the Mac OS X Address Book, Microsoft Outlook, and other applications.

Now, I hadn’t heard of the hCard so this gave me a chance to learn more. Apparently an hCard is a microformat for publishing contact information, as well as for extracting details to be used in other applications or  [Read more...]

post

How Mapping Can Market Your Sales History

This is the first of a series of posts I’m writing about creative ways to utilize mapping in real estate.  I will show how a real estate agent can display their total history of home sales (or any other data for that matter) and showcase it on a WordPress blog using Google Maps. This unique approach to transparency may prove helpful for those agents that have a thriving sales history in a particular county, city or even neighborhood. Possibly rounding out the about me page.

I will not be using Google MyMaps to accomplish this goal because it does not have an import feature. You would need to plot each sale, one by one.  So those of you that have vast sales histories would have a labor intensive process. Also when done hand plotting the addresses, you would not be able to use that data again. (It’s not in a raw data file such as text delimited, csv or spreadsheet etc.)

So I will have you start by compiling a complete list of your sold properties in a spreadsheet.  You may already have this created, if so great! If you don’t have your complete sales history, try your MLS system as they may [Read more...]

post

Focus Your Social Media Marketing

Ever find yourself in Facebook’s spine and wonder how the last 3 hours flew by and all you have to show for it are a couple of pokes and Funwall messages? It’s happened once or twice to me. Real estate professionals have a complex task when it comes to staying focused in the distracting world of social media. First and foremost, understand why you are there and develop a personalized strategy.

Social Media Marketing (SMM) is taking off as a standard soft sell approach to Internet Marketing. That doesn’t mean that some marketers don’t take advantage of networks and become annoying spammers. It’s the best social media marketing gurus that can effectively target, communicate, and appeal to a desired audience.

Social Media Marketing takes place at all your favorite social networking sites:  Facebook, ActiveRain, RealTown, LinkedIn, MyBlogLog, Flickr, Digg, Stumbleupon, Twitter, YouTube, etc.  These social media sites usually incorporate some form or mashup of [Read more...]

post

Save Money On Your Technology Purchases

I am what you might call a “bargain hopper”. It gives me great pleasure in knowing that I purchased something at the lowest possible price.

The slowing of the real estate market and the economy as a whole has made everyone a bit more frugal and willing to go to a bit more effort to find a great deal.

Allow me to show you a few tricks to saving money while still keeping on top of the latest real estate technology.

Discounts on Computers

First of all, never pay full price on a computer. In fact, don’t even settle for a sale price. A simple Google search and a bit of good timing can save you so much more money.

When making an online purchase, have you seen [Read more...]

post

Trulia First to Go Google Street View

trulia-street-view.jpgNot since the acquisition of Rudy Bachraty, has the Trulia team unleashed such “coolness” in the real estate community!  As of today, Trulia is the first national real estate search Website to incorporate Google’s Street View technology

Google’s Street View mapping is a phenomenal tool for real estate agents.  With it, agents and consumers can view a property up close at street view level, walk or drive past the property and surrounding neighborhood, and even check out the yard and other attributes of the lot. For those agents specializing in relocation, this is obviously a powerful resource for learning about a new area.  Rudy, Trulia’s Social Media Guru, adds, “Besides zooming in on the minute details of the exterior of the house, now you can actually take a peek at [Read more...]

post

Service Pack 1 Released For Windows Vista

Where does the time go? It’s hard to believe that it has been over a year since the release of Windows Vista. As a sort of birthday present, Microsoft has completed Service Pack 1 for Vista. Unlike Service Pack 2 for Windows XP, you will not see much in the way of new functionality. The focus of SP1 is stability, compatibility and performance.

This means that your Vista computer may seem to have more pep after the upgrade. File transfers should complete faster, and problematic peripherals just may run smoother.

Reviews of SP1 are mixed. Some tests are showing speed improvements, while others don’t show much difference. One thing that reviewers [Read more...]

post

FreeMobile411 – New Mobile Search Technology

If you don’t already have a free mobile option for directory search you may enjoy a new service from Free411 called FreeMobile411.com.  This new WAP enabled technology is optimized for mobile browsers and lets you search business name, business type, & person’s name. Once you’ve located the desired result, users will see the corresponding address, phone number, map, directions and nearby places as available. You will see a few ads, but they do not seem to get in the way too much.

Other useful free directory searches include Google Mobile Maps, Goog-411, and Microsoft’s Tell-Me service. Google-411 and Microsoft are both call in systems. [via CNET]