Over the Holidays I took some time to look closely at Google’s new Gadgets for your blog. I was very surprised to see how many gadgets were out there. These Gadgets are the same offered on the popular iGoogle. I immediately thought about the real estate agent looking to add a bit of flare to their blog by providing relevant data to their geographic area. Many of the Google gadgets allow the blog owner to customize results by zip code.If you are more interested in using Gadgets for your own self promotion, you could always develop your own.
The impact of YouTube’s video sharing technology is hard to miss. Not only can you find any video imaginable on YouTube, but real estate professionals are leveraging the free bandwidth and enormous popularity to promote their own commercials, video testimonials, local community footage and lots more. However the need to leverage your video in a listing presentation, kiosk, or window display may arise. So let’s talk about how you embed that video into your next PowerPoint presentation.
This is a very straight forward task and can be achieved using a YouTube Video add-In created by Shyam at skp.MVPS.org. The Add-In works for PowerPoint 97’ to current. Keep in mind however the video is streaming, so you will need a live Internet connection to display the video in your PowerPoint.
THIS EXAMPLE IS FOR POWERPOINT 2007. For other versions of PowerPoint, click here.
To get started, download the YouTube Video Add-In here. Start by unzipping the folder.
- Open PowerPoint, and click the Office Button.
- Click PowerPoint Options then select the Add-Ins tab.
- Click PowerPoint Add-ins from the Manage drop down and click Go.
- From the Add-Ins windows click Add New.
- Locate the folder you downloaded and unzipped. Select the Add-In YouTubeVideo2k7.ppa.
- Choose Enable Macros if prompted.
Congratulations, the YouTube icon should now be added to your toolbar as seen below. To use, simply click the button and follow the simple 4 step process.
- Share your calendar with teammates and assistants.
- Import activities from Outlook.
- Receive email or mobile text-message reminders for events on your calendar.
- Create a special marketing calendar for each listing, and share it with the homeowner using the “send to a friend” feature.
- Use the invite feature to email special invites for a preview of newly listed homes (Google Calendar keeps track of RSVPs).
- Schedule your “blog posting plan” to keep content ideas flowing and prepared for upcoming posts.
To become even more organized and rid yourself of tardy excuses, simply visit http://m.google.com/sync in your mobile browser to download and install the Google Sync for mobile application. Once installation is complete, click on the Google sync icon and sign in to your Google Account. Now that’s efficient!
Lately I have been hearing a lot of talk about a technology called Yahoo Pipes, and what it can do to streamline RSS feeds. So today we are going to demystify RSS and Pipes for your benefit!
Let’s Talk RSS
To start, you must be noticing it gets harder and harder each day to keep up on all the great content accross the web. You likely know that Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is an easy way to keep up with this ever changing content. Rather than going out to each of your favorite sites one by one to see if they have new and appealing content for you, RSS is designed to bring the content of the sites you subscribe to right to your desktop via a Feed Reader. So rather than individually visiting 25 blogs in a row…simply open your reader and browse all content from one location. Your content comes to you!
Yahoo Pipes Technology Explained
Ok, now that you understand RSS let’s talk about Pipes. The term originally comes from UNIX and means roughly the output from each process is chained together creating a new output. Think of aggregation. You can say that pipes are the natural evolution of the RSS feed. Think about the current state of the blogosphere. Today you write a post on ActiveRain, tomorrow on Zolve, then Trulia and of course there is that guest post you recently did on another blog favorite. Plus this whole time you have been posting on your own blog. So how do you take all this content and mash it up into one feed for your readers? Introducing Yahoo Pipes.
Yahoo Pipes will aggregate and mashup content from around the web using RSS, data sorts, filters and translation. (Did I mention that no programming is required?) So in the example I mentioned above, the pipe you create could be a mashup of all your posts in one place—filtered by your name.
Let’s Build a Pipe
To get started, go to Yahoo Pipes and register for your free account. Once you have logged in, click the “Create a Pipe” button. You’ll notice the canvas appears. Start by simply dragging the module titled “Fetch Feed” from the library pane on the left side onto your working canvas. One by one enter the feeds that you would like to combine. Click the “+” sign to the left of URL to add another feed. Repeat the steps as necessary. Now drag out modules from the library such as “Sort” and “Filter”. Make sure you connect each module by its connecters. Once you have customized your pipe, click the save button and name the feed. Now click properties and give your feed a description and tags. Congratulations! Now save and publish your feed.
Today over at Inman, Jessica Swesey has interviewed Keith Garner of the Center for Realtor Technology. As you know, the Center for Realtor Technology is a part of the National Association of Realtors. Listen to Keith’s view on real estate technology and a few new technical applications that have become available.
There has been a lot of buzz on the Street about Cyberhomes recent partnership with AOL. If you have not heard, Cyberhomes is now AOL’s exclusive provider of home valuation and listing content. However that’s not what this post is all about. For some time now Cyberhomes has been offering it’s free PDF Report to Real Estate agents and consumers alike. This report is packed with useful statistics for important pricing and buying decisions. For example, the 18 page PDF reports contains zip-code level information such as buy/sell indicator, building starts, rental vacancy, local unemployment, median and average home prices, sales count by price range, local school and neighborhood info, etc. This report can be customized by using the refine value tool. (i.e. custom comps, home upgrades, subject property adjustments.)
If you would like to check out the Cyberhomes PDF report, simply visit Cyberhomes and search a property. Once you see the neighborhood mashup, click the link titled Detail Page on the balloon. Make any refinements first, and then click PDF Report.