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Double Your Monitor, Double Your Fun!

Dual monitor systems are no longer just for geeks. Granted, Reggie, NikNik and I are geeks and we all use dual monitor systems. But it is time that the average real estate agent looks into adding a second monitor to their desk.

What is so special about using 2 monitors?

Besides making your friends think you are a computer genius, there are huge productivity benefits to having a second screen. Think of all of the programs that you have open during a typical business day. At any given point, you may have a browser or 2 open, Outlook, a few folders, a photo or video editing program, Twhirl or another Twitter application and maybe even iTunes for some background music. All of this can quickly clutter a computer screen.

Now, image that instead of one 22″ monitor, you have 2. Suddenly, you have twice the real estate to work with. You can move email and social networking activities to one monitor while reserving the other screen for browsing, photo editing and video creation.

No more shuffling through windows to get to what you want to work on next. Everything is already in front of you.
[Read more…]

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Go Green and Save Money

It is a wonderful thing when going green can save you money, especially if there are no costs involved. Reducing power consumption is a great way to do just that.

One of the easiest ways to save power is to configure the power settings of your computer. By putting the computer to sleep when not in use, it can save quite a bit on the power bill.

Verdiem’s Edison PC Power Management Software makes configuring your Windows’ power scheme a breeze. This program is being offered for free by the Microsoft Environment division.

The Edison software provides an incredibly simple way to control when to shut down monitors, hard drives and put the entire computer to sleep. As you move a single slider from “Save Less” towards “Save More”, a chart updates the annual savings in money, energy and CO2 for that setting.

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6 Responses a Real Estate Agent Should Never Give the Press

Some of us are loud and have no problem getting our point across! But is that a good thing? When it comes to verbal self control, I must admit I’ve been guilty once or twice of TMI. So if you are being interviewed or sharing information about your real estate market, make sure tobe seen and heard as the community expert, not the community boob!

I recently ran into Matt Geiser, of Keller/King Inc., and he was kind enough to share his tips for responding to the press. In the midst of all this market mania, he managed to make me smile.

Here are his top “6 Responses a Real Estate Agent Should Never Give the Press”:

(1) Don’t tell them that you have ten of anything, when you only have five.

(2) “Let’s be honest here – this market totally sucks.”

(3) “Hell, I wouldn’t recommend buying a damn thing until the market hits rock bottom in 2010.”

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Some Like It Hot (But Your Laptop Doesn’t)

Few things are as dangerous to the well-being of your computer as heat. An overheated computer can cause annoying performance issues, such as lockups. It can also cause permanent damage, like when my CPU fan failed which fried my CPU and motherboard. That was a costly problem.

Heat has always been an even bigger issue with laptop computers. Heat producing components are crammed into the smallest cases possible. This leaves very little room for cooling systems, which are usually limited to tiny exhaust fans. Not quite adequate.

Use your laptop for an extended period of time and feel the bottom. It is hot! People have burned their legs from this heat. Furniture has even been marred from it.

Thankfully, there is an easy, inexpensive solution to the laptop heat issue.

Manufacturers, such as Targus, Belkin and Antec, are producing laptop cooling pads. These thin plates contain 1 or more cooling fans and are powered via a USB cable. When you set your laptop on one of these devices, fresh air is continuously blown on the bottom of the laptop keeping it cool.

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MTO Interview: Behind the Great Real Estate Plug-In

Recently Roger Theriault released a new plug-in for WordPress that makes displaying and marketing your real estate listings on your WordPress blog a snap. This new plug-in is called “Great Real Estate.” I was amazed with the thoroughness of this first release.  In my opinion, Roger has built powerful plug-with lots of future potential. See my introduction to Great Real Estate [Read more…]

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Print Contracts And More from Your Car

For nearly 2 years now, I have been trying to write a post on mobile printers. The idea has always intrigued me. The ability to print contracts or a listing flier from your car or a coffee shop seems like the perfect fit for the mobile real estate agent.

The problem that I have had in writing the post has come that my experiences with mobile inkjet printers. Poor print quality and speed, and fragile [Read more…]

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Are you missing lead generation opportunities with your IDX MLS search tool?

As a real estate agent over the past few years you’ve been hearing more and more about buyers turning to the internet as part of the home search process. According to the California Association of Realtors, in 2007, 72% of home buyers actively used the Internet for home search.  Which means that you should be looking for new and innovative ways to enhance the online consumer’s shopping experience on your Website or blog.   Great user experience doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice strong lead generation tools.  Quite the opposite, you need the perfect combination of both.

If you think you may already have such a tool, ask yourself the following questions. Do you offer consumers the ability to visually search neighborhoods on an interactive map interface? Do you combine home details with state-of-the-art tools such as Google Street View? How about providing school and community information tightly bound with home details? Do you offer consumers more than one way to keep updated on new homes in your area?  Have I peaked your interest?

Recently I had the privilege of Interviewing Robert Luna, Director of Business Development for Diverse Solutions about their blistering hot IDX MLS search tool titled dsSearchAgent. With Robert, I focused my questions on lead generation, RSS and [Read more…]

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Jott for Blackberry – The Secret To Speaking Your Emails

In March I started using Jott for Blackberry beta, in hopes that I could save time by replying to email with my voice via my Blackberry. To my surprise this voice to email application was remarkable and accurate. Although as I’ve been talking with real estate agents I’m learning that many have not heard of this useful technology. That’s unfortunate because as a busy real estate agent you are probably sending many emails while out of the office and maybe even while you are on the road. Needless to say, emailing while driving can be dangerous.  If that email needs to be sent immediately, using Jott for Blackberry you can simply attach your Bluetooth headset and speak your email while keeping both hands on the steering wheel. (We are not endorsing emailing while driving…simply sharing the technology. )

How do I get started?
To start, Jott for Blackberry supports series 8800, 8300 (Curve), and 8100 (Pearl) models. If you are using one of these devices, simply visit www.jott.com/bb on your mobile phone and download the application. Note that once Jott for Blackberry is installed you will need an active Jott account to use the service. Easily get an account by visiting Jott online or from your mobile device after downloading the application.

Once Jott for Blackberry has been installed, you are ready to start sending emails by voice. Locate an email you would like to reply to and choose “Reply with Jott” or “Reply to All with Jott” from the top of the reply menu. Next Jott will speak a welcome message and ask you to press any key (except hang up) to begin recording. Then speak your email and keep it to less than 30 seconds in length.  Once finished speaking your email, simply hold down any button to send. You will also have an option to preview the recorded audio before sending the message. You’ll notice that within a few minutes of sending the voice message it will be [Read more…]