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The New Rules of Content Creation & Curation

Yesterday I had the opportunity of being a guest on #RTB on the Radio. Many of you may be familiar with this crew, but if you’re not…you’re really missing out! Really! So jump in and join the conversation. Michael McClure, Todd Waller, and Maya Paveza are hitting the #RTB nail on the head with each and every guest on their show, as well as just by being their uber-professional selves out there in the RE.net. Lead by example folks, woohoo!

[Read more…]

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How do you LIKE Facebook’s latest update?

If you’ve visited a Facebook Page today you may have noticed right away that “Become a Fan” has been replaced with “Like”. This change is aimed at improving engagement with Pages, since according to Facebook, users are more comfortable with the term “Like”.

Apparently, Facebook users are also commitment phobes and “becoming a fan” equates to saying “I DO” in front of your entire online network! I can see their point, but then again, I usually jump in with both feet blindfolded to swim around and explore before coming up for air.

Anyway, at first glance you may think you can no longer send updates to fans….I mean friends….or “people”. But you can, you just have to edit your page. However, I’m guessing there are more changes to come since the term “fans” still remains in some areas on the editing dashboard. But I don’t think it will be long before Facebook eradicates that term completely! [Read more…]

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Get Smart with Any Mobile Phone

If you own an iPhone then you’re probably appreciative of the thousands of apps to choose from that can assist you with your daily work tasks. However, if you own a Blackberry or other mobile device you may be frustrated with the fact that many of the real estate specific apps are NOT available to you, or have limited functionality.

ENTER: Smarter Agent, a real estate marketing company that has solved the fragmentation of mobile with a listing search application that is now available on virtually every cell phone.

Smarter Agent works with all major wireless carriers and mobile devices. It uses GPS to locate a user’s location and find real estate listings in their area. Search results include: price, square footage, estimated mortgage, taxes, features, interactive map, beds/baths, pictures. Consumers can also search by address, community name, city or zip code.

[Read more…]

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ZingDing: A Fresh New Spin on Real Estate Marketing

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting August Giles, founder of ZingDing.com.  After reviewing his new approach to real estate email marketing, I couldn’t help but share it with the MTO audience!  When you think of ZingDing, think of a cross between your favorite virtual tour and eCard software all mixed into one…with viral share tools!

After previewing the site, I found many great ideas of how real estate agents have used ZingDing to promote their listings and rentals. Many have elected to include additional design elements like holiday themes-sure to get your sphere excited by your creativeness!

What does it take to build a ZingDing eCard?

Start by gathering all necessary photos and logos, then choose your desired music from the ZingDing library, add any desired effects (i.e. burning fireplace, snowfall, etc.), then input your properties details!

[Read more…]

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Get Marketing, Get Real Estate, Get 4Realz

If you are a real estate agent with a passion for technology and great marketing tips you should consider attending one of the upcoming 4Realz Internet Marketing Seminars. (Especially if you live in the SoCal region!) 4Realz featured speakers, Dustin Luther and Jim Marks, promise to share great marketing advice for real estate agents. I have witnessed Dustin in action several times. He has a great way of breaking down complex issues and helping you focus your time and effort in real estate marketing activities that get results! They currently have three seminars scheduled for Southern California (room for only 100 participants at each location).

  • Los Angeles on March 6th
  • San Diego on March 19th
  • Orange County on March 31st

The type of material they plan to cover in the full-day course includes (1) quality website features and design, (2) engaging in existing social networks, (3) building an online community with blogs and (4) tracking and conversion to maximize return-on-investment.

The seminar costs $149 for a full-day course. This includes a light breakfast , full lunch, and 8 solid hours of valuable real estate marketing advice! Click here to register and check it out for yourself!

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Real Estate Marketing Strategies for 2008

Joel Burslem handed me a Flip camera and press pass at the Inman Real Estate Connect New York. And, I’m pretty honored that he thought I’d bring him back something worthy of Inman TV. Good thing I kept it clean. Those blogger parties can get pretty wild!

Actually, my goal was to uncover real obstacles facing agents in this market and the strategies being used to get a leg up! A special thanks to Dan Green, Brian Wilson, Sara Bonert, Diane Cohn, Jay Thompson, Christian Sterner and Reggie. They not only provided me with great real estate insight and perspective, but also professional wisdom from the heart! Thanks for sharing your expert knowledge and for getting “deep inside real estate” with me!

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Tune in next time, as I sit down and get “deep inside real estate” with Max the HomeGain Monkey for an in-depth interview on boosting buyer traffic to your Website.

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16 Holiday Gifts for Real Estate Techies

NikNik, Chad and I put together a list of some useful pieces of technology for real estate agents everywhere. Thanks to NikNik, we even have a few accessories this year. Have fun shopping!

Reggie’s Picks


Lenovo Think Pad Tablet PC
In my opinion, convertible tablet PC’s are built for real estate agents. The tablet technology allows for real estate agents to sign contracts on screen and start the paperless revolution. This year I’m recommending the Lenovo Thinkpad X61. The Lenovo Thinkpad X61 offers Intel’s Core Duo processor, embedded EV-DO or HSDPA modem for integrated wireless broadband, long battery life and strong benchmark scores for performance. Just keep in mind to get the small 12.1 footprint, the Lenovo Thinkpad X61 does not include an integrated optical drive. [see specs]

Garmin Nuvi 660
The Garmin Nuvi 660 is the perfect portable GPS Technology with a sleek 4.3 inch display. This state-of-the-art navigation system provides 2D or 3D maps and turn-by-turn voice directions. It also offers a complete “points of interest” database for local restaurants, gas, ATM’s and more. Also stop getting surprised by accidents and road conditions with an optional traffic package from XM NavTraffic® or MSN® Direct. Even use the Nuvi 600 to play MP3’s or display JPG’s of that next listing you’re visiting on buyers tour. (also checkout the Nuvi 770) [see specs]

Wireless Broadband: USB727 or U727 Modem
Two pieces of technology every mobile real estate agent should have is wireless broadband internet and a sleek flash drive. So why not combine them. The Verizon Wireless USB727 and Sprint U727 both do exactly that. Now get a 4BG of microSD™ memory, combined with a next generation mobile broadband on the EV-DO Rev. A network. Also note, this little device comes with out-of-box support for Windows XP, Vista, Mac, and Linux.

MII Flashcam
Open houses and other real estate activities often mean you may be alone for periods of time. Your safety is of top importance! Carry the MII Flashlight, and video/audio recorder. The MII Flashcam comes with one gigabyte of RAM capable of storing 1 hour of quality audio and video. The MII also supports night vision technology, allowing you to convert evening into daytime on the 1.5” TFT-LCD color Display. The MII is water resistant and provides 3 ½ hours of continuous operation. [Sold Here].

Photoshop Elements 6.0
Do you have the right software for organizing and editing your real estate photos? Photoshop Elements provides many powerful tools in an easy to use software package. Tag your photos with keywords, use touch-up tools to enhance your photos color and contrast. Easily resize, crop and more. Even find the best photos for the MLS and print marketing by using the side-by-side viewing feature. [see features]

NikNik’s Picks


Acme Made Laptop Cases
Acme’s laptop cases make real estate on the go—sleek, sassy, and practical! Acme Made laptop bags combine style, functionality, and affordability. Dimensions and suggestions are provided to ensure your laptop acquires the right fit. Check out “The Clyde City” for him and “The Trixy” or “Slim Cargo” for her.

Blue Tooth Headset
I can’t leave home and be expected to multi-task to my greatest potential without my Bluetooth headset. Driving and other real estate tasks become “hands-free” via wireless connection to your headset. I’m a fan of the Jabra Bluetooth Headsets, the BT2020 in particular. The BT2020 has the latest Bluetooth 2.0 technology. [see specs]

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2008
Load it onto your laptop, attach the small GPS locator and you’re good to go. Get to know a new market area, create informative brochures based on your neighborhood analysis, or create mashups of your sold properties—perfect for prelisting presentations. [take a tour]

Mobile Office
This item is so popular that it’s often sold out. Keeping your car clean when it’s used as your daily office is easier said than done. But with the Lewis N. Clark Travel Business Center, you can keep your notepads, pens, files, digital camera, flyers, snacks, etc. secure and organized. And when showing property, just fold, zip and place in your trunk.

iHome Portable Speaker for Nano
The Bose Sounddock provides great sound with minimal setup. My good friend (Sarah) even brings it on our business trips. But at $300, it’s an item you won’t want to lose or leave at an open house. Another great option for real estate agents is the iHome Portable Speaker for your Nano. At only $30, you can set the mood with quiet background tunes at your next broker’s tour/open house for a bargain!

Chad’s Picks


Dell XPS M1330
The technology driven real estate agent needs a laptop that includes the latest multimedia functionality while remaining portable. The Dell XPS M1330 is just that. Only 0.87” thick, the XPS M1330 is a 13.3” widescreen laptop that can be configured with a hi-def LED screen, a 320 GB hard drive for ample storage space or a 64GB solid state drive for performance and reliability, up to 4GB of RAM and a slot-load DVD burner. There is also a choice between AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon for mobile broadband. [see specs]

Dell XPS 420
Thought about incorporating video and audio files into your real estate marketing plan? You’ll need a computer with tons and storage and serious power to handle file editing and conversion. The Dell XPS 420 is ready to incorporate the 45nm next generation processors. A fully configured XPS 420 includes an integrated LCD to access songs, pictures, video and system settings without using the keyboard, Adobe Elements Studio, video and audio inputs on the front panel, a remarkable 2TB of storage, a Blu-Ray drive, an eSATA connector, 10 USB ports, and a deck-top device storage area with cable routing. [see specs]

HP Officejet Pro L7680 Color All-in-One
Upgrade the printing, copying and faxing capabilities of the real estate agent in your life this holiday with HP Officejet Pro L7680 Color All-in-One. This device is fast, touting laser printer speeds from an inkjet printer. The built-in Ethernet connection allows for easy sharing of this all-in-one with multiple computers. The unusual feature of standard duplex printing makes double sided printing a breeze. [see specs]

Lexar ExpressCardTM SSD
The more multimedia based real estate technology becomes, the more storage space we need. To increase the storage capacity of your laptop computer without messing with a hard drive upgrade, look to a solid state express card drive. The Lexar Expresscard SSD can quickly add up to 16GB of extra storage to your laptop. Just slide the card into the express card slot on your machine and it is ready to use. [see specs]

Seagate FreeAgent Pro
Need to back up your real estate business? The Seagate FreeAgent Pro 750GB drive is a cutting-edge backup and storage device. The forward thinking design of the FreeAgent includes the latest and fastest external connection, eSATA, for blazing transfer speeds. For those without eSATA, a USB 2.0 and 2 Firewire ports are also available. The included software makes for simple system backups, “goof-up” safe version storage and automatic data duplication and transfers to email, an iPod or Shutterfly. [see specs]

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3
A good wide-angle lens will improve real estate listing photos by including more of a room in a single shot. Without investing in a digital SLR, choices for cameras with strong wide-angle functionality are limited. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 includes a 28mm equivalent wide-angle lens that extends to a 10X optical zoom. Optical image stabilizer aids a shaky hand, a high sensitivity mode makes shooting fast moving objects easier and the new SDHC memory cards are compatible, providing 8GB of storage on a single card. [see specs]

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vFlyer Offers Single Property Sites

Or, “custom and vanity domains” as Oliver Muoto prefers. Earlier this month, vFlyer launched their single property site solution, Domain Plus. If you are already using vFlyer to create your listing flyers for syndication, then you may want to consider upgrading your subscription with Domain Plus. If you are not a current vFlyer subscriber, I urge you to check out this valuable real estate marketing tool.

With Domain Plus, you can search for and then purchase the domain name for your vFlyer listing ad or gallery. For example, a listing at 1731 Chanson Place in GA, would have the domain: http://www.1731chansonplace.com/. (Thanks Brad) Now you can spotlight your listings on the Web by giving them their own URL. Show your clients just how dedicated you are to featuring their listing in a variety of mediums…single property sites being one of them. This is a great feature to highlight in your prelisting presentation as well.

vFlyer can save you more time than ever now by giving you an additional marketing option with minimal set up time. Even the best multi-taskers will appreciate the ability to create listing ads, distribute them to leading online marketplaces, and purchase custom domains all in one visit to vFlyer.

vFlyer is offering competitive pricing for their single property sites. You do need to sign up for an annual subscription to take advantage of Domain Plus. For example, a vFlyer starter subscription has an annual fee of $99.50 a year, monthly fee of $9.95 and each domain name can be purchased for $9.95 each. (Total cost $149.25) Also, the more you purchase the more you get. vFlyer is currently promoting their “FREE Domain Name Offer” until August 31st. Anyone who signs up or upgrades to an annual subscription will get one or more free domain names, as well as 2 months free service.

BTW-vFlyer is not the only one is town offering these bundled services. RealBird provides a similar tool with their Listing Publisher. Both are great offerings depending on your specific Website wants.