post

12 Days of iPhone Apps – Day 10: Dragon Search

On the 10th Day of iPhone Apps
MyTechOpinion blogged to you…
Dragon Search powers voice,
Displays results on the fly!

About the Dragon Search app:
Historically if you wanted to search a keyword or phrase on your iPhone you’ve typed directly into a search engine. Ok, maybe you’ve tried the Google voice app, but for me I was left wanting more. Not any longer, Dragon Search is the new one-stop search application controlled by your voice. At its heart you’ll gain the ability to speak any given search into like Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube, Twitter, iTunes, and Wikipedia. Once the results have populated your screen, use the intuitive search carousel to switch between the other sources on the fly. Dragon also archives recent searches, allowing you to quickly recall past activity.

[Read more...]

post

Kick Off To MTO Vlogging Contest!

Okay, so you may have noticed we have taken a fancy to podcasting here over the last few months.  It’s been a great exploration of social media….learning how to best create and share our podcasts.  I could also compare my experience to that of a horror flick, as recording and listening to my own voice pretty much scares everyone out of the office. I started out as a perfectionist, trying to bleep out and edit all my verbal mistakes. Poor Reggie would listen from a far as a barrage of four letter words would radiate from my mouth with each tongue twister I encountered. I quickly learned to “get over” the mishaps and just let the words flow. Besides, everyone makes mistakes and it’s just more natural and easier to listen to.

So, now that I’ve been podcasting for awhile, the next scary medium that requires my attention….is video. Duh! I’ve been afraid to touch vlogging in the past for many of the same reasons that others have been avoiding the camera:  (1) it takes too much time, (2) not sure about the right equipment, (3) what content is best to share, and (4) I will look and sound like a jackass…or to quote one of my favorite comedic geniuses, Adam Sandler, “They’re all gonna laugh at you!”

I finally have the perfect retort:

(1) TIME REBUTTAL: Make a commitment to once a week. Pick a spot and shoot. It can actually take a lot less time than writing a post…if you know what you’re talking about.

(2) EQUIPMENT REBUTTAL: The Flip…it’s $149 and has one red button for start and stop and plugs directly into your computer via USB drive. Video opens in a super easy format with immediate email and upload options. Oh, and no rendering time!

(3) CONTENT REBUTTALL: What makes you and your niche unique? If you are asking questions or talking about a specific topic, idea, thing, or place…chances are someone else is. So address those topics. If you’re clients have regular inquiries about your [Read more...]

post

Have You Outgrown Your Router?

Let me guess, the oldest piece of technology in your home office is the router. Am I right?

This holds true for most real estate agents. There just doesn’t appear to be a compelling reason to invest in newer technology. That is what I thought until I did a little research. Since then, I have retired my trusty 802.11g router for a new, cutting-edge model.

Originally, you probably bought your router so that multiple computers could share a broadband connection. Plus, the added benefit of a wireless signal gave you the freedom to use your laptop from the couch. For these simple needs, that old router is fine. I’m here to tell you that your needs have grown beyond those simple tasks.

Ask yourself these questions to identify how your home network needs have changed:

  1. Do you work primarily from home?
  2. Has your broadband connection speed increased (10 Mbps compared to 1.5 Mbps)?
  3. Do you have a network connected printer, external hard drive or maybe even a new Windows Home Server?
  4. Have you used VOIP (Skype) to make phone calls and video chat?
  5. Are you a YouTube junkie?
  6. Have you filled up your iPod by downloading music from iTunes?
  7. Have you conducted an online meeting (GoToMeeting)?
  8. Are you or your child known as a master of Worlds of Warcraft?
  9. Have you remotely accessed your home computer (GoToMyPC)?
  10. Are your recent vacation photos on Flickr?

I was going to come up with a scoring system to provide a numerical value, but that would be too much like Cosmopolitan magazine. Just know that if [Read more...]

post

Marketing Your Real Estate Blog

Recently I was invited to the Inman Connect in New York to speak on a panel about “Marketing Your Real Estate Blog”. As you may know this can be a tricky topic. Please enjoy this video:

Remember that marketing your real estate blog will come in many forms. Here are a few more ideas:

  1. Start with properly formatted HTML
  2. Create remarkable and link worthy content
  3. Syndicate original content: Ezine Articles, GoArticles
  4. Social Bookmarks: StumbleUpon, Digg and Del.icio.us
  5. Participate in communities: ActiveRain, Zolve, RealTown, Trulia Voices, etc
  6. Guest post on popular blogs
  7. Analytics Software: Google Analytics, Clicky, CrazyEgg
  8. Conduct interviews with opinion leaders
  9. Widgets: MyBlogLog, WidgetBox
post

Dancing with the Bloggers

Todd Carpenter asked me to judge his first annual “2007 Humdinger Award” contest along with Dan Green and Chris Lengquist. The entries were funny and the bloggers were fierce! As for the scores…you’ll just have to visit Blog Fiesta to get the true results. They are all superbly hysterical posts in my book. So if you haven’t already checked out these blogger funnies, start off your new year with a big giant smile and get to reading!DTPMMALF – Athol passes the “ass test”! I’m very impressed that he understands what’s really being asked of him. Plus it made great reading material for Reggie.

The Bubble Gum Interviews – Each and every one of them is oddly fabulous! Finally someone gets to the heart of what we really care about…you know…drag racing in Houston, Starbucks, arm wrestling Chuck Norris or Brittney Spears. Thanks Lani, I look forward to the next one!

The Honor is All Mine! – It sucks to be overlooked. Just an oversight on their part I’m sure. But can I buy you at beer at the next Beers & Bloggers so that I can say I know you now?

Ten Marketing Tips You Can Learn From A Prostitute – An amazing introspective article detailing the dualities between prostitution and real estate. Very motivating!

Business Goals – A plan is good. A plan with real expectations is even better. Some of us need to plan our “nice time”. Thanks for the tip!

Top 5 Reasons Why You Wouldn’t Hire a Penguin as Your Next Realtor® – Yes, I run into Penguins from time to time at the gym. They are always the ones ignoring the “no cell phones” rule and insist on talking on their cell phones as I’m running on the treadmill….take it outside already!

Please Don’t Destroy My American Dream – This actually brought back nightmares of my former neighbors who held weekly BBQ’s on the roof of their 7 bedroom home. They had dirt bikes too. (Which I don’t mind enjoying on occasion.) But not while the neighbors are making their own “Jack Ass” movie dragging themselves on crates down my front lawn.

Mademoiselle? Oui. La Spinster?…ZUT! – “Bella Donna” sarebbe la mia scelta!

What I’ve Learned in Two Weeks of Real Estate Brokers Classes – Get to the point already! :)

WordPressing their widgets into your Facebooks! – Perfectly hilarious and smart!

And, I’m looking for “Dancing with the Bloggers” contestants. Still working on the logistics of the venue…it may have to take place in my gym locker room. But if you own an iPod and you have a little shake left if your booty….you’re in!

post

Adding YouTube Video To Your Next Real Estate PowerPoint

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.

  1. Open PowerPoint, and click the Office Button.
  2. Click PowerPoint Options then select the Add-Ins tab.
  3. Click PowerPoint Add-ins from the Manage drop down and click Go.
  4. From the Add-Ins windows click Add New.
  5. Locate the folder you downloaded and unzipped. Select the Add-In YouTubeVideo2k7.ppa.
  6. 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.

post

Google Offers Free “GPS-Like” Technology for Real Estate Agents

As a real estate professional you’re in and out of neighborhoods all the time. You’re expected to know your area well. But at times you still need some directional assistance. When those times arise, you may be thanking Google. Recently the Google Mobile Maps crew has launched a new “GPS-Like”’ technology called “My Location”. This new feature is freely available for most web-enabled phones, and you don’t need to have GPS on your device for it to work.

So how exactly does the My Location technology work?

Google will pinpoint your location within 1000 meters by calculating and estimating your handset location based on the unique footprint of surrounding cell towers. To start up this feature from with Google Mobile Maps, click “0” and your approximate location will be displayed on the Map. Your location will be represented by a blue dot if you have GPS or a blue dot with a light blue circle around if you do not have GPS. This dot is your approximate location.

To get started, simply text the word “bluedot” to 33669 or visit www.Google.com/gmm on your mobile device to download the application.

Other useful Google Mobile Apps:

post

Ideas For Getting Readers For Your Real Estate Blog: Part 1

Is there a science to getting readers for your blog? Do you have a plan when it comes to gaining readership and blog exposure? Whether you pick and choose your strategies to create a thoughtful plan, or round up every tactic in the book…..there is a method to your madness. We may not go about it the same way, so I’ve decided to collect as many ideas for gaining blog readers as I can find, or stand. Take ‘em, leave ‘em or add to them. I’ll keep the list going as long as I can, and with that, here are the first 5.

  1. Add your blog address to your business card & other marketing. Whether you are farming an area, marketing to your sphere, or meeting new potential clients, this is a sure fire way to get the word out. And with the holidays approaching, be sure to have a stack of cards on hand for all those special events.
  2. Got RSS? You have an RSS feed on your blog, but are you making good use of it? I suggest downloading an RSS feed image that is obviously recognizable and place it toward the top of your blog so your readers can easily subscribe. Don’t make feed subscription a game of hide and seek. Try Feed Icons or Bittbox for RSS icons and trick out your feed with Feedburner.
  3. Custom Widgets: Create a custom widget and place it on your blog for your current readers to download and place on their blogs. Now your content is accessible to people that may not otherwise know what great info you have to offer. To get started creating your custom widget, visit Widgetbox or Spring Widgets.
  4. Social Bookmarking & Tagging: Using social bookmarking sites like Digg, del.icio.us and StumbleUpon not only allows users to store, organize, share, and search “bookmarks” of web pages, but there are other benefits to be had. Two possible benefits of social bookmarking are helping a website rank better on search engines, as well as increasing the amount of natural links to the website. And a fabulous benefit of tagging is that you can see how others have tagged their content and see which tags are most important. From here, you can see which tags are most popular, and how to incorporate those tags into your content to become noticeable to the most people. To learn more about Socical Bookmarking, watch this.

  5. Comments: If you are truly trying to create community centered around your blog, then you need to participate in the act of creating community. One way to do this is to join the conversations that are happening on other blogs. Visit other real estate focused blogs and make comments on articles you are interested in. Whether you support or disagree, let your voice be heard. The best commentators will take a stance and add upon it with another benefit or helpful resource. Before long, you’ll notice new visitors and comments on your own blog!

These ideas may seem simple and obvious to most, but they are only as good as the user that implements them. Stay tuned for Ideas #6-10 next week.