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Does your real estate website provider supply you with prewritten content?

Thanks to the Blog Swap RSS Pieces put together, Stephen Jagger of Ubertor is our guest today. Ubertor serves the real estate industry with agent and broker software. I would like to thank Stephen! Here is his post:

Stephen Jagger, Ubertor – Many of real estate website providers supply prewritten canned content on the web sites they sell to real estate agents. This canned content comes in many forms:

  • Free Reports
  • Top Tips
  • Buying Tips
  • Selling Tips
  • plus much more…

Google says “we try hard to index and show pages with distinct information“.

What does that mean?

Canned content, generic content and content provided to you is not helping you… but actually hurting you.

Write your own Free Reports, Top 10 Tips, Sellers Bonus Material, etc… be courageous, be opinionated, take a risk, tell people what you think and be UNIQUE.

Google, Yahoo and MSN are looking for unique, quality content that they can provide to their users. Someone searching for Vancouver Real Estate is looking to find the best website about that topic. The search engines are looking to find that website (actually the top 10 under than term). To get your website to come up under the keyword term you are trying to target start by reviewing these points:

  1. Start Blogging
  2. Google likes sites of at least 100 pages and pages of 300-500 words/page
  3. Get rid of your canned content and write your own
  4. Write about the term you want to be found under
  5. Write about the term you want to be found under again
  6. Comment on other blogs that compliment your industry
  7. Use WordTracker.com or a service like it to view actual searchers searching for that term
  8. Engage your visitors, request comments, feedback, questions
  9. Keep your solds within your website – never delete or hide them
  10. Blog, Blog, Blog and then do it again

Blogging has proven to be the most effective way to gain exposure within the search engines.

The real key: Write for your readers – then review for the search engines! – not the other way around. Google’s mantra is “Be Good Not Evil” Bloggers’ mantra is “Write for your Reader, Good will follow”

Take a look at what the other real estate bloggers had to say that participated?

Transparent Real Estate?s Pat Kitano vs. Zillow?s Drew Meyers

RSS Pieces? Mary McKnight vs. Future of Real Estate Marketing?s Joel Burslem

St Paul Real Estate Blog?s Teresa Boardman vs. Phoenix Real Estate Guy?s Jay Thompson

3 Ocean Real Estate?s Kevin Boer vs. SLC Real Estate?s Nigel Swaby

Issaquah Undressed?s Larry Cragun vs. Maury Properties? Andrew Maury

Chicago Home Weblog?s Geno Petroche vs. NY Houses 4 Sales? Christine Forgione

Jonathan Dalton?s Phoenix Arizona Real Estate Blog Jonathan Dalton vs. Bonnie Erickson?s Real Estate Snippets Bonnie Erickson

The boys of Sellsius vs. Real Estate Tomato?s Jim Cronin

ML Podcast?s Michael Price vs. FamousAgents.com?s Elise Wright

My Tech Opinion?s Reggie Nicolay vs. Ubertor?s Steve Jagger

Redfin?s Glenn Kelman vs Rain City?s Ardell DellaLoggia

CondoDomain?s Anthony Longo vs. miOaklandCounty?s Maureen Francis

The San Diego Home Blog?s Kris Berg vs. Urban Dig?s Noah Rosenblatt

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Have you experienced VREO Real Estate Dashboard?

It?s almost time for those New Year’s resolutions for your business, so I thought I would dig into the past and focus on a piece of technology that you likely now about, but intimidates many?VREO Real Estate Dashboard for Tablet PC?s. What do you think of the idea about being ?paperless?? It?s possible; all it will take is a few key investments in technology and you could enhance your business forever.

VREO?s Dashboard helps real estate agents capture a signature on any Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF or image file by using a Tablet PC and stylus. The signing process is very similar to the typical signature experience of pen and paper. Also VREO?s Real Estate Dashboard can send and receive faxes electronically. So once you have the required signatures simply fax or email the document to its desired location without printing!

VREO?s Real Estate Dashboard is built on a secure vault. This is where you would import transaction documents and forms, for quick access and signing. The vault is continually backed up and synchronized with VREO?s facility in Agoura Hills, California. Obviously you need anInternet connection for this feature. Using the vault you can also assign permissions to contacts involved in the transaction so they can access documents online. If your Tablet is stolen or misplaced, you can easily retrieve another copy via the vault. Meanwhile the documents on your lost PC cannot be opened without a Password. If you?re wondering, VREO?s Real Estate Dashboard employs a proprietary binary encoding format ?DSD, or “Dashboard Serialized Document”.

In November, FNRES (Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions) and VREO launched an e-Signature Initiative. ?The centerpiece of the effort is bundling VREO’s Real Estate Dashboard e-signature software for Tablet PCs and FNRES’ TransactionPoint transaction and document management platform.? Read full press release from FNRES.

Click here for a free trial of VREO?s Real Estate Dashboard
Click here for review of Tablet PC’s

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Microsoft Live Local offers Free Phone Calls

Google Local and Microsoft Live Local play an important role in quickly accessing local information on the Web. I?m sure you realize the positive impact these features have on their advertising revenue. I?m also sure that?s why Microsoft has gone forward with this very silent launch of Live Local free phone calls. It?s much like the Google Local free click to call feature.

To see Live Local free call in action, visit Live Search and enter a business. After searching, you?ll see markers added to the map. Use your mouse to hover over a specific marker, and click ?Call For Free?. Enter your phone number, and then your phone will ring and the call will be connected. I should mention that if you connect using the free call feature on your cell phone you will still pay standard airtime charges.

Interested in adding your business?
If you?re interested in taking advantage of Microsoft?s reach, and ability to display your business information for free, click here. If you find that your information needs to be updated click here.

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Yankee Blog Swap

Mary McKnight has put together the Yankee Blog Swap. As part of the fun Ubertor?s Steve Jagger will post here on December 19th, 2006. It should be lots of FUN?Stay Tuned!
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Zillow Adds "For Sale" Listings

Overnight news with Zillow.com announcing its move to allows agents and home sellers to post their home on Zillow at no cost. They will not be able to post property photos and descriptions. Real Estate agents will also be able to post their contact information, photo and direct link to their website. This seems to be a growing trend and race to create a centralized real estate database. If you would like to read up on this topic, take a look at Drew Meyers, Zillow Blog, Bloodhound and TransparentRE.

What?s really changed with Zillow?

  1. Agents and home sellers can publish listings for free on Zillow
  2. New Wiki Features (i.e. Encyclopedia on Real Estate.)
  3. Owners can post a ?Make Me Move? price on Zillow

More information coming soon!

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Pre-Listing with a Technology Twist

With so many intriguing real estate technologies available today aimed at attracting buyers and gaining the exposure for sellers, it would be a good idea to freshen up your pre-listing presentation?that is if you have one. However before I get too deep into these new pre-listing gems, I should address some basic ?Must Do?s? with your pre-listing presentation. Terri Murphy makes a great point about having your pre-listing presentation delivered the day you make the listing appointment. She advises that you have a courier or colleague deliver it for you, adding to the professional allure. This, Terri says, will establish creditability, commitment to services and professionalism. Read Terri?s article on the power of a Pre-Listing System here. If you find Terri?s information intriguing, take a look at Mark McKee?s Article ?Increasing Your Listing Success Ratio? He does a great job of outlining pre-listing objectives and items to think about including in your pre-listing presenation.

Okay, let?s talk tech. Start by visiting SinglePropertySites or Listing Producer minutes after scheduling your listing presentation. If you don?t have an account, create one for free. Use their tool to make a website devoted solely to the property. These companies do not charge a fee until you make the site ?Live? with its own domain name (ex. 1122mainstreet.com). However they do have ?free view? options. For example, SinglePropertySites will establish a temporary URL. Simply copy that web address into a template flyer promoting the service and you have a pre-listing dazzler!

Also briefly cover listing exposure; its a big topic these days. The seller wants to know that you have reach and access to buyers. Flex your technology muscles by briefly speaking about your means for promoting their home via the Internet. Include, but go beyond MLS, Realtor.com and Homes.com, use sites like Postlets to build and submit professional classified ads. Once you make the ad, Postlets will submit your listing to sites like Edgeio.com, Google Base, HotPads.com, Oodle.com, Propsmart.com and then you can copy the Postlets HTML for Craigslist.org, LiveDeal.com, and Backpage.com?I think you get the idea. It?s a highly effective way to blanket broadcast your listings for maximum exposure!

Why not also take this opportunity to build an online pre-listing presentation survey? This is a great opportunity to learn any concerns or fears the seller may have with listing their home. For example, the idea of showing times may be stressful to a household with children, or maybe it?s pricing in this changing market. Knowing these concerns before you meet will not only help you prepare, but it will allow you to tackle these issues with the seller head-on! If you are looking for a survey solution, try Survey Monkey or Zoomerang. You can also use these survey tools to make a questioner for the seller to ask other agents. Dirk Zeller?s talks about the idea here. He says ?I always sent this to knock out at least half of the other interviewees. I
obviously knew the answers, but most of my competition had no idea.”

So all of the ideas are powerful, but remember that your pre-listing presentation is just an introduction. Make sure not to overwhelm the seller with too much information. You?re just trying to position yourself as the expert!

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FREE Google Maps for your Mobile Device

If you are like me, you depend on your smart phone for so many things. Well now you can add detailed directions and real-time traffic to the list. That?s right, Google Mobile offers those services and much more such as Gmail, Google News, Google Search, SMS and Blogger access. See the full set of free offerings here. These tools have the same simplistic approach we typically see from Google, but now accessible on the go. If you?re curious whether your device is compatible, check out Google?s list of compatible devices.

To get started, visit http://mobile.google.com/ on your compatible phone.

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NAR Expands Releationship with eNeighborhoods

Today in Rismedia, The National Association of Realtors? announced they have expanded their relationship with eNeighborhoods. NAR will now add the eNeighborhoods’ new direct mail marketing solution to the REALTOR benefits program.

?This new benefit enables Realtors? to receive free access to the complete line of eNeighborhoods software, including the InstaLead Marketing System, for a limited time. Long known for enabling agents to become “Neighborhood Info Experts,” eNeighborhoods recently has enhanced its product line to offer more direct marketing and agent marketing tools.?

After reading over the eNeighborhoods No-Risk Offer, I see that the InstaLead Marketing System is free for up to two months, delivering up to 58 Free InstaLeads. During that trial, the REALTOR will get the full suite of eNeighborhoods products. (Waived: Setup: $199 , monthly subscription through February 1 2006)

I?ve used the eNeighborhoods software in the past, and believe this is a great getting started option for REALTORS!

To take advantage of this new offering, click here.