Becoming a Mobile Agent

If you are trying to become effective with your mobile technology, it?s important to understand where you will get the best results. In my opinion, you should be looking into the following categories:

  • Handheld / Mobile Phone Combination: According to the CAR 2005 Member Use of Technology survey 31% of members surveyed said that a Blackberry or Treo was their MOST important technology upgrade in 2005. In my opinion, that?s because with a combination device agents can not only get right back to phone call, but send and receive emails and view appointments as well. With the 3rd Generation network speeds, MLS data is better than ever. You can use an application like Pocket MLS to easily access property listings via the internet to view key information such as Listing Agent, Showing Options, Photos and more. To view popular handhelds click on one of the following links: Blackberry, Treo 700P (Palm), Treo 700W (Windows), Cingular 8125
  • Laptop or Tablet PC: This technology is vital for a technology savvy Real Estate agent. With mobile computing you will have access to your data wherever you are! Need to fill out a contract with your client, no problem with Winforms. With a Tablet PC you can take it even a step further and sign your contracts, take handwritten notes, and draw as needed in a presentation situation. For Laptops I recommend Dell and for the Tablet PC I recommend HP.
  • Wireless PC Card (Aircard): I recently purchased a wireless PC card and was not to impressed with the speed, yet this tool sure comes in handy when you need access to the Internet outside of your office. Setup was very simple and now I can access the Internet virtually anywhere. I simply insert the PC Card into the PCMCIA slot on my HP Tablet. From the Cingular software, I click connect and away I go! An agent could access MLS, email, online disclosures and more. Click here to visit Cingular and learn about 3G and their BroadbandConnect next generation network.
  • Mobile Printer: If you start really using the technology above you will ask yourself ?What good will the Tablet and Wireless Card do if I can?t print out the documents I create?? That?s where mobile printing comes in. Two popular models are the HP Deskjet 460 and the Canon PIXMA iP90

Spice up your next Internet posting! Part #2 is a new online classified service with a twist. Postlets allows anyone to build and post a classified ad, and they will not only display it but automatically submit the listing to several classifieds search engines?maximizing your reach across the Internet. For those sites that except HTML, Postlets will generate the code so all you need to do is cut and paste.

Here is how Postlets works. Start by creating a free account. As you begin they need contact information (Click Here to Read Postlets Terms of Use) and you must choose a category for your posting. (i.e. Real Estate) Then enter your properties physical characteristics and description. Lastly upload up to 12 photos. That?s it, you?ve completed the post. Now Postlets will submit the listing to Oodle, Google Base, Edgeio, Propsmart, HotPads and other classifieds search engines. If you want to take it a step further, Postlets can spice up your Craiglist, Backpage or LiveDeal post with HTML!

So remember, add the sites to your listing plan. The more eyes you can attract the better.


How can Trulia help my business?

Have you heard about the new Trulia Real Estate Search? Inman recently announced Trulia as the “2006 Most Innovative Web Service“. Trulia connects home buyers directly with brokers through their online interface offering a ?mashup? of interactive neighborhood and satellite maps, homes for sale, multiple search views, and market trends to help the home search process.

ENOUGH, How can Trulia help me?
By displaying your listings with a link back to your website. Trulia indexes real estate information from various website feeds into their easy to use interface. Learn about starting your own feed to Trulia by clicking here. (* Note: If you do establish a feed, each listing must have complete data and an image.)

If you are feeding properties to Trulia, you may want to use some of their free tools. Trulia offers an Integrated Search Box, Trulia Map, Home Roll (Newsest homes on Trulia) and a XML RSS Feed of results pages. Take a look at their map plugin below:

Trulia Provides Local Information
When it comes to relocation info, Trulia has done a wonderful job of dynamically linking all of the best locations in one easy interface. Take a look at the California Real Estate Guides, he is a Snapshot of San Francisco. You’ll view sales trends with graphs, schools, census information (i.e. crime, houshold income, travel times.) local maps, community Organizations, attractions, parks & recreation, entertainment, news & media, and government.

Try the Trulia local real estate guides search here

Trulia logo
Examples: “San Francisco, CA”, “94588”


The Advantage of Online Spreadsheets

The new Google Spreadsheet application enables users to create web-based spreadsheets that anyone with permission can simultaneously update from their own computer. Google Spreadsheet has many benefits, including:

  • Easily share spreadsheets & collaborate in real-time. With Google Spreadsheet users can invite anyone to read and/or modify your spreadsheets.
  • Efficiently edit your spreadsheets from anywhere. All you need is access to the internet, nothing to download!
  • Store your spreadsheets quickly and securely online.
  • Import and export your .xls and .csv formatted data.

To signup for Google Spreadsheets you must have a Google account. To get started, click here.

Visit Google Spreadsheets at:

Take a tour of Google Docs and Spreadhseets


FSBO’s Delivered To Your Email Daily?

Do you actively marketing to For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties? Are you looking newspaper by newpaper for these leads? There is a better way! Introducing LandVoice, the premier source for FSBO leads in the industry. Landvoice searches over 1,600 sources of FSBO information every day, such as newspaper classified ads, home sale magazines, and real estate listing web sites in over 400 major US markets. Landvoice is the most complete FSBO database in existence today.

From my research I learned the median FSBO selling price in 2004 was 15.4 percent less than the median agent-assisted transaction price. It looks like FSBO sellers wanting to save money are actually losing money in lower sales prices. (Source: NAR)

Fast Fact: According to the National Association of Realtors, 87% of FSBO’s list with a Realtor.

Click here for the “NAR Fields Guide to Marketing FSBO’s”


Online Communities: Taking your farm to the next level!

With the market changing many agents are looking at their current offering’s and trying to re-invent themselves. Why not change some techniques with your geographical farm area to build your name recognition? One idea would be to create an online community or intranet. This online tool is aimed at providing your geographical farm area targeted information ranging from local classifieds, forumns, news, directories, surveys, documents, events–the list goes on.

The Blue Fire Group, based in Littleton Colarado, has created a tool by the name of Non Stop Neighbors. This community-based intranet is designed to allow agents to sponsor a site, as a result gaining neighborhood exposure. Since the agent is providing this resource to local homeowners, they will obtain email addresses as community members join. Non Stop Neighbors helps to ensure visitors keep coming back using automatic communication. Also every neighborhood site has a real estate module allowing the agent to become the local real estate expert and generate quality leads.


Spice up your next Internet posting! Part #1

Next time you are sitting down for a listing presentation, let the seller’s know that in addition to the MLS you will place their home on classified systems like Craigslist, Google Base or even Microsoft’s Live Expo. To post your listing visit these links:

If you are posting to a community like Craigslist(excepts HTML), and you don’t mind a small logo, this free tool may be the answer to spice up your next profile, blog, web page, or classified ad. Click here to visit

Another service to take not of is Postlets


Mapping: How it’s improved searching for homes online

In the past when searching for homes online you mainly came accross home photos, content and if you’re lucky, a virtual tour. How things have changed! Many have said 2006 is the year of the map. In the recent past, online mapping has made a dramatic jump forward with Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft all jumping into the open source mapping arena. Of course, the first question you may ask is ?How does online mapping help the online real estate experience??

Imagine searching online for a home. You find a home that peaks your interest. You?ve seen the pictures, but you are not sure where the street is located. Using new mapping technologies you?ll easily see streets, school data, distance to strip malls, freeways, train tracks, towers and more. There are a few companies supplying pre-built packages. The first to come to mind is RealBird.

RealBird, established in 2003, offers a map-based search tool that can be easily branded, customized and added to any real estate website. Choose from Map-based Search or Publisher. RealBirds? Map-based Search is a powerful IDX property search tool. See example here.

RealBird Publisher does not tap into IDX data. This system has agents enter their listing details once and they will get automatic exposure to 1000?s of syndication partner sites including Google Base (Google’s Classified System), and more. These listings then show as interactive hotspots on your own maps. On June 14th, 2006 RealBird announced they?ve added the ability to upload video of the property with audio narration from your hard drive, digital video camera or your mobile phone.

If you are in the central valley, IDX Central is your best bet. This Interactive map tool is clean and possibly the most attractive I?ve seen. And just like RealBird you can see from a birds eye view.

Other Options:
MLS Finder