Star Bloggers

blogmenBlog Blast 21 was our first Blog Camp that focused on writing and generating content for blogs. I’m pleased to introduce to you these participants and bloggers of Blog Blast 2.

Augusta, GA Real Estate
by Caroline Ashe

Mammoth Lakes Real Estate
by Sonja Bush

Mt. Hood Real Estate
by Blythe Creek

Cindy Crutcher’s Blog Selling Real Estate Everyday
by Cindy Crutcher

Savannah Real Estate Market
by Vickie Linscott

Coastal Living in Oregon, Life Musings, and ISMS
by Sonja Lovas

100 Things to do in Jacksonville
by Liz Papenbrock

904 Living
by Jeff Riber

Living at Grand Lake, Oklahoma
by Wayne “Shorty” Short

Franklin MA Real Estate Blog
by Kathy Stankard

We Know Memphis
by Melissa Thompson

The Unvarnished Truth about Real Estate in Metro DC
by Sarah Toppins

Live, Work, and Play around St. George
by Jodi White

The Cincy Blog
by Kathy Koops

Simply Ledyard
by Linda Davis

iPhone or Android?

“Get an iPhone!”

“You’re missing out unless you have an Android”

You’ve heard the conversations, I’m sure. It happens every day and I’ve even seen people get into near fights about which phone is better. hmpf! This post is not going to declare either a winner over the other, so if you were wanting me to tell you which of the two to purchase – move on, not happening.

Guess what? They are both great devices. Both have their own personalities, if you talk to different people you will probably hear favorites about both.

Staying on top of your game with technology tools includes using the best smartphones available to you. It isn’t important that you are the first REALTOR® in your area with the latest model phone, but you need to make sure you aren’t missing out on time-saving tools that can help generate income and business for you. Your smartphone is one of those tools. The iPhone or Android are the best choices.

I am not going to tell if you are using a blackberry or old flip phone an older model, but it is time to grow up and let go. Do some research and move to a smartphone that will help you in your business with the communication tools and applications these two have to offer.

Top 5 reasons you should use an iPhone or Android

  • 1. There is in fact, an app for that. And this. And this and that.
  • 2. Clients are using text messages, email, and the phone – you need to receive and answer efficiently.
  • 3. You’ll be the REALTOR® who stays up-to-date with technology.
  • 4. You can access the Internet for quick information, whenever and wherever.
  • 5. Multitasking couldn’t be easier.

It’s time for you to join the masses of other REALTORS® who say, “how did I live without this?”. If you are still really wanting to hear whether you should choose an iPhone or an Android as a real estate agent, here you go: if your last name begins with A—M, go get the iPhone. If your last name begins with N—Z, order the Android. Have fun!

Nurturing your Sphere

Think Like a Rock Star

I’m reading my friend, Mack Collier’s book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies that Turn Customers into Fans, with a foreword by Kathy Sierra and I’m reminded yet again of such an important principal of a service oriented business.

…the balance of power has shifted towards the consumer. If your brand can begin to develop closer connections with its most passionate customers, not only will you see immediate business benefits, but you will also enjoy a significant advantage over your competitors who are still clinging to an outdated model of customer management.

You’ve heard us teach at The Tech Byte the importance of building relationships with your network and it is becoming more and more significant. With so many opportunities, it’s a shame not to see more real estate agents (and small business owners) taking advantage of nurturing and connecting through relationships. Your fans will work for you. They will not hesitate to recommend you – as long as they remember you. So don’t forget your fans that already exist while you are out trying to increase your database.

Keep in Touch

How are you keeping in touch with your fans/sphere/past clients? There are many, many ways both online and offline. A short list includes:

  • Electronic and/or Print Newsletters
  • Happy Anniversary cards – in the mail!
  • Phone calls for Happy Birthdays
  • A “I thought of you while showing a home nearby” text message
  • Personal note/email/call
  • Facebook Posts, Twitter messages, Instagram shout-out

Do you need to make up for neglect?

If you have neglected your sphere, it’s ok to admit it! While you use your method of choice to reach out just apologize for not reaching out sooner. It’s better than letting more and more time pass.

 

Facebook Group Files

Facebook Groups contain members that share a common interest and often there is a need for a “note” or “file” that can be accessed without using the search or scroll function.

If you are a member of a group, you can create, upload, or edit an existing document.

While you are viewing your Facebook Group Page, look at the top (right under the pictures of members) and click on the [Files] tab.

You can choose to
1. Create a Document (similar to a Notepad file- just simple text)
or
2. Upload a File. If you upload a file, members can preview or download the file.

FB1
If you would like to edit an exisiting document, click on the File Name in the list below and you’ll see an [Edit Doc] option above the document. You can use Bold, Italic, Underline, Bullets, and Quotes. That’s it! Don’t forget to save your file.

Group Files can be helpful for many things within your group. Some uses I’ve seen include:

  • Introductions
  • Sharing links or favorite apps
  • Posting Group Rules
  • Tips
  • General Information

If you are not the Group Owner and you aren’t sure if a document file would be appropriate for your group – just ASK one of the Moderators/Administrators of the group. pssst. It probably isn’t the place to advertise your newest listing – even if it does include a butler pantry

Blogging for Closings

Bloggers continue to dominate the internet information highway providing great value to their buyer and seller clients.

This one-hour webinar session explains the benefits of blogging and gives you some tips to help with your blogging efforts.
**FREE GIFT to you**

Please be aware – it takes a bit of patience to load and begin :)  

 

Don’t forget to join us for Blog Blast 21 for just $21.00!  Starting August 1st. 

If you are a blogger in the real estate industry – share your link in the comments below.

Impressing Tech Savvy Real Estate Clients

Share and Collaborate

If you have tech savvy clients they will love the organization of information and the ease of collaborating.

Collaborating can’t be easier than using Google Drive with a spreadsheet! Now, you want to be careful not to overwhelm clients of yours that would rather use anything other than a keyboard and online spreadsheet. However, as more and more people are familiar and use Google Applications on a day-to-day basis most will just love this use in their home search or home sale.

Buyers

One place to take notes on the homes your buyers would like to see and saw. If you update this sheet weekly, it is a good place to track home price to sale ratios and other pertinent information you choose to use.
Click on the spreadsheet for a full page view.

Sellers

Sellers like communication from their agents. If you update this workbook weekly, you won’t be seen as being completely silent. There are many options to use for sellers including click-through reports and feedback from agent showings.
Click on the spreadsheet for a full page view (be sure and check out the tabs for additional sheets).

I can’t take credit for the creativity here. I have to thank Kelley Koehler and Mariana Wagner for their expertise and willingness to share.

How you use the above is up to you – make it work for you.

 

Where do I Start with Implementing Technology into my Business?

It’s a question we are asked frequently at The Tech Byte and the answer is different for everyone that we speak with.

There is so much I need to do with technology and social media in my business. I don’t know the best place to start but I need your help!

In my opinion, the number one technology item you need for your business is a website. That answer doesn’t change for me, ever. Any person or business providing a service or product to another party needs to have a website. Your website will become the center of everything else you do in promoting and marketing your business. I think it’s great to have a Facebook Business Page, a presence on Google +, and tweets on Twitter connecting with people… don’t get me wrong. All of those activities can lead people back to your website where you have the heart of your business and an analytic tool to measure your results.

What type of website and the content on the website might vary from person-to-person and industry-to-industry, but the need for one does not change.

What to begin doing after you have your website up and running is more difficult to answer to a vast audience. I recommend you start with one item per month on which to focus. Don’t try to implement too many things at once or you won’t be able to devote the time necessary to learn each one and best practices – plus, you still need to work your business.

You’ve been to the conferences.
You’ve read the articles.
You’ve been a part of the links and discussion.

What piques your interest? Does an iPad fascinate you? Do you like to write articles yourself? Ask yourself these questions and when you come up with the answer you’ll know where to start.

Find something you enjoy doing and figure out a way to make money doing so.

If you hate taking pictures and can’t seem to get your thumb out of the way; don’t start a photo blog or networking on Instagram.

On the same note, if you love being in front of the camera and shooting video interviews; build a YouTube Channel that people in your area subscribe and watch.

Technology can be overwhelming if you let it be. Don’t allow it!

If you are a member of The Tech Byte Club, don’t forget the library of recorded webinars and tutorials to help get you started under the Member Only tab of the website.

 

Be Shadowman no More!

When you comment or write a blog post does your image show up as a shadowman or a cartoon avatar?

shadowman

Most of the time it means you don’t have a Gravatar image linked to your email address. Gravatar is a globally recognized image across many websites to match an email address or website with an avatar. You can upload different images to use with different email addresses if you would like.

Setting it up takes about 5 minutes if you have an avatar ready to go.

Get started with your FREE Gravatar account at: http://Gravatar.com.

PS. This is a good time to update your avatars if you have been using a Gravatar account. Updated photos are the only ones to use!

…and the winner is….

Drawings are fun and sad at the same time for me. Of course, it is great fun to celebrate with the winner, but I always find myself sad for the people who didn’t win.

This month, in honor of birthdays of both The Tech Byte and myself, we entered new club members and people who referred others into a drawing for a Mini iPad.

The Tech Byte Club has been a valuable resource for many and I’m thrilled to be a part of the sharing masterminds across the country.

See the live drawing announcing our winner of the Mini iPad here:

Congratulations!!!

Google Drive vs. Dropbox

Too many options out there?

If you are confused by the many options available for filing information and documents in the cloud, you are not alone. It’s a question I am asked frequently, “Should I use Google Drive? Dropbox? Both?” I don’t want to leave out many other cloud storage options out there – there are a number to choose from in addition to Google Drive and Dropbox with options including Box.net, SugarSync, and many more. Since these two are my favorite, I thought we just stick with them :)

Share. Edit. Collaborate.

You can use either application for sharing, editing, or collaborating – they both have it covered. However, if I am working with a document that I need others to add their edits and information to, I use Google Drive for the most part. Google Drive synchronizes in real time. In fact, it’s pretty cool when others are working on the same document or spreadsheet as you – you can even see the typed words being entered on the file! Google Drive also has an instant chat option if you want to instant message with the person viewing the same document.

Keep it Handy

If I need a file to be handy no matter what device I’m using and generally will not have multiple parties involved in editing, I like Dropbox. Dropbox can be used exclusively on the web or downloaded to your computer for easy saving and file access. Dropbox recognizes most file types and keeps the formatting as the file you loaded. The reason I don’t love Dropbox when collaborating is that if by chance more than one person makes changes to the file and then saves it, you can end up with conflicted copies.

On the Road

Google Drive and Dropbox both have applications for any iOs or Android device. You can also access either using a web browser. Although it has come a long way with frequent improvements, Google Drive editing is not the easiest from a mobile device.

I have to say, I use both of these applications daily. You’ll figure out and get into your own pattern of where you prefer information. Do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments below.