More and more people are using their smart phone for photography. At one time I carried 2 cameras in my car; a compact camera with a nice wide angle lens for a quick shot, and my fancy but heavy DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) Canon Rebel. Now, except for my listing photo shoots or a particular project, I mostly only carry my iPhone. You don’t need to be an iPhone user to be a Phoneographer. Most smartphones will do!
While smart phones can take amazing photos with apps like Camera+ for the iPhone and Pro HDR Camera for the Android, there are other cool tools that can give you the help you need to be an even better Phoneographer.
The iStabilizer store offers a variety of lightweight and compact tripods, mounts and tools to keep your camera steady in most any situation. These tools can make a huge difference in the quality of your smart phone photos or videos.
HDHat features some high quality lens kits for your iPhone as well as some great tutorials for taking videos with your phone.
I’ve written in the past about Photo JoJo and how the fun folks there offer cool tips and photography tools. They also offer tripods and lens kits and a dedicated blog on Phoneography.
Amazon, my very favorite online store, can deliver plenty of smart phone toys. In fact, do a simple search on Amazon for “Smart Phone Lens” and you will find over 4000 results! You’ll discover plenty of choices of micro, macro and wide angle lenses.
An iPhone or Android might not always be the best substitute for a fancy DSLR but I know more than a few agents that take all of their great looking listing photos with their phone. Your smart phone gives you the ability to have an 8 megapixel camera always with you and now, with good apps and a few toys, you can be a proud phonographer with outstanding photos to share.
I often give presentations on “Facebook for Real Estate,” and I liken it to teaching a moving target. The folks at Facebook are constantly making changes and often without warning —sometimes they even change your settings without letting you know. A major change happened almost a year ago, and I’ve discovered there are still many agents who remain unaware of the change.
What did Facebook do now?
They changed the default e-mail address listed in your “Contact” info to a @Facebook.com e-mail address. That address is probably not the one you want to use for your clients and contacts. The good news is that it’s an easy fix.
Go to your profile page, click on “about.” Scroll down to your “contact info” and click on “edit.” Click on the circle next to your Facebook e-mail address to change the setting to “Hidden from Timeline.” Then click the circle next to the e-mail address or addresses you want to use, and change the settings to “Shown on Timeline.” While there, you can also choose who has permission to see your e-mail address. It’s that easy!
I received yet another link in my email this morning and I know I wasn’t alone. This phishing scam is rampant and it won’t stop without educating over and over again. Do not click. No, not ever, just be very wary of any link – even if you know the sender.
I’m surprised this gets some people but I can also see how you can get caught off guard. I recommend you join me in erring on the side of caution. When I receive a link that isn’t explained in detail with personal (vs. general) information, I don’t click. If it looks like it might be legit, I email the person directly and ask if they sent a link for me to read at such-and-such a date/time.
It just goes on and on and on
Yesterday I was a speaker at the REMDA Luncheon in Maryland and someone asked before the session, “How does this email linking scam keep going on and on? How does it happen?” Each attack, whether a virus, worm, or trojan can be very different, but I believe this is more a phishing scam and when you click on the link, boom!, your contact list gets sent the same link you clicked on and it looks like it is from you.
But I already did…
If you already clicked on a link, the most immediate thing to do is to change your password, restart your internet session, and run an antivirus scan. However, often, that is not enough. You can read more about computer viruses and how to get rid on them on this United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team site.
Because so many of you have asked, I have decided to hold a Facebook Camp online. You can find out the whole scoop including dates at The Tech Byte Facebook Camp page. This is going to be a “start from the beginning” class but if you already using Facebook Groups or Pages, I know you will find value in this four week camp.
This camp includes access to four live 1-hour virtual sessions plus detailed email nudges throughout the four weeks. If you can’t attend online or you need a repeat of a lesson, sessions will be recorded. Students will have their own Facebook group and complete email support. Don’t worry about the online learning technology, it is pretty easy and I can help you through that if you need help.
I really think this is going to be great fun as well as informative so I hope you will consider joining me online.
P.S. Due to the email support I’m providing, I am limiting the size of the class. If you are interested please consider signing up soon.
First, think of how you meet people for the first time in your physical life. You might just end up at the same place at the same time and begin a casual conversation. Perhaps, you have some mutual friends that introduce you. How would you feel if strangers just approached you and said, “Hi! Want to be friends? We can share each other’s pictures of our kids and food and we can tell each other what we are doing every single day?”
I think this might turn you off a bit. Take a look at what it looks like:
Approach your online networking the same way you would relationships that you make offline. If you send a friend request on Facebook, find the message button and send them a little message of introduction or reminder how you know them. Note: Some people will not have the option of messaging enabled on Facebook if you are not already friends with them. If you are going to hit the follow button on Twitter, send a Tweet of hello while you’re at it.
Now do you understand why I have had in my Twitter profile for years… “I want connection!”
March 2013 marks my 8th year of blogging. I’ve learned a few things along the way that I thought I’d share with anyone thinking of starting a blog or hoping to improve theirs.
1. Don’t blog because you think you should. You either have a passion for it or you don’t. If you don’t, go ahead and use your precious time doing something else that you enjoy and can share with clients.
2. Take a gazillion photos. Most visitors come to my blog because of my photos. You don’t have to be a pro. I’ve never moved beyond point and shoot on my fancy camera and many of my best shots have come from my iPhone.
3. Who visits your blog is more important than how many visit it. My Simply Ledyard blog has a narrow focus and a small audience. I can’t imagine that it is very appealing to people outside of Ledyard. When I go on listing appointments, I often hear that the sellers have been reading my blog. That’s what matters.
4. There is more to life than real estate. If your blog is a bunch of posts about listings, I’d suggest you just put up a website and forget about the whole blogging idea. (See #1)
5. Be an ambassador for your community. Write about restaurants, businesses and things to do from your own perspective. Don’t be a parrot for the local newspaper. My favorite bloggers, Chris Griffith and Teresa Boardman are masters at it. Visit their blogs for a lesson.
6. Show your personality. Write like you talk. You don’t want new clients to be surprised when the real you shows up.
7. Don’t write for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). A wise man once said “if it is good for humans, it is good for SEO”. You need to know a little more about SEO but don’t let it get in the way of a good blog post.
8. The real estate business provides a wealth of ideas to blog about but don’t use your blog as a place to rant about a transaction. No one wants to buy or sell a home from a whiner.
9. Try to blog at least 2-3 times a week. Blogging does take effort but the rewards are worth it.
10. It is more about the content than the technology. Don’t worry if your blog platform doesn’t offer every bell and whistle. What you have to share is way more important.
And finally, Have fun! If you aren’t having fun, then…well, you know…see #1.
Recently, I’ve noticed and chatted with quite a few people about the vast amounts of “free real estate webinars” being offered and I realized that this is not an item of value for our Club Members. After all, if you can venture into the interwebs and join webinars on a variety of topics – is it really all, that valuable to hear it from The Tech Byte? (I have already heard from some of you that it is in fact the case, so hang tight to your seats for a minute).
You have no idea how long and hard this was pondered as I racked my brain trying to figure out, “What’s next” both to benefit the public, but especially our precious Tech Byte Club Members.
It might scare you a bit to see the date of this email from Linda and what I’m going to tell you next, but read on…
I don’t know if you know this or not, but Linda Davis has been my mentor for over three years now. If she tells me, “You need to read…” I listen. That day, I downloaded the book on my iPad and I read. I finished the book the next day and called Linda to talk. I don’t know that she knew exactly how powerful Seth Godin‘s book would be for me but we began drafting our New Tech Byte Club Program.
It was time for me to quit. If you look at the numbers, I should be scared, but I’m at peace about it and I know that the change is the right thing; it’s weird, but I’m not scared. When I look at the numbers, I think, “Why aren’t you shaking in your shoes? How are you going to make any money?”. Quitting meant growth. Quitting meant stopping what I was doing and moving on to be the best at technology education for the real estate industry. One of the first things we can to is to change our model to include many different learning opportunities at an affordable cost.
The New Tech Byte Club EST. Feb.6th, 2013
The New Club was launched at our Technology eSummit and we are thrilled to offer to you a valuable Club Membership program to have some technology help always around the corner. Take a look at this comparison:
I can’t get over how many people are still stuck on the numbers with their Social Networking sites despite the teachings out there that it isn’t about the numbers of people you follow – it’s about the value and quality those people provide to you.
It’s important to keep track of the connections you have on your networks. Whether it be how many people you follow on Twitter or how many Facebook friends you are connected with. What’s the purpose? Think IRL in real life, how many friends can you really pay attention to at a time ? You probably have your circle of very close friends & family, your friends, acquaintances you might run into here or there, and strangers. Online is no different. The number of connections has no relevance; focus on the value and quality of those connections.
Value is going to be different for everyone. If people make you laugh with humorous posts – that could be valuable to you. Maybe it’s about the latest sports news. Or just maybe, it’s people who live in the area in which you practice real estate, aka your locals. Each person’s lists of connections will be different.
It is much easier to have conversations and be in touch with smaller groups of people. Don’t worry about the numbers in your connection wrap up. Make your networks easier to manage and focus on building those valuable relationships. It’s a much better, smarter place to be.