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They say that time flies.  Well, they actually say a bunch of things.  None of it changes the facts.  2012 is just a few days away.  I've never been a big fan of New Year's resolutions myself;  it seems an arbitrary time to try to complete change who you are. 

 

I am, however, a huge fan of planning and written goals.  I fully believe (heck, I'd say I even KNOW) that having clear and compact written goals helps you achieve more.  It is simply a fact of life in how busy everyone is these days.  If you don't write something down and consistently revisited it, time can get away from you.  Do you have anything that you wish you would have done by now?  Anything that you look back and think "I wanted to get in the habit of doing that 5 years ago?"  I know I do.

 

Written goals can change that. One habit I picked up (and admittedly fell away from a few times) last year was to tape those written goals to my bathroom mirror (thanks Brian Buffini)  For whatever reason, having to stare down those goals every time you shave, every time you wash your hands or face, having my goals front and centre helps me achieve them.

 

The question I have as a Manager is the same that a REALTOR(R) has as a salesperson and business operator... how can I get through all the mental clutter and remember to focus on what is important?  

 

The question in that case is, how bad do you want it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7X38PCf7kao&fb_source=message

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Hey team,
 
For today's tech Tuesday email I am reminding you about a few of the more popular items I have mentioned in the past few months.  Have a quick read and expect even more tech tuesday info coming your way in 2012!
 
Have an app, website or tech tool you want to share? Let me know at cory@coryraven.com
 
My updates are quite apple-centric.  Have great Android or Blackberry apps you enjoy? Send them my way cory@coryraven.com
 
Have a friend in the business that could benefit from receiving tech tuesday emails?  Have them fire me off an email cory@coryraven.com and I'll be sure to add them

Here are a few new tips and tricks in the tech world.

You have all heard of dropbox.  There is a competitor called box.net that is making a run.  They are offering 50 GIGS of free cloud storage to IOS5 users (newest ipad, iphone, ipod software) download the box.net app to activate.

facebook - you've heard of this one I would guess?  Facebook has recently revamped its privacy settings to allow for some pretty cool stuff.  I always get agents asking me if they should have a business page, a separate personal account and/or a business page.  While that is still a decision you can make (remembering that facebook's TOS does not allow for multiple accounts so having a work and personal account could get one or both deleted) - however, there is really no need to separate.  You can now put your facebook friends in to groups (clients/buddies/hockey fans) and choose who sees what on your profile.  Which photos can be viewed by which group can be filtered, right down to who sees which status updates.  Don't want to bore your fellow REALTORS with updates meant for your clients (or tip them off on a new great marketing idea you've come up with)? Write the status update and choose to have it only show to clients. Your REALTOR friends won't see the status update on their feed (or on your page if they come directly to it)  Play around with it and see what you think.

gotomeeting use this from your ipad.  There are now a bunch of applications and websites similar to gotomeeting, a lot are free to use.  Start using one and use it.  Imagine being able to take over your client's mouse and see what is on their screen and point out certain things on a contract, even when they are in another City or Country?  The technology exists, get in front of it.

ewallet not real estate specific, but a great little app none the less.  Do you have 100 different websites that you are registered for?  Most of us use the same username and password on all of them, which is not good for security.  ewallet provides a password protected place on your phone or tablet where you can keep a list of your different passwords.  Over and above that, you can also keep other secure info like passport numbers, frequent flyer numbers, etc.

Skype - not a new service, but it is now being used in new ways with most new tablets and cameras now having front facing cameras.  Cameron Herold, former CEO of 1800 GOT JUNK, says that 50% of his phone calls are skype video calls.  50%!  Sure, a video call isn't as good as meeting in person, but it is a heck of a little more warm and personal than a phone call and lightyears ahead of email, in terms of connecting with our clients

free time - Free time is a neat little app.  It goes in to your calendar and shows you how much free time you have (and when) in a given day.  Great for planning meetings, scheduling tasks, etc.

vlingo - Vlingo is voice recognition that has vastly improved with the new apple software.  You can now open up the app and say things like "text message Cory Raven You're a great guy" and it will not only translate to text, it will open up your text message application, find Cory Raven in your phone book and draft a text message to him.  Very cool.  It does the same for email (keep them short) - for longer voice to text, try dragon dictation
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To anyone with kids, grandkids or anyone with special young ones in their lives.... you MUST check out www.magicsanta.ca - Plug in the name and some info about the child and it'll create a video where santa talks to the child and congratulates them on being good this year.  Check it out!  Have clients with kids?  Why not be the one to tell them about this cool website?


Last week I mentioned a GPS app and incorrectly called it MAZE, the correct name is WAZE - It is a free app in the apple app store. http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/waze-gps-traffic-social-fun!/id323229106?mt=8

Another app an agent just told me about is PayByPhone - this is a handy little app for parking at City parking meters.  I haven't yet used it and would appreciate feedback.  http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/paybyphone/id448474183?mt=8

Need to print from your iPad or iPhone?  Look in to PrinterShare.  Doesn't work with all printers, but it worthwhile to look in to before purchasing your next printer. http://realestate.about.com/od/technologyhardware/qt/ipad_pshare.htm

The new Cards app (by apple) is not receiving great reviews but is a great peak in to what phones and tablets will offer in the near future.  Cards lets you send greeting cards - real paper greeting cards - from your phone or tablet.  When you are on vacation, use a picture you just took, create a postcard and send a "wish you were here" postcard to a client.  All from your phone.  It will then get printed and shipped by Apple.  I think this, at the right price, could open up a new world of virtual assistant duties. 

Speaking of virtual assistants, has everyone heard of Steve Jagger's OutSourcingThings ? 
In the following link, a Calgary REALTOR® talks about his use of the service http://www.outsourcingthingsdone.com/RealEstateAgentVirtualAssistant.ubr

There is a real trend as of late towards crowdsourcing.  This is where you need something done and put the task out there to hundreds of people that could potentially do it for you.  They give quotes, you check ratings from past tasks they have done and pick a "winner"  I've heard of real estate agents savings a lot of money on branding and ad design with services like this.  Check out 99designs for more info http://99designs.com/

Blogs - a buzz word that bugs some REALTORS®.  Well, the time to worry about what bugs you is over and the time to worry about what your potential clients want it now.  Blogs are the easiest (and with templated sites sometimes the only) way to add content to your website.  And for those that don't know (and a reminder to those that do) content is king when it comes to google search rankings.  What does that mean to you?  The more up to date relevant information you have on your website, the more traffic google will send to you.  Google (while not ever releasing exactly how they rank websites) has also made it clear that video is much more desirable than text.  In fact 94% of consumers said they want video in regards to looking for information on a property, a neighbourhood or a REALTOR®.  

So what kind of stuff (besides "I am hosting an open house on...") could you add to your website to have it be more content rich?  Here are some great ideas  http://www.mytechopinion.com/2011/03/how-to-write-hyperlocal-post.html

Still on the fence about getting an iPad for your business?  Here is a great little article (18 months old so it is just the tip of the iceberg) on how an iPad can help a real estate professional. http://www.mytechopinion.com/2010/04/ithink-ineed-ipad-for-real-estate.html
 
CORY RAVEN
MANAGING BROKER 
RE/MAX Select Realty
604-678-3333
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Are you receiving this email as a forward or viewing it on the web? If you would prefer to receive it directly from Cory Raven on Tuesdays, send me an email to cory@coryraven.com and ask to be added to the tech tuesday email list.
 
This week, RE/MAX Select and RE/MAX Westcoast held their yearly business planning session.  It was attended by over 100 keen and eager REALTOR(S) from newbies to seasoned pros.  It was refreshing to spend some time talking about building one's business and listening to agents in our group of companies.  Tech actually played very little role in anyone's contribution, but I bring it up for two reasons.
 
1.  As a reminder that tech will not replace business building and SALES skills.  Those REALTOR(S) who you see with all the for sale and sold signs in the area did not get there using facebook.  
 
2. One agent at our workshop did, however, bring up managed hosting email.  The concept of having one's blackberry be the same as one's desktop and as their iPad as far as inbox and other folders go (IE you send an email from your blackberry and it shows in the sent folder of your iPad)  I wanted to quickly point out that one way or another, if you don't currently have this, you NEED to get there ASAP. The days of having to re-read your emails when back at your computer are over.  I have been using gmail's IMAP service (free) for years but remember the old days of looking at your email on another platform.  Get past this.  Talk to me if you need help.
 
What else is going on in tech?  
 
-CALENGOO - I've mentioned this before, but I LOVE this service.  It is a game changer. Just as I type this email, my iPhone battery died (surprise surprise) but my calendar is online, including items I just added minutes ago from my (now dead) phone.
 
-Tomorrow - Docusign is doing a webinar that is sold out.  We are playing the webinar in our Boardroom (@ 4806 Main Street) at noon tomorrow (Wednesday D|ec 7th) Call our front desk at 604-678-3333 to reserve a spot)
 
- facebook -  I am loving the new "groups" on facebook.  I have a group called "family" so I don't have to bore all my friends with pictures of my kids (okay, I still do, but I don't have to)  I have a group called "real estate pros" so I don't have to bore my non real estate friends with stuff for the benefit of real estate agents.  We will be doing a Social Media 202 seminar in the new year to go over the changes to facebook and more.
 
-Google+ - I haven't been using this much.  How are you liking it?
 
-Maze - (thanks to Adam Chahl of RE/MAX Select Realty) this iPhone,Ipad and Android app is great.  It is a map/gps app but it uses social aspects to improve itself.  You can see real time speeds that people are travelling on routes, where speed traps are, construction to avoid etc, all updated in real time.
 
-ewallet - Let me guess... you have a million different user names and passwords for a million different websites, right?  Plus credit cards, reward cards, passports, other IDs?  Hard to keep track of, right?  Enter the encrypted ewallet app.  It is password protected (yes, one more to remember) but behind that password can be everything you need to know.  With it all tracked, you'll now be able to use a password that isn't "password".  Neat, eh?
 
-find my iphone - Surprising I am meeting people with ipads and iphones that don't know about this service. When activated, you can log in, find your lost phone on a map, make it play a loud sound, and even wipe all the info off of it (if stolen) 
 
-big calc free - amazingly the iPad doesn't come with a calculator.  Download one.
 
- mortgage calculator - download one that is Canadian
 
-PDF expert - I've actually replaced my NOTERIZE app with PDF expert for digital signing and dealing with PDFs on my iPad.
 
**Don't forget that the RE/MAX Design Centre now has iPad listing presentation templates.  Check them out.
 
PS- when planning your 2012, watch Tom Ferry's "Lead Generation the New Fashioned Way" on RE/MAX University.  It is about 80 minutes long but it is amazing.
 
Until next week, that's tech tuesday!

 

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