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Those of you who attended last week's Business Planning Session would agree it was by far our best.  The feedback has been overwhelming, Peter Mueller, our guest speaker, had amazing content and delivery that left everyone excited and energized.  Agents told us what Peter mentioned during his talk; they do not often enough treat their business like a business.  Budgeting for profit would be something each one of us would do first and foremost if we ran a sandwhich shop, but as real estate professionals, we often neglect that crucial step.  So now what?  It is one thing to be excited and energized, but the reality is it needs to be more than just a PLAN.

Realizing that there is a lot of noise out there, what are a few things you can and should implement in 2013 to improve your success in this business?


  • Focus on appointments - You can lie to yourself about how you spend your time, whether or not you are being productive, etc.  Appointments, however, is a number that cannot lie.  Regardless of how busy or slow you are, you should be focusing on how many face to face appointments you go on each week
  • It doesn't matter how busy you are, you MUST lead generate.  6 months from now you will be happy you did.  Lead Generation and client follow up are your pipelines; keep them flowing.
  • WRITE a business plan
  • Find an accountability partner and schedule a breakfast meeting monthly (both of you put it in your calendars now) for every month in 2013. Hold each other to account.
  • Write down your goals.  If they aren't written they aren't goals, they are wishes.  Tape your written goals to your bathroom mirror; looking at them each day will change the way you behave for the better
  • Don't get down on the market.  There are agents doing 100+ deals in Las Vegas, Pheniox and other places that would love to have our market.
  • Don't get too high on results.  Focus on activites and habits.  
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Now is the time for you to engage with us about training.  What would you like to see more of in 2013?  Much of our amazing 2012 training was a direct result of agent feedback.  In 2012, in addition to good old sales and negotation skills and practice, our agents told us they wanted to see more tech/iPad training.  We offered monthly iPad 101 and iPad roundtable meetings, all of which were extremely well attended.  

 

Let us know what you want, chances are other agents feel the same way. 

 

The Management Team

 

Cory Raven, Richard Laurendeau and Ari Lahdekorpi

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1.People who look for a home during the Holidays are more serious buyers! 

 

2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and
less competition means more money for you!


3. Since the supply of listings will dramatically increase in January, there
will be less demand for your particular home! Less demand means less money
for you!


4. Houses show better when decorated for the Holidays!


5. Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays, so they are more likely to
pay your price!


6. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the Holidays than they do
during a working week!


7. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons!
8. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since
transferees cannot wait until Spring to buy, you must be on the market now to
capture that market!


9. You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings
during the six or seven days during the Holidays!


10. You can sell now for more money and we will provide for a delayed closing
or extended occupancy until early next year!


11. By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer
during the Spring, when many more houses are on the market for less money!
This will allow you to sell high and buy low!

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When listing agents meet with potential clients, it's important for them to keep in mind that sellers care only about what's in the process for them, says Chairman's Clubber Leslie McDonnell.
"It's not the Leslie McDonnell show, so there's very little about me in my listing presentation," says the Circle of Legends member with RE/MAX Suburban in Libertyville, Ill.
In a RE/MAX University program titled "Listing Presentations Through Their Eyes," McDonnell and Lifetime Achievement Award winner Linda O'Koniewski, a Chairman's Club member and Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Heritage in Melrose, Mass., share tips for evaluating your listing presentation and identifying its strengths and weakness to turn it into a top-notch representation of your services.
The one-hour video is available on demand via the Learn section of Mainstreet www.remax.net.
Download the supplementary tools for this program, including a seller pre-qualification lead sheet, a list to review with sellers and letters to send to buyers and sellers.
9 highlight tips

Here are some of the valuable ideas McDonnell (CDPE, CRS, ePRO) and O'Koniewski (ABR) outline in the program:
1.        Endear yourself to people – When McDonnell walks in the door, she says, "Thank you so much for the opportunity to talk with you today." She gives the same speech when you walk out the door. Sometimes we're into being efficient and forget the simple things. 

2.        Anticipate every problem – O'Koniewski describes the listing procedure as the "scared straight program," because it's the listing agent's responsibility to manage expectations, tell sellers what they're getting into and get it priced right. It's really important to have a way to deal with any problems before they happen.

3.        Customize the binder – McDonnell puts a photo of the sellers' home on the cover. If you don't have a photo or can't drive by, grab one from Google Earth. 

4.        Include solid market data – It's much easier for sellers to be mad at the data than to be mad at you. BrokerMetrics from Terradatum, is a great resource for high-quality graphics. 

5.        Show them the number – McDonnell makes her pricing recommendation right away to avoid wasting time making her speech to people who aren't on board. Then she asks, "Are you interested in hearing what we do to market homes?" People who are not serious will say "No not really," and McDonnell simply thanks them for their time and avoids wasting her own.
6.        Don't compete on price – A market analysis is not part of O'Koniewski's listing procedure; she focuses on distinguishing herself from the competition. She says, "What you need me for are strategies for a successful transaction." Frame every part of the conversation around that strategy. 

7.        Personalize a marketing calendar – McDonnell outlines when and how she plans to market the home.

8.        Make every listing sexy – Some houses are dogs, but your strategy should include ways to make it attractive, and that typically starts with price, O'Koniewski says. Outline how you'll do that.
9.     Embrace a system – O'Koniewski says the same thing over and over, and explains, "I bore myself to tears at every presentation saying the same things." You can't gut anything or skip key steps. Create your system and follow it every time to the tee. 

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As year end quickly approaches – it is time to start making plans for 2013!  I am talking about a written business plan to support the attaining of your personal goals.  The stories highlighting the importance of a good business plan are many but I won’t attempt to do it here.
 
I’m asked from time to time about our market.  While we can succumb to the media’s interpretation of the events, I would rather focus instead on some positives:
 

  • We continue to have attractive interest rates – albeit not at historic lows, still very attractive!
  • Our local economy is still strong – just try to secure a contractor for work. 
  • Vancouver and it surrounding communities are still sought by people throughout the world as an ideal place to live.
  • Real estate continue to be a valid cornerstone to building financial security.
  • After years of a very active market in terms of price increases and volume, an adjustment period is normal and welcomed.

 
That said, real estate is a contact sport – one which requires us to be in touch with people and never was that more important than at times like this.  There are no quick fixes to lead generation.

  • Find the lead
  • Work the lead
  • Close the sale
  • Cultivate the relationship for future referrals.

 Some ideas to keep in mind:

Focus on your goals as a way to keep on track and positive.  Stick to the business plan you laid out for yourself.
 
Stick to a structure – In our business, it is too easy to be distracted by non-productive events. 

  • Get in the habit of starting at a particular time (noon might not be ideal). 
  • Taking breaks during the course of the day will help keep your energy up.
  • While we all need lunch breaks, they don’t need to be for 2 hours – and why not take the time with a past client for lunch.
  • Working the sale – set time aside to deal with the follow up elements for your sales, but don’t allow it to consume your day
  • Make sure your day includes uninterrupted time for the family
  • Block time for lead generation – remember real estate sales is a contact sport.

 I’ve asked our REALTOR®s to consider turning off the TV (News…) stop reading the papers.  Fill you mind with positive information vs. the baggage which fills the media today.  The list of quality books is endless.  Your office may have a library already of such book or VHF, DVD etc. for your use.  Take advantage of it.
 
Take action – whatever you decide to do, it does not have to be perfect, Nike says it best  – Just do it!


Richard Laurendeau 

Managing Broker

RE/MAX Westcoast 


604-279-8044
richardl@remax.net

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Hey team,

It is almost time to look back at 2012 and ahead to 2013.  The owners and managers of our group certainly hope you'll invest time in yourself by joining  us next Thursday Nov 29th at 8:30 at the Marine Drive Golf Club for our Annual Business Planning Breakfast Session.

With the theme of these weekly emails being tech, I thought it might be a good time for you to review your tech efforts in 2012.  How much time have you spent clicking a mouse or touching a screen (excluding direct communications with clients) this year?  How much business did those efforts get you?

While technology can be great and make our lives easier, it can also be a time suck and worse yet, it can fool us in to thinking we are busy.  So I'll ask the question again, but this time actually stop and think about the answer.  HOW MUCH EXTRA INCOME DID TECHNOLOGY HELP YOU EARN IN 2012?  I am not trying to be harsh here, and not by any means suggesting you throw away your iPad, but it seems more and more than Allison Sawyer and your Managing Brokers are hearing people say things like "Once I get this new app I'll...." or "I need to get more friends on social media" or things like that.

Let's remember that the power you have to influence people diminishes greatly as you move away from face to face to over the phone.  It then exponentially drops off again if you are using one on one digital communication (direct message, text message etc) - And it is least powerful when you are broadcasting something that they just happen to be receiving.

So if you are an agent doing 12 or more deals a year looking to add new lead generation techniques to your business in order to increase your market share, look at all options, including tech.  If you are in the category where you are new enough (or circumstances have made you lose focus) and you are doing less business than that every year, there are plenty of options you should be exploring before looking to tech and social media to bring you business (although spending 30 minutes a week to make sure you have an online presence would still be wise) 

Let's look at some lead generation techniques we know agents are using.  If you business plan for 2013 calls for you to make more income than in 2012 (and if it doesn't why not?) then you need to step out of your comfort zone and do things you haven't done in the past (or that you used to do but fell off)

  • Sphere - It is hard work to get people to know and trust you, and then to think of you when they are buying or selling real estate.  The good news is you already have people that know and trust you, you just need to remind them on an ongoing basis that you appreciate their business and look forward to providing amazing service to their referrals.
  • Past clients - When was the last time you spoke with your past clients, on the phone or in person and specifically asked for their referrals?  Are there people out there that think that you might be too busy or might not deal with the type of client/product they have to refer?
  • Expired Listings.  Make sure that you have access to the DNC List for any "cold" calls
  • For Sale by Owners.  Tom Ferry once asked a big audience at an event if they had ever driven by a house with a for sale by owner sign on the lawn.  Almost everyone put up their hands.  He then asked how many knocked on the door, right then and there, and about 1% of the people put up their hands.  Talking to the 99% that didn't knock, he said " So you drove by, saw the sign, thought 'wow there is someone that could really benefit from my services' and drove away"????
  • web leads - Your website should have a members only access to MLS info (VOW) built in.  Techy or not, when you get a lead you should respond IMMEDIATELY.
  • RE/MAX LeadStreet - same as above.  When you get a lead, respond NOW.  "Sorry mom, I'll call you back, I just got an email that if I respond to quickly enoough and work really work I can earn an extra $9000, gotta run!"
  • Open Houses - Sure, those new to the business are doing open houses, but are you doing them well?  Do you have information about the neighbourhood, sales stats, promotion about yourself, all to give to potential buyers?  Are you asking each and every visitor that comes through if they are working with a REALTOR(R)?  Are you building rapport with those that come through?  Is your goal to pick up at least one qualified client at each open you do?  Pro Tip; knock on at least 40 doors before your open inviting people in the area to your open.   More than one will have questions about the market or the listing you are doing the open at.
  • RE/MAX Events and Conventions - Sales Rallies, local conventions, out of town conventions.  Talk to people within our group that frequent them, research a little and try to find a way to generate business from these.  Those that do it, do well at it. However, it will have to be more than just a party... you'll have to work at it
  • Your brand.  What do you stand for? What do you represent?
  • Causes -  The Real Estate Board is doing its annual blanket drive build up right now.  You could phone 500 people asking them if they have items to donate and I bet you that you'll even stumble on some business while doing good for others.  Same with the RE/MAX annual yard sale for the cure, Children's Miracle Network and other causes.
  • Foreclosures -  In speaking both with agents who get foreclosures and bankers who give it, it is really as simple as making connections with the decision makers.  Find out who is in charge of giving out foreclosure business at a few institutions and add them in to your stay in touch plan for 2013
  • Developers - Find out who the decision maker is, fiqure out how you can add value and stay in touch.
  • Business Networking - we have several agents who are part of a BNI group.  There are any business networking opportunities including what Brian Buffini talks about it the Ultimate Agent Program... start your own!  Visit local businesses and service providers and start a win/win relationship
  • New to real estate dropouts.  Outside of our little bubble of training and support, there is a high failure rate amongst new real estate agent agents.  If you know of anyone who has recently left the business, see if you can help serve whatever clients they may have had.  Again, pay a healthy referral and make it win win
  • Marketing (in print and online)  - This takes time to "stick".  Have  a plan and a budget and stick to it.  If you spend all your budget in 2 months and don't get any results, then what?  Stretch your budget to allow 6 months or more of a marketing program to get a feel for how it is doing
  • Just listed/Just sold - phone calls, door knocks and postcards
  • Media - Send information to the media.  If you sell a property that is unique or something about the sales price is noteworthy, let it be known.  If you do research and find something that would be interesting for the public to know, let the media know as well.
  • Lunch -  A great salesperson I know once said when asked the secret to his success said "I never eat lunch alone"  He was saying that he saw lunch as an opportunity to build his business.  
  • Buyer/Seller Seminars - Feel free to use our boardroom here.  Partner up with a mortgage or other professional and put on seminars
  • Teaching and Speaking Opportunities - try to become a sought after expert 
  • Promotional Items - Trainer Danielle Kennedy said she never knocked on a door without an item of value in hand (and she knocked on a lot!)
  • Any other lead generation you have been doing 
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Interesting tech times (seems to be the case most weeks, right)


My first story today is about customer service in what I will call the "new reality" of social media.  I strongly believe that companies simply cannot run business the way they used to.  I think the days of the two guys sitting beside each other on a flight, one having paid $200 and one having paid $2000 are numbered.

The fact of the matter is that it is too easy for the public (hey that is our consumers!) to share information on facebook, twitter and the like for companies to have secretive pricing and policies.  The consumer now has more control over your brand than the company does.
 
Some examples of customer service in this new reality.

Hootsuite, a Vancouver company, monitors online for mentions of their name (perhaps they use Google Alerts ) - I was having an issue scheduling posts through Hootsuite, and posted on twitter whether or not anyone else was having the same issue.  Within minutes, @hootsuite_help was tweeting at me and had the problem resolved in minutes

In another example, I called my cell phone provider, Fido, to change my plan to one I had seen advertised in the newspaper.  I was told (they had to repeat it a few times as I found it hard to believe) that I was under a contract with them so they wouldn't give this better plan to me (we make more money off you and you can't cancel so why would we give that to you)  While technically correct, I looked on facebook and twitter and have seen nothing but negative comments about Fido in regards to this policy.  Whether or not they buckle and figure out this is not a good business move in a competitive market place, we do know there have been many examples of companies being forced to change policy as a result of social media pressure.  Fido will need to get this right or they will lose market share once contracts come up for renewal.

_____________

Yesterday I read an amazing stat.  Google now generates more revenue than all print media combined.  It isn't exactly an apples to apples stat as Google makes revenue worldwide and the print media they compare it to is just in the USA.  However, it is no doubt an indication that online advertising is growing.
 
 
______________
 
Another cool thing in tech.  This company, fastcustomer, has set up a website/app that sounds very cool.  They will dial a company number for you, navigate the "press 1 for..." menu and call you when someone is ready to talk to you, in person!  I haven't tried it (it is US based, not sure how many Canadian companies are on it) but man does it sound cool.
 
______________
 
I read a quote I can't readily find so I'll paraphase... "Technology won't replace real estate agents, but rather they will be replaced by agents who embrace technology"  Not sure I agree with the "replace" part (we still see a LOT of top producers using only low tech methods) I thought it was interesting
 
_____________
 

Be the best needle in the haystack

Google's head of real estate reveals strategies for growing your business

Inman News®

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Real estate brokers and agents who want more buyers and sellers to discover them on the Internet -- and to be impressed by what they find --  can start by putting themselves in the shoes of their would-be clients.

 

If your market is Atlanta, Google "best Realtors Atlanta" or "best places to live Atlanta." Are you in the results? Where?

Try Googling your own name or your brokerage's name, and see what comes up -- your website, or sites over which you have little or no control?

If you Google your name and "reviews," what are people saying about you?

This little exercise is one example of what Patrick Grandinetti, head of industry across the real estate vertical at Google, calls finding the "pulse" of online consumer behavior.

Once you've found the consumer pulse, he said, respond  -- either by creating content that will draw "organic" (unpaid) traffic from search engines, or by buying keywords and paying for a set amount of "clicks" (traffic to your website).

 

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Ask a Manager

Q. Can an unlicensed agent do a tour with my Buyers?
A. Definitely not.  The Real Estate Council Practice Manual is online and is a good place this type of information;  here is an excerpt dealing with unlicensed assistants 
 

On a regular basis, the Council receives inquiries from licensees as to whether or not they can employ assistants. The answer, of course, is ‘‘Yes’’, but there are restrictions on the activities the assistant may perform depending upon whether or not the assistant is licensed under RESA. As a licensed assistant is considered exactly the same as other licensed individuals, all remuneration for licensed activity must be paid to a licensed assistant by the brokerage and not by the assisted licensee. If a licensee is providing unlicensed assistance to another licensee, e.g., typing, bookkeeping, etc., the licensee performing the unlicensed activity may be paid directly by the assisted licensee for these unlicensed activities. If an unlicensed assistant is employed, this individual may be paid directly by the assisted licensee, however, extreme caution should be exercised to ensure that everyone involved complies with RESA; in particular, an unlicensed person’s activities must be confined to those which do not require licensing.

With regard to Trading Services, an unlicensed assistant may:

  • answer the telephone, take messages, and forward calls to a licensee;
  • schedule appointments for the licensee (this does not include making telephone calls, telemarketing, or performing other activities to solicit business on behalf of the licensee);
  • secure public information from a courthouse, municipality, regional district, or other source of public information;
  • place or remove signs on property;
  • submit listings and changes, as approved by a licensee, to a multiple listing service;
  • have keys made for a brokerage’s listing;
  • unlock a property in order that it may be shown by a licensee;
  • draft advertising copy, promotional materials, and correspondence for approval by a licensee (correspondence must be signed by the licensee);
  • place advertising;
  • prepare and distribute flyers and promotional information under the direction of and with approval by a licensee;
  • act as a courier to deliver documents, pick up keys, etc.;
  • be in attendance at a property during a licensee tour which is not open to the public so long as the unlicensed assistant does not answer any questions or offer any information beyond what has been provided, in writing, by the seller’s brokerage;
  • gather feedback from licensees on showings;
  • complete contract forms with business and factual information at the direction of and with approval by a licensee;
  • witness signatures;
  • assemble documents for a closing;
  • follow up on a trade in real estate after a contract has been signed by
    • arranging and/or allowing access to property for a property inspector or appraiser, or
    • providing other similar facilitation services that would not other wise require licensing;
  • perform bookkeeping or office functions, including
    • record and deposit trust funds, including transaction deposits, security deposits and rents,
    • compute remuneration cheques and perform bookkeeping activities,
    • monitor licences and personnel files, and
    • office filing; or
  • perform other administrative, clerical, and personal activities for which a licence under RESA is not required.

With regard to Trading Services, an unlicensed assistant may not:

  • host open houses, kiosks, or home show booths;
  • solicit buyers, sellers, landlords, or tenants;
  • show property;
  • respond to questions from anyone outside the related brokerage about information concerning listings or other contracts, titles, financial documents, closing documents, or other information relating to a transaction;
  • explain or interpret a Contract of Purchase and Sale or any form of service agreement (e.g., listing contract) with or to anyone outside the related brokerage;
  • negotiate or agree to any commission, commission split, or referral fee on behalf of a licensee;
  • present or negotiate an offer or any form of service agreement; or
  • perform any other activity for which a licence under RESA is required.

These activities fall within the definition of trading services and require a licence before they may be performed on behalf of others in expectation of remuneration. A licensee who pays an unlicensed assistant to perform these activities breaches section 6-1 of the Council Rules, which prohibits a licensee from paying an unlicensed person who performs real estate services for which a licence is required.

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Tenants properties:  As a Seller, it’s in our mutual best interest to ensure that any existing tenancy agreement are documented in writing.   From a Buyer’s perspective, it critical that the tenancy details are documented, if you are asking for vacant possession review the options with your REALTOR®  and ensure that it is well documented in your offer.  Both Buyer and Seller need to package the offer such that it addresses the rights of the tenant, your REALTOR®  can help with that.


Richard Laurendeau

Managing Broker

RE/MAX Westcoast


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Our group (in addition to individual offices) is now on twitter. Feel free to follow us for information on training, social events, meetings and more.

 
______________
RE/MAX Select and Westcoast Continuing Education
 
Oct 12- Noon-1:30 - Main Street - Your Online Profile (MUST pre register with Allison or Cory) We'll look at the version of you that the public sees when searching for you on the web.  Is your contact info correct and complete?  Are you featured  everywhere you wish to be?  Where possible, is your digital marketing branded?  Are you notified when you appear on the web?  
 
Oct 17th - 10am - Main Street (if you can't be at Main Street for this we can give you info to log in remotely to this webinar) Introduction to FUSION Webinar

Oct 18 - noon - West Blvd Office.- iPad 101 - This is for folks who have just bought a tablet or have had one for a while but do not use it.  This is a basic beginners look at using an iPad or other Tablet in your real estate business.  You MUST pre register with Cory or Allison and you MUST bring your tablet to class.  You will get more out of the class if you already have an account set up and know how to purchase and download apps on your tablet.

Oct 25- 930 Main Street - iPad Round Table - So you have an iPad or other tablet, have downloaded some apps but would love to hear how your colleagues are using their iPads 
 
Getting Leads from Facebook -  watch this Inman Webinar at your leisure, it is pre-recorded http://next.inman.com/2012/10/12-secrets-to-generating-leads-from-facebook/
 
Market Leader, a website geared towards agents, sends me items of value from time to time; today I stumbled upon an archive of some of their material.  Great stuff!  While not nearly as complete as the offerings on RE/MAX University, there are lots of handy items and content here
____________
 
Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  Now I need to find an app to help me lose the extra pounds I put on from all the eating.  Seriously, there is an app for that
 
____________
 
Do you use hootsuite? I initially stayed away from the program for a few reasons (for example I think having your twitter posts and facebook posts the same every time is a mistake) but someone recently convinced me to give it a shot.  I use or am part of 8 social media accounts, all of which I can run through a single log in at hootsuite.  Your posts don't have to syndicate, but you have the option of doing so.
 
I always remember Verl Workman saying at the 2010 Western Canada RE/MAX Convention that he spends no more than 15-20 minutes a day on social media and I hold myself to that same limit.  Frankly, without hootsuite, I'm not sure I could do so.
 
___________
 
 
 



 Consumers don't believe you.    They believe other consumers.

When you consider the outrageous claims advertisers have made over the years, it’s hardly surprising most people don’t believe adverts!

A staggering 70% of consumers will form their opinion aboutYOU based on an online review or recommendations!

While traditional ads like bus backs and newspapers are great for raising awareness of your brand, people need to hear how good you are from someone other than you!

If you’re using social media, it’s easy for your current clients and friends to spread the word about how good you are. Their opinions mean far more to the public than what you say in any ads. It’s an easy way to constantly stay in touch with hundreds potential clients, and to put your potential clients in touch with your satisfied clients.

To find out more about how Duberri and Social Media can get you ahead in the Real Estate profession, please click, call or connect:

To find out more about how 
Duberri and Social Media can 
get you ahead in the Real 
Estate profession, please click, 
call or connect: 

www.duberri.com 
604 757 9910 
socialmedia@duberri.com 
Click here to download our FREE guide "8 Social Media Tips For Realtors"  
_______________________________
Cory Raven, RI

Managing Broker, RE/MAX Select Realty
Vice President, REBGV Van East Division
Member, Real Estate Institute of BC
 
4806 Main Street
Vancouver, BC
V5V 3R8

604.678.3333 (office)
604.678.3355 (direct)


cory@coryraven.com
www.selectonmain.com 
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Wow, what a week for Tech!  Yesterday it was announced that Facebook bought Instagram for 1 BILLION DOLLARS.


Instagram is less than 2 years old.  For those who do not know about or use Instagram, it is an app where you take, edit and share photos.  

Contrast that to the New York Times, over 100 years old, hundreds of employees and valued somewhere about $950 Million.  

We are living in interesting Times indeed.

What does this purchase tell us.... it says that Facebook thinks we are moving even more in to the social sharing space and that pictures are going to play a larger role than words.

A guess a picture is worth a thousand, er, a billion dollars!  Tech bubble or not, things are very interesting in the tech world right now.

Facebook's Instagram deal: Can one app be worth $1bn?

 

Mark ZuckerbergMark Zuckerberg promises to keep Instagram going

Related Stories

 

One billion US dollars is a tidy sum of money.

It would buy you some some 2,100 Rolls Royce Phantoms. Or 200 million mosquito nets to fight malaria. Or the whole of the New York Times company (with $50m change to spare). If you are Microsoft, it buys you some 800 AOL patents to fight the next patent war.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg choose to spend $1bn on Instagram, a small web start-up just under two years old, with 13 full-time staff who work on a single smartphone app.

The business model

Yes, Instagram is very popular. The app's fancy "filters" give your photos a lovely vintage feeling, a bit like the faded Polaroids tucked away in the drawers of your parents' living room. They port mediocre photos into an alternate universe where they look kind of good; an online service allows users to share their pictures with friends.

The drawback, of course, is Instagram's business model. The company has no revenue to speak of. Maybe its business model was to be bought by another tech firm with too much money in the bank.

So is this the return of silly money to Silicon Valley? Is it a case of panic buying, with valuations pushed up in a bidding war with Google or another competitor?

Facebook is certainly not spending $1bn on an app.

Rather, it is buying three things: a potential rival with a rapidly growing user base; a weapon to fight other even bigger threats in the social networking space; and most importantly a better hook into the world of mobile computing.

One user = $28

Instagram's growth is impressive indeed. The app has some 30 million iPhone users. A week ago it launched on Google's Android operating system and chalked up five million downloads in just six days.

Still, it suggests that Facebook values an Instagram user at about $28.

Cheap, you might say, given the fact that Facebook has a much-touted valuation of $100bn - or $118 per user (Facebook's listing on the Nasdaq stockmarket is imminent).

Well, at least Facebook has revenue and is making a nice profit.

Facebook's problem, though, is the fact that its days of rapid expansion are over, and that many see Facebook as something that's done on an old-style desktop computer.

This is where Instagram comes in. The app's strength - mobile devices - is Facebook's biggest weakness. The social network simply has not got the same traction on smartphones as it has on desktop computers. This is an Achilles heel. The number of phones with web access is already outnumbering computers, and sales of tablet computers could soon outpace those of traditional PCs.

Another YouTube deal?

Don't forget that pictures were at the heart of Facebook's success; the easy sharing of pictures made it stand out against early rivals. Today, the social network is the world's largest photo-sharing website.

Combine Instagram's mobile appeal with some careful Facebook integration (without annoying existing users too much), and Mark Zuckerberg could have made a very nifty move. It could be as clever as Google buying YouTube for $1.65bn in 2006, before it was totally obvious how important web video would become.

Buying Instagram could also help Facebook to fend off new rivals like social photo-sharing website Pinterest, which is arguably the world's fastest growing social network yet (albeit still smaller than Instagram, with currently about 20 million users).

Facebook will have to tread carefully, though. Instagram users are a passionate bunch, and already they worry that their app will go the way of many other clever online services that were swallowed by tech giants like Google and Yahoo: quickly sidelined, forgotten and closed down.

Mark Zuckerberg promises to be different, and says he is "committed to building and growing Instagram independently".

The winners

The biggest winners of the Facebook deal are, of course, the people directly involved with Instagram.

Founder and chief executive Kevin Systrom has reportedly netted $400m; his co-founder Mike Krieger is about $100m richer - all for just under two years' worth of work.

Reports suggest that $100m will be shared out among the other 11 members of staff, some of whom joined the company just a few weeks ago.

And then there are the investors, a roll call of Silicon Valley greats (including Facebook's first chief technical officer).

Kudos, by the way, to the three venture capital firms that reportedly invested $50m in Instagram, valuing the company at just $500m. In less than a week they've doubled their money.

Did I hear anybody say "technology bubble"?

More on This Story

 

Related Stories

 

_______________________________
Cory Raven, RI

Managing Broker, RE/MAX Select Realty
Vice President, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's Van East Division
Member, Real Estate Institute of BC
 
4806 Main Street
Vancouver, BC
V5V 3R8

604.678.3333 (office)
604.678.3355 (direct)


cory@coryraven.com
www.selectonmain.com 
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Click here for 50 ways to green your home and save money

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I spoke with one of our group's agents after his return from the Las Vegas convention.  While he loved the convention, he admitted feeling overwhelmed by the technology aspect.  He commented that by day two he felt "stupid" and confused; it was as though he'd missed out on all this tech and it was too late to catch up.   It was Brian Buffini's session that helped our agent get back on track.  You don't win sales awards by having the coolest tech, the top producers in our group of offices aren't those with the most followers on Twitter.  Sales is about generating leads and then getting belly to belly with those leads to do transactions and build relationships. 

I'll be the first to admit, I'm a bit of a geek in that I find tech tools interesting.  However, I still feel that some agents are using tech as something to hide behind.  A shield between them and their clients.  Something to do so they can say they "worked" today.  

There are some amazing tech tools out there, but let's remember that technology doesn't do our job, it can simply help make some aspects of our job easier or more cost effective.  The agent need to be more focused on appointments than of apps.

Having said all of that, I still do find these apps, tips and tricks to be neat and handy... feel free to use one, some or all, after you've set your appointment today.

_____________

Boomerang for Gmail - Webmail still hasn't caught up to Outlook when it comes to being a full featured mail program.  One of the shortcomings is you can't "send later" with gmail.  I often find myself with an email that has to go out, but not until later.  Well, you no longer have to put those emails off.  Boomerang allows you to tell gmail when to send a message (full disclosure, I've been working on this email a bit here and there for the past week and am Boomerang'ing it because "Tech Sunday" just doesn't sound as catching as "Tech Tuesday"

____________

Evernote - I've already mentioned this app a few times, but the more I use it the more impressed I am with it.

____________

Box - A competitor to Dropbox, they'll give 50gigs (50 GIGS!) of free space to iOS5 users (iphone and ipad)

____________

Two of our agents were discussing Android vs. Apple in the tablet world here last week.  You can see they are both happy with their tabelts.... All I know is I am glad that there is competition making these tablets better, faster and cheaper every day.  Also, BlackBerry's Playbook can now use Android apps, so it is now a much more relevant machine.

____________

WifiPhoto - sometimes it can be a pain to get photos and videos from your phone or tablet on to your computer.  WIFIphoto makes this easy

___________

YOUTUBE - we've all heard of youtube already, but did you know you can upload movies from your phone to youtube, for free, right from your phone?  A free youtube (google) account is required.

___________

5 Tips for Moving Social Media Leads Into the Sales Funnel

 

By 
Published March 26, 2012 

 

social media how toHave you been able to turn your fans and followers into active prospects?

Are you interested in monetizing the social media channel?

Keep reading for five tips to turn fans and followers into a revenue channel.

But first…

Do Fans Mean Business?

 

Marketers have made tremendous strides in growing their audiences on social media channels. There have been concerns over whether social media could only be successful in business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, but we’re starting to see great case studies in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands.

In looking at the B2B software space, we can see tremendous success from companies like HubSpotInfusionSoft and HootSuite that have grown large numbers of followers by providing valuable content to their target audiences.

In the B2C space, our passion for brands like Old SpiceCoca-Cola and Ford have been reignited by creative social media campaigns. But what now?

Have these large followings contributed to revenue for these brands? The next natural question for C-level executives and marketers is, “Can we monetize our social media following?”

As pressures have risen for solid measurements and a demonstration of social mediaROI, more companies are recognizing that revenue generation has to be a top priority of social media strategies.

This doesn’t give license for tacky sales pitches on Twitter. Rather, it opens the door for a more strategic approach to social media content, content distribution and measurement.

To get started, there are a few things you’ll need to prepare for.

Tip #1: Understand Your Sales Funnel

 

It’s pretty difficult to place leads into the sales funnel if you don’t have a clear understanding of the sales process that supports it.

The first step in monetizing the social media channel is to have a clear understanding of which marketing channels are currently contributing leads to the funnel, what the sales follow-up process is and how long it takes to close the sale.

You’ll need to figure out where social media fits into the equation.

  • Will social media leads respond to existing sales processes?
  • Where are social media leads in the buying process?
  • Will they convert at the same rates?

To truly understand how social media leads behave, you’ll need to do some testing. It is unlikely that social media leads will perform the same way that other types of marketing leads do.

This is because with social media, more commonly you are reaching potential buyers earlier in the sales process, before your competition. Getting potential buyers’ attention early has tremendous value that can be overlooked if expectations haven’t been set for how the social media lead will perform.

If you compare social media with traditional sales, in essence social media adds three levels that extend your sales funnel to provide more opportunities for conversion.

funnel with goals

Social media adds three levels of brand awareness to the sales funnel, providing more opportunities to convert prospects.

Tip #2: Optimize Your Path to Conversion

 

It’s important to make sure it is super-easy for potential buyers to buy. We tend to be fairly lazy consumers and if we have to search out how to buy from you, we are less likely to convert.

Therefore, take a look at your Facebook page. Does a potential buyer have to click on the Info tab to find your website, then go to your website and figure out how to buy your products or services? If so, you are likely missing out on the opportunity toconvert Facebook fans into purchasers.

Create a tab that allows fans to convert within Facebook and you’ll likely see a spike in new revenue.

Success in social media relies on having strong content to share on social networks, which many times resides on the corporate blog.

Look at your blog and make sure there are conversion points that will in essence turn every post into a landing page. Make sure you test multiple calls to action tofigure out what works best at converting social media traffic.

funnel graphics

Understand the path to conversion from social media so you can optimize each step.

Tip #3: Provide Opportunities for Soft Conversion

 

The social media lead likely enters the sales funnel earlier in the buying process. He or she may not be ready to make a purchase; however, you have an opportunity toconvert interested social media fans and followers into email subscribers.

Soft leads are people willing to provide their email address in exchange for highly valuable and relevant content. These are valuable leads who have said they are interested in your content; but they haven’t necessarily said they are interested in your product yet.

If you combine email marketing campaigns that provide a mix of content that helps to push them through the sales funnel while providing valuable information, you will have a better opportunity to convert social media’s soft leads into potential buyers.

Tip #4: Nurture the Social Media Lead Differently

 

It’s important to understand the difference between the social media lead and the traditional lead because traditional sales-related email campaigns will kill the sale with the social media buyer.

Because social media leads may enter the sales funnel at an earlier stage in the buying process, you will need to adjust your email campaigns to provide value and content that will help drive the decision-making process.

This will require a strategy that includes decision-making content. Decision-making content is designed to answer questions that commonly arise when purchasing your product, overcome objections that are frequently heard in the sales process andprovide opportunities to convert into a hard lead.

A hard lead is someone who has taken an action that directly indicates he or she is now interested in your product. This means the lead is now in the research and consideration phase of the buying cycle and you have an opportunity to convert the lead into a buyer.

Through your other social media efforts, you have been able to develop trust with prospects; therefore, if you continue to show thought leadership in helping themto make a decision, they will be more likely to purchase from you rather than the competitor they don’t have a relationship with.

Having a combination of decision-making and topically relevant content that is sent to soft leads will help you identify when the lead makes the jump to product interest.

At that point, you can follow up with traditional product-based information andput the lead in the traditional sales process.  Many times you can recognize this transition if you identify pages and calls to action that indicate product interest, such as signing up for a product demonstration, attending a product-based webinar or downloading decision-making content.

Tip #5: Measure Your Results

 

Finally, the only way to identify where leads are in the sales process is to measure your efforts.

The quickest and most cost-effective way to monitor social media conversions is toapply Google analytics campaign tracking to the links you shorten and post on social networks.

The combination of Google Analytics and HootSuite Pro makes this easy. Once you have the data, it is important to put it into a format that tells the management team what they want to know.

Use these metrics to demonstrate success through the sales funnel:

  • Cost per impression
  • Cost per engagement
  • Cost per soft lead
  • Cost per hard lead
  • Cost per sale
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Evernote can become one of your most valuable business tools if you develop habits and set up automation to save information, locate it when you need it, and share it selectively with clients or other business contacts. Because Evernote can search within PDF files, and uses OCR to search
text in images, just about anything you can get into Evernote from your computer, cell phone as text, or camera is searchable later. It's a really efficient way to store information, but even more so, to locate it later. Here are 50 ways in which Evernote can be used in the real estate business.

real-estate-uses-evernoteCommunication

1. Email notes right out of Evernote to anyone.

2. Take photos of plats, courthouse documents, etc. and send to Evernote from the field.

3. Take photos & text notes to pic message to Evernote to remember caravan/tour property features.

4. Document new home construction progress with pic/text messages to special Evernote address.

5. Again in new home deals, take photos/text notes to document change order completion.

6. As you move around the Web, clip images, pieces of text, or entire pages to a note.

7. For Google Reader users, the "Send To" link can be set up to send the feed item to a note.

8. If you are using a GPS enabled phone, text in coordinates to a note.

9. Instead of email drafts, unclutter email by working on developing items in a note, then email the note.

 

Office, Time Management & Accounting

10. Using both the onboard software and the Web version, everything stays synced between them.

11. Using a Jott.com link, send transcribed notes with link to audio on to Evernote.

12. Share notes with others by sharing entire notebooks securely.

13. Use an Assistant Notebook to selectively share instructions and notes with an assistant.

14. For brokers, use Agent Notebooks for the same purpose.

15. Add task completion check boxes to notes to know when agents/assistant complete a task.

16. Text notes to assistants and agents from the field, saving for documentation in Evernote.

17. Take cell photo of receipts, text in for a record, and text is searchable.

18. Use email rules/filters to auto-send invoices from email to Evernote.

19. Take cell photo of checks before deposit, and deposit receipt after, text in to a note.

20. Evernote can be set up to monitor and auto-sync with folders on your computer to copy documents to notes without hassle.

 

Transaction Management

21. Using filters/rules, have all emails mentioning buyer or seller names go to notes.

22. Services like Google Voice, Callwave, Jott, or other voicemails with transcribed text can be forwarded to transaction notebook, and link to audio goes with it.

23. If accompanying inspectors, use pic/text messages to document inspection issues.

24. Use "before and after" cell camera images to document repairs completion to a note.

25. Use a shared transaction notebook to share images and notes with remote buyers.

26. Deliver documents via attaching them to notes in a shared notebook.

27. Before they disappear, document survey corner stakes with pic/text message.

28. Bring all emails, documents, notes, text messages and voicemails into one transaction folder.

29. Take cell picture of electric and gas meters for numbers and readings for utility swaps.

30. When transaction closes, save all notes in folder to html to print to one document in date order.

31. Save closed transaction folder notes in Evernote format to hard drive and CD for recall later, deleting the notebook.

 

Listings Management

32. Create an image and info notebook to share with prospective buyers via email.

33. Keep up with all notes, tasks, seller comments, seller emails, etc. in one listing notebook.

34. Document property check visits for remote sellers with pic/text messages, copy to Evernote.

35. Call in notes with Jott.com from cell phone with lockbox codes, other property issues.

36. Impress seller on first visit by taking cell images with text to save and remember features you'll want to market about the property.

37. Clip property listings from sites like Realtor.com, Trulia, etc. to send the full page to the seller.

38. When other Realtors comment or give feedback via email or voicemail, send to listing notebook to share with seller.

39. Send immediate voice-to-Jott feedback to seller and Evernote when you're showing your listed property.

40. Save time & trips by taking cell images of utility bills to file for verification of account numbers and utility costs...text searchable in the images.

 

Marketing

41. Clip marketing ideas from websites, or send links from feed readers to Evernote for use later.

42. Share a notebook with your newspaper ad rep to share ideas and make ad changes.

43. Do the same sharing thing with your website or blog person(s) to clip ideas from around the Web, like "Can we do this?"

44. Work directly in notes, rather than other software, to make sharing or sending via email later easy and fast. Add to the note as ideas develop.

45. Use Evernote's great search capability to pull together everything you've saved in the past related to keywords or people.

46. Take photos of business cards before you lose them. Don't scan, as Evernote will search in the text of the card.

47. Send Tweets to Evernote with special command right in the tweet. Keep important consumer Twitter interactions where you can find them.

 

General

48. Evernote pulls together all types of information from various sources in a way that allows good organization and easy location of information later.

49. Using online faxing, you can have faxed PDF documents automatically forwarded into Evernote for storage and retrieval.

50. Using both the software and online versions, you have complete control of your synced notes, and redundant protection.

 

Many of the above uses can also be used in other document and task heavy businesses. Evernote can then be

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I get a lot of questions from agents about Twitter.  A couple things I have noticed... I don't know of any REALTORS(R) who are getting much business using twitter, but its overall popularity has exploded.  Even as recently as 3 months ago I would have said twitter is good for building business to business relationships (IE connecting with other real estate pros and building referral networks) but likely not terribly effective in your client communication.  Studies are showing that more and more people are joining twitter, even those who aren't using it for their own profession.  I still think facebook is a far better client communication tool (for reasons I'll get in to another day) but I've been proven wrong before.  One thing is certain in tech as far as where it is going... nothing is certain

So given that I am not what I would call a heavy twitter user, I asked around and was shown the following article.  Great insights, have a read.  If you have questions on twitter, feel free to ask myself or our very own Rob Sutherland @Remax_Rob - he has a great network going on twitter and I don't think it is an overstatement to say he is a "power user"

________________________________________________________________________________________

Angie Perez is a Weichert Realtors Sales Associate.  You can follow her here: @NJRealtor1

By Audeliz Angie Perez of ForSalebyAngiePerez.com

In September of 2008, I got an email from a local marketing guru about Twitter and how the guru refused to use Twitter as a marketing tool. I had never heard of Twitter at that point. I was not even using social media or social networking sites to build up my Internet presence let alone my real estate credibility. I had a LinkedIn account and Facebook profile, but I was relatively a “no show” on the latter sites until that email.

From that unsuspecting email, I created my Twitter handle: NJrealtor1. I had absolutely no idea what would come from my use of Twitter, but I figured that one message with 140 characters, 3 times a day about things that I was doing in my business was an easy task to handle. Micro blogging seemed simple enough to do from the web or from my cell phone; it is not time consuming and it costs nothing except your desire to answer: What are you doing right now in 140 characters or less.

So, here I am, almost 696 tweets later, I find myself with over 400 followers, which in the Twitterverse, is a relatively low number, yet find that I am absolutely satisfied with my tweet leads. Yes, I have leads from Twitter and that’s the beauty of Twitter. People who follow you are generally interested in what you do, what you tweet about and as you reply (@username) or Direct Message (DM) each other, you can start to build a relationship with your followers or even the people you choose to follow. (Yes, it is true that people who follow you may also want to sell you something and fortunately, you have the option to block people who are only interested in pitching you, but more about that later).

The following are my Top 10 Tips for Practical Uses of Twitter for Real Estate Agents. These Twitter Tips have earned me clients and I have had some success worth blogging about, but please note that what works for me, may not work for you. It works for me because I am committed to tweeting. I also like sharing.

Without further ado, here are your top ten Twitter tips.

  1. Create an account with a Twitter username that has something to do with real estate. I created two Twitter accounts under different names: One was under my full name:  Angie_Perez and another NJrealtor1. I find that since I have the word realtor in my twitter name, I get more followers related to my industry based on my NJrealtor1name despite the fact that I tweet about real estate topics from both accounts. With a handle like NJrealtor1, you automatically know what to expect from my tweets without having to read my bio. I believe this is the reason people choose to follow me under this username more so than under my full name.
  2. Once you have your Twitter account, set up favorable settings. From the web, click on settings in the upper right hand corner after you create your account.
  • Add a Photo. Realtors like you and I are notorious for being a little vain in that we brand ourselves with our face, our name and our company logo. On Twitterverse, your photo or icon is important for quick recognition from your eventual followers. Keep your image consistent and do not change or update it.
  • Notices. You have three options to choose from. Do you want to receive notifications from Twitter that you have a new follower, a new DM or an email newsletter that you receive with the inside scoop. I find that an email that I have a new follower can be an interruption to my day. I would rather know when someone sends me a direct message only.  (You can only receive DMs from people you follow back).  As a result, I have my settings to send DMs, in one email as I receive them.
  • Set Your Location To Your Market Area. You have 30 characters for your location.
  • Do not select protect my tweets. You want people to follow you and sometimes when your tweets are made public on the Twitter public timeline, you might pick up a new follower or two.
  • Your Bio is 160 characters: I have “Saving the Economy One House Sale at a Time.” This is a good place to display your elevator pitch or to highlight your interests along with how you want people to relate to you.
  • Add your homepage or blog url so that you can redirect people to your website.
  • You can add a Twitter Widget to your blog or website for additional exposure.
  • Find people in your sphere of influence that are tweeting. You can look for people on your AOL, Yahoo or Gmail network. Once you search for them, click on follow and as a courtesy, you can expect for them to follow you back.
  • Background Use freetwitterdesigner.com to customize a background for easy recognition. If I were you, I would start tweeting first and when you are comfortable with Twitter, use freetwitterdesigner.com to differentiate yourself. Or try twitbacks.com, which will allow you to display links to your website and web addy to your other business networking or social networking profiles.

3. Start Tweeting About:

  • Open house dates, times and location. Include Broker’s Open, then provide updates about what’s happening at the open house or Broker’s Open.
  • Success stories of what is sold in your area by you, for how much and how long did it take.
  • Provide market updates or news, including a link to where you found information that could be helpful to your followers.
  • Add your blog titles and web address or urls for people to read and comment on.
  • Ask questions and answer questions.
  • Tell about your new listings or the type of house your new buyers are looking for.
  • Tweet about the places you like in the neighborhood or upcoming events.People looking to move want to know what is there to do in town.
  • Retweet content or other people’s useful information to show you are reading and truly following other people.
  • Talk to your followers. Use @yourfriends name and DMs when appropriate. @yourfriendsname is visible to everyone, especially if your tweets are public. DMs are visible only to the person you are directing your message to.
  • Share your experiences about your products or services that you have used or intend to you.
  • Ask for and give referrals.

4.  Add yourself to Wefollow.com, which is the official twitter directory for people.

5. Bookmark the following site associated with Twitter:

  • http://www.Bit.ly.com -If you are going to update your twitter page with multiple urls, you should use http://www.Bit.ly, which is a service that keeps track of how many people clicked on your URL. It’s free and easy to use.  This is an easy way for you to see who is interested in what you have to say, especially
  • http://www.Twellow.com –allows you to search for people to follow based on keywords or location.
  • http://search.twitter.com this is the best way to find what people are saying about a keyword or topic in real time. Popular keywords on twitter for real estate agents: Foreclosures, short sales, $8000 tax credit, New Listings, Just Sold, and Just Reduced.
  • http://www.twitpic.com Allows you to upload photos from your cell phone, a twiiter app like tweetdeck or from the web. This is a good place to showcase your inventory.
  • http://www.twitterforbusypeople.com If you follow multiple people, you can get on overview of all of the people you follow to see what was their latest tweet.
  • http://www.dynamictweets.com Allows you to schedule tweets. It’s an easy way for you to set it and forget it. I use it to set tweet my open house tweets to post to my twitter page at 8:00 a.m. on the Sunday of the OH.
  • Http://www.tweetlater.com more feature than dynamictweets and free, but could be overwhelming for a TNG (Twitter New Guy). Recommended for Tweeple who have been tweeting for 6 months or more.
  • http://www.tweetlister.com This is the first twitter listing service for real estate agents and FSBOs. It combines the functions of bit.ly, tweetlater, lead capture, twitpic and an searchable listing service all in one. This is by far the best tool specific to our (remember I am a Realtor) industry. But tweetlister has some limitations and drawbacks. Read the full review on Tweetlister within the NJRETODAY blog for a complete list of pros and cons of using tweetlister.

6. Be Personalable. Even though your Twitter account is business oriented, remember that people buy people before they buy products and services. You are human and you should share your success as much as your mishaps i.e. mix and match your tweets with things that you are doing with business updates.

7. It is ok to use shorthand. Twitter is about being short and sweet. Full sentences are not necessary and if needs B, Try 2 shorten ur tweets w/symbols & #s when U can. Click here for a list of common short hand or shortcuts on Twitter.

8. Ask for other contact information when you cannot communicate in 140 characters.When someone wants to know about a rental or what he or she should do to prepare oneself before they buy, ask for their email address so that you can respond or follow-up periodically.

9. If you are blogging and sharing specific, value added information, redirect people to a landing page that will collect contact information before you provide the information. We have all been on the receiving end of landing pages where you have to give your email and sometimes your phone number before you get access to information, but if you are going to share a foreclosure list and you paid for it, I would advise people that you ask for contact information at least so that you can follow-up with inquires. Click here for a video explaination of landing pages.

10. Tweet often and don’t spam. Unsolicited messages are frowned upon and you could get blocked from users who see you as a spammer. Your goal is to get direct messages from people who are interested in your inventory or services. It’s up to you to follow-up after contact has been made.  Remember, be genuine and share.

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I was reminded today of a great service I had heard of (but then it got lost in the mix as tech tools can).  I am very glad it came back up as I am going to start using it and suggest you look at it too.


Posterous.com offers a service that syndicates your social world.  Syndication is not new, many companies, including Canadian great Hootsuite will link twitter and facebook.  Posterous, however, takes this to the next level.  It syncs facebook, twitter, youtube, flikr, linkedin, reddit,digg, your blog and a bunch of other social spots.  Apparently you can even have your posterous page "skinned" to look just like your website to keep your bran consistent.  Please give me feedback on how this is working.

Facebook - Another reminder (both this and posterous were via RE/MAX University) today about a cool trick in facebook.  If you search for something in facebook like "moving to vancouver" "mortgage rates" "need a realtor" and you'll get a results page that is mostly people who have made fan pages about that topic.  However, if you look along the left side of the results page, you see a button that says "public posts"  -  That will give you the posts of anyone on facebook (yes anyone of its 750 million users) who used that word or term recently in a status update.  I'll shut up a second while you think about how great a tool this is.  

fillanypdf.com - We are a little spoiled with webforms in that we are used to being able to open up a contract and fill in data before printing and having clients sign.  The fact of the matter is that we sometimes deal with PDFs that are not from webforms and they can be a pain.  FillanyPDF allows you to make any PDF work and feel like a contract with editable fields.  Very handy.

Iphone and Ipad print screen.  This is not an app but a handy little feature.  looking to share something on your phone with someone?  If you press the top and front button at the same time, your ipad or iphone will snap a picture of what is on your screen and save it in your camera roll.  It is a handy way to share text conversations, maps, contacts, etc.

Walkscore - Walkscore is a website (there is also an app) that rates an address based on its walkability to amenities.  It is a very cool tool.  When you have clients who are concerned about such things, enter the address in and have a look at the "walk score" for the house or building.  

Holidays 2012-2014 - This app has a list of Holidays and what day they are on.  Is this something you could use when writing contracts?  

iLiving This $3 app isn't as good as it could be and will be followed by others I am sure.  However, if you want to be cutting edge it is worth a download.  With iLiving, you snap and picture of a room and then digitally furnish it to see what it would look like with the bed over there or TV on that wall.  RE/MAX has a much more full featured "designer" that is done on a floorplan, but it is only available on a PC (not a mobile device ... yet_ 

Remember to send your ideas to me for future tech tuesday emails.
 
Cory Raven
Managing Broker
RE/MAX Select Realty
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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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