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Real Estate Technology – Still can’t guess a homes value!

October 11, 2009

This is a little seen clip of a conference that both Alan Dalton(former President of Realtor.com) and Lloyd Frink(president of Zillow) attended in California. The comments by Alan about the “Zestimate” are PRICELESS, as is the look on Lloyd’s face. Get’s us fired up everytime to be human!

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Facebook must for any Realtor…Double your social network in less than 5 minutes!

October 7, 2009

We know you have Facebook. Do you know how you can tell quickly which of your past clients, contacts and current prospects/leads are on Facebook as well? Tech Savvy Agent does!

Facebook has an import tool which supports a basic csv/excel file. All databases and email platforms have an export tool(usually directly into this format). Simply export your current database of emails and import them into Facebook(see screen shot below). If you have your contacts in Outlook there is even a direct feed where you do not even need to export, just import directly. Facebook will do the rest by automatically locating anyone you just imported using their e-mail address.

Facebook users have to link there account to an email address as it is a requirement for service. Any and all matching email addresses you import will populate a friend request screen with a friend all option! Plus, from this point forward, you can find any new leads or new contacts on Facebook right away using this advice.

Think over time being able to interact and engage where your consumers are almost daily will help your business? Is there any lead capture form on your agent website that would get filled out if you asked people to put what is going on in their life daily and pictures of their family and travels in? Something to ponder…

Please leave comments and questions if you get stuck while doing this. Takes less than 5 minutes(at least it did for Tech Savvy Agent).

We may have just doubled the size of your social network! Please help ours grow. www.Facebook.com/TechSavvyAgent

Grow your social network in minutes!

Grow your social network in minutes!

Hate Zillow? Do you really know why?

October 5, 2009

Does your 401k have an asterik like this Mr. Client?

Does your 401k have an asterik like this Mr. Client?

So many agents are quick to voice their disdain towards Zillow and for good reason. What Tech Savvy Agent wants to know is why do you hate them so much and can you back up your ill feelings with any data? Yes their info is inaccurate, which they admit, but what goes into their formula? Where do they get their info and how do they calculate a zestimate? What info do you have access to as a local agent that even a giant like Zillow does not?

If you can’t quickly and accurately explain these things to your clients and all you do instead is just rely on the old “their terrible” approach are you really educating your clients?

Today’s Tech Savvy Agents are building the value of getting local market info from them, not a national site, by exposing some of these truths which in turn leads to more transactions and referrals than the me-me approach of yesterday every day of the week. Tech Savvy Agents will check the links below to where Zillow admits their innacurate and explains their formula.

What a GREAT reason to call your clients and database. Walk them through how to get to these links from Zillow’s website and just let them know you wanted to touch base while the market is scary to make sure that they weren’t getting really bad information online!! You will be amazed at how much easier the conversation is when you have the visual proof from Zillow’s own website. Goes from a sales person calling to a consultant calling really quick!

Here is one agents take on Zillow. Watch this video, know thine enemy and succeed by leveraging technology! Enjoy and we hope we helped your business today.
If so please take a moment to subscribe to our RSS feed at the top of this page which will bring future blogs and discussions to you as soon as they hit the web!
Zillow’s Chart on “accuracy” by state and county
Zillow’s secret formula fully explained by Zillow themselves
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Why Twitter matters to Realtors. Most think it doesnt BTW!

October 3, 2009

So you can’t seem to get anyone to follow you huh?
Plenty of “friends” on Facebook at this point but RT and @ or # confuse you more than make you want to learn? Don’t worry many agents feel the exact same way. Seems like you need to be Ashton Kutcher or Perez Hilton to grow a following. Don’t fret. Tech Savvy Agent is going to ask that you look at Twitter a bit differently as a realtor, your not a celebrity and that’s okay Buddy King.

First, you will never have a million followers and that is perfectly okay. Really just looking for people in your local market anyway so be realistic with your popularity going in. So many agents complain that “i signed up for Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn and i didnt get anything from it”. Well to get out you must put in so time block 30 minutes a day or so to learning and maintaining your presence. Bet you spend more time than that on some days just checking out the MLS.

Second, we are going to argue that if you never got one person to follow you that would be okay. Let’s say you are following someone like Tom Ferry/Howard Brinton or maybe also a group like Tech Savvy Agent(Tech Savvy Agent Twitter Page)and your only reason to log in a few times a week becomes to learn not to market yourself. Wouldn’t that be worth free? Instead of spending hours cruising the web looking for new ideas to grow your business read ours. Need articles to share with your own sphere of influence or potential buyers and sellers? Those will just be waiting for you every time you log into Twitter and they have already been proven to be popular and relevant. If they weren’t we wouldn’t have posted them! Just a few thoughts from Tech Savvy Agent. Would love to hear yours as well!

Every year 43% of computer users lose irreplaceable files… how about you?

October 1, 2009

So, you have spent a good deal of money on your computer and you are very happy with it, until one day…..nothing.  Hard drive failure.  No worries, you do back up your computer regularly right? Right!?

 

Unfortunately, for a lot of Real Estate agents out there risk management is an after thought.  We spend enough time worrying about how to use all of this equipment, we don’t like to spend more time thinking about what to do when it breaks.  Reality is, your life is on that machine.  Pictures of your kids, family, your music collection and obviously your business.  Not only that, but usernames and passcodes too! Think about the years of data that is accumulated and the importance of keeping this data safe. If you don’t know where to begin in making sure you never lose a $1.29 song, a priceless photo or an important document, read on.

 

There are two main ways of backing up your machine and preventing disaster, each with positives and negatives.

 

We are going to start with the traditional hard drive.  Storage space is so cheap these days that you have no excuse not to back-up.  You can currently buy a 1TB external hard drive for less than $130!  Most drives that you buy will come bundled with a back-up solution software in the box.  Most are fairly automated as well.  You just need to set up things like, preferences, for when you want to back up automatically and if you want to back up everything or just certain files.  If you are a Mac user its even easier!  Just plug any hard drive into your Mac and a program called Time Machine will appear and it will start backing up automatically.  Done deal.  An excellent site to refer to for reviews of a decent drive is www.cnet.com.  They are a trusted source for reviews of pretty much anything electronic.  However, they don’t cover Real Estate solutions, that’s where Tech Savvy Agent comes into play.

 

Ok, ok, so what are the negatives to setting up a local solution like a hard drive?  A number of terrible things can happen and can put your business on hold.  Unfortunately, things like fire or theft can render the previous solution inept.  Here is where option 2 comes in.

 

With internet connections faster than ever, online backup has become more and more popular and extremely cost effective too!  Most services will backup your entire machine for somewhere around $5 a month. www.idrive.com will back up 2 terabytes for free!There are a number of other good solutions out there too like www.carbonite.comwww.mozy.com and www.ironmountain.com. These solutions are hassle free ways to make sure your business and personal life stays on it’s feet.  Most solutions will back up your computer on an “after hours” schedule that you can modify.  Simple.  Staying safe isn’t as confusing as you may have initially thought.  Internet backup does take a lot longer than the hard drive solution but, once you get the initial backup out of the way it is fairly painless.  If you are still on slow internet connection or (gulp) dial up, you need to move on now.

 

That’s Tech Savvy Agent’s quick overview of backing up and staying safe.  Perhaps our Tech Savvy agents out there can post about their favorite solutions and why.  Lets spread the knowledge!

A Tech Savvy Blog for Agents?

September 29, 2009

Welcome to the only place on the web dedicated exclusively to keeping Realtors informed on technology and the progress that is being made daily in our industry.

You will learn ways to grow your business using social media, web 2.0 and tools that are out there right now that can be no cost and high return IF used properly!

We encourage discussions and threads and will always respond to a question in a timely manner and we encourage you to do the same when you want to provide feedback.

First thread is below and is on Google Wave!  What’s that you ask?  Thats why we are here…enjoy and please feel free to suggest us to others in your sphere of influence within the real estate community…Tech Savvy Agent

Tech Savvy Agent

Tech Savvy Agent

Google wave of the future

September 29, 2009

Google is promising to change the way we communicate with google wave. Takes the best of email, Im, social networking and wikipedia and merges it into a new but comfortable medium.  Tech savvy agent wants to know how long do you think we will even be using email for our clients? Is it already becoming passe in an era of Facebook, IM, Twitter, etc…?