Free Help for Real Estate Agents
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Use This Magic Word When Googling for Tech Support

August 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Adding one word to your Google searches will help find solutions faster.

The next time you’re pulling your hair out over a technical support issue, you might want to try this simple trick to help you find real answers to the problem you’re experiencing:

Add “solved” to your search query. Rather than just describe your problem, i.e. “Outlook won’t sync to my Droid smartphone,” try adding +SOLVED to the end of the search. Many tech support message boards use “[SOLVED]” to close threads on technical support issues.

One other trick is to use ~solved instead of +solved. Using the “~” (the tilde) tells Google to not only look for “solved,” but also synonyms for solved, such as “fixed,” “resolved,” etc.

Solved stampGetting great results from Google is usually a matter of writing better queries. Here’s a helpful article on ways to improve your search skills, straight from Google:

http://www.google.com/support/websearch/bin/answer.py?answer=136861

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[This productivity tip provided courtesy of My Real Helper.]


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How to Make Listing Videos Using Only Photos

March 9, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

How to Make Listing Videos Using Only Photos
The Low-cost, high-value way to showcase your listings

As video continues to develop as a dominant force in the future of online marketing and communication, many agents face the difficult question of how to use video when they do not have the time, money, or technical expertise to produce full-featured videos for their listings.

Since we’re always on the lookout for good examples of how to use practical tips and tools to overcome obstacles and build your real estate business, we couldn’t resist sharing this great example of how to create videos without using actual video footage, as demonstrated by Mike Walker of Ohio.

At first glance, Mike’s approach seems very straightforward: He takes photos of his listings and creates slide shows which can then be exported to video for YouTube.com and other video sharing sites. The devil, however, is really in the details with Mike’s videos.

He employs five small, but effective techniques to make his videos more entertaining and more effective at communicating essential information:

1. Mike uses a special effect / transition in the video to draw the eye into or across the photo– typically called the “Ken Burns” effect, this motion keeps the photos from sitting idle in the video

2. Mike incorporates some music to the photos; you could also record audio of yourself talking about attributes of the property (or do both)

3. In YouTube, Mike wisely titles every video with the property address as well as a contact phone number. This way, his contact information TRAVELS with the video, wherever it may be embedded or shared!

4. Inside of each video, Mike makes sure to include the address of his website– this way, individual videos become magnets for traffic back to his site, even if the video is embedded in other pages

5. You’ll notice that Mike uses the same videos for his “Available” and “Just Sold” properties. When a property he’s sold is no longer on the market, he can easily change the text above the video to “Just Sold” to showcase past listings he’s successfully brought to market

If you think video is out of range for you, think again. This is an excellent, low-cost, low-overhead model for increasing prospect engagement on your own website.

Check out more examples here:
http://www.showmethekeys.com

Thanks again, Mike, for agreeing to share your technique with our subscribers!

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How to Use LinkedIn to Sell More Real Estate

December 12, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

Dear Real Estate Professional,

LinkedIn for Real Estate eBook Cover
No single social network may be more utilized by business professionals than LinkedIn, and now you can receive a free step-by-step guide on how to use LinkedIn to sell more real estate. With this guide, you’ll learn the differences between LinkedIn and other social networks… differences than can mean more pre-qualified leads and more deals.

With this report on LinkedIn for real estate, you’ll learn…

  • What LinkedIn can do for real estate marketing.
  • How LinkedIn differs from other online platforms
  • A hands-on approach to using LinkedIn for real estate marketing
  • How to manage your LinkedIn account settings wisely
  • Ways to maximize your account through LinkedIn’s online tools

An excerpt from the LinkedIn book:

“Social media platforms enable their users to reach out to others with similar interests, businesses, or professional needs, and then to build relationships.  The plural relationships is key here because social media are all tools to help you network – i.e. build relationships on a large scale.

In real estate, for example, your profile on these various social media is hugely important in creating great introductions, and strong first impressions often lead to lasting and fruitful relationships.  In LinkedIn’s case, they lead specifically to fruitful professional relationships, referrals, and recommendations.”

Get your copy of How to Use LinkedIn to Sell More Real Estate instantly delivered to your mailbox. Just fill out the form below.

Cheering you on to greater success!

Scott Levitt
Scott Levitt
President
Oakley Signs & Graphics, Inc.
FreeHelpForRealEstateAgents.com

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Questions to Pre-Qualify Real Estate Leads Online

December 1, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Q&A: Pre-qualifying Internet Leads?
Qualify your web leads to save time and energy…

Q: How do I know if my Internet leads are serious buyers?

A: The easiest way to save time and energy following-up with your Internet leads is to pre-qualify them by asking a few questions on your web form.

Here are seven great questions to ask:

1. Are you currently working with a real estate agent?
2. When are you interested in purchasing?
3. What type of home are you looking for? Condo? Single-family? Etc.
4. What is your comfort zone in terms of price?
5. Do you need to sell your current home before buying?
6. Have you been to [YOUR TOWN/MARKET] before?
7. Are you planning a trip to [YOUR TOWN/MARKET] soon?

Optionally, you can also ask about financing– whether they have it arranged, or if they’re paying cash. It might depend on Question #2, when they are interested in purchasing.

As always, give your leads the option to answer these questions by phone, too. Simply add a check-box to your web form which says, “I’d prefer to answer these questions in person, on the phone.” This lets them know that they will be expected to be able to answer the questions, even if they aren’t comfortable answering them on a web form. And by all means: Call them immediately if they have a preference for the phone… response time is key, and sometimes your hot-to-trot prospects are those who prefer phone to email.

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How to Take Better Property Photos

November 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

A Free Guide to Better Photos (and More Leads!)
Improve your photos without spending a dime…

Good property photos are essential to generating leads, especially with the number of buyers using the internet to search for homes. A bad property photo can make the difference between someone contacting you online or not.

You don’t have to hire a professional–just ask yourself these seven simple questions before you snap your shot:

  1. Is there anything in the frame that distracts from the focus on the property? Look out for stray hoses, vehicles, recycling bins, etc.
  2. Am I close enough to the property? Better to fill the shot than crop later.
  3. Is this room interesting enough to photograph in detail?
  4. Have I removed unnecessary items from the interior shots? Check for garbage cans, magazines on tables, excess furniture, etc.
  5. Is the lighting suitable for this shot? Check to make sure you’re not shooting into really bright lights, sliding glass doors, fluorescent lights.
  6. Does this shot require a tripod to avoid distortion? Hand-held shots can reveal distortion, especially when you’re shooting horizontal or vertical shots. One alternative is shooting from a favorable angle.
  7. Did I get all of the one-of-a-kind details? Look for exceptional architecture, gardens, privacy features, transitional spaces.

This simple checklist will help you save time and money when it comes to property photos.

BONUS: To make it easier to remember these tips, we’ve prepared a free PDF you can print and stick to 3×5 cards. Download your free printer-friendly copy here:

Real Estate Photo Checklist
http://www.oakleysign.com/ebook/oakleysign_phototips_guide.pdf

Hate to carry around a tripod? You’re not alone. Check out this excellent video on how to stabilize your camera without a bulky tripod:


Click here to watch.

Most useful tripod for real estate:
We recently were impressed with the flexibility of the Joby Gorillapods (shown above next to our 7 tips): http://joby.com/gorillapod

Taking photos to the next level:
Finally, if you’re interested in taking your property photos to the next level, you might like to check out How to Take Photos That Move Houses by Ed Wolkis.

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Facebook Privacy Tips for Real Estate Agents

November 11, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Facebook Tip: 10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know
How to keep from “putting it all out there”…

If you’re wary about using Facebook (or you’re currently using it for the first time) you should definitely take a moment to check out this informative article from AllFacebook.com, the Unofficial Facebook Resource.

There’s a fine line between personal and professional when it comes to social networking, and this article will help you understand ways to effectively use Facebook for both by understanding lists and privacy settings.

This article is a must for brokers and owners who are unsure about office “social media” policy, too!

http://www.allfacebook.com/2009/02/facebook-privacy/

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Free Help for Real Estate Agents