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Real Estate Marketing and the Internet

EVeryone knows how technology has changed the way Real Estate Agents work and the way customers search for homes, find Real Estate Agents and interact with them Below is an infographic from RIS Media that shows just how much the internet and technology have influenced Real Estate Marketing.

Impact of Technology on Real Estate Infographic

Kindle Fire and Real Estate – Using Google Apps with the Kindle Fire

The Kindle FireSo were you one of the millions of people who got a Kindle Fire for Christmas? Want to use it as more than just an ebook reader? Cinda RoseThe West Valley Home Team and MacWin Local Mobile Marketing are going to spend the next month or so testing the Fire out and specifically using it for “Mobile Real Estate”. I am not suggesting that the Kindle Fire is an iPad replacement or “iPad killer” but at $199 for the Kindle Fire vs. $499 for the iPad2 I think we need to give it a shot! (Just a side note, I am an Apple guy, both The West Valley Home Team and MacWin Local Mobile Marketing are both run completely on Mac’s and “Once you go Mac you never go back!”)

Touchdown for the Kindle Fire

The West Valley Home Team uses Google Apps for their email and calendaring (we are not using Google Docs as our sole document platform yet) and unfortunately eventhough the Kindle Fire is an Android OS device, strangely enough it does not support Google Sync out of the box. The Fire’s email app supports Google Apps Gmail accounts via IMAP/POP but if you’re looking for push notifications and Calendar/Contacts sync, you’ll need something more. There is a work around though! The  Amazon Appstore allows you to install a third-party app called Touchdown for sync. The apps free for 30 days in demo mode, but then costs $9.99 which is still acceptable to me.Google Apps

Once Touchdown is installed it’s easy enough to setup sync. Just Tap Next to bypass the “Try Autodiscover” screen, enter your Google Apps email address as the User ID, your password, and then specify as the server. On the next screen choose yes to SSL and leave everything else at the defaults. Now your Gmail, Calendar and Contacts will sync. One big problem I have with Touchdown is it only syncs your main Personal Google Calendar (or whatever you have renamed your main Google Calendar to). We have multiple Shared Calendars at The West Valley Home Team and not being able to see each other’s is a big drawback. I also seperate my Personal events from my West Valley Home Team events and my MacWin Local Mobile Marketing events by using different calendars for each. I have contacted NitroDesk and searched through their Google Group to see if there are any fixes for this or maybe a future feature but haven’t found anything.

If you want Google Talk, (which I don’t see us needing, this device will be more for showing and researching MLS listings in Litchfield Park, Goodyear and Avondale on the go, collecting email and signing documents) search the AppStore for IM+ or IMO for two good choices. Like the iPad, there’s no native Google Docs client for the Fire but you can login to with the Silk web browser for basic viewing and editing.

The next challenge and my next post is going to be finding an app that allows the Kindle Fire to accept signature on PDF files. More to come…

Soon You Can Port Your Phone Number to Google Voice for $20

Mashable.comJust saw this on, going to make Google Voice even better! Google Voice users, this is big: You might already be able to port your own phone number into the service. Google just unleashed a test program a few hours ago.

According to Google, this ability to port your own inbound phone number is currently in a test phase that’s available to certain users (such as us — we were lucky enough to be among the chosen few).

With a few clicks, you can have people call the regular phone number that you’ve been using all these years, without having to teach them to call a different number just so you can use Google Voice and all its Gmail-like features. Simply go to Phone, Settings, and if you see “change/port” next to your phone number, you’re in luck. Click that and you’ll soon be done.

Easy enough, except for that $20 charge you’ll have to pay to make it happen. Keep in mind that if you do select that option and pay your $20, whichever landline or cellphone provider you were paying to use that phone number before might want to charge you an early termination fee. Buyer beware.

On the other hand, this long-awaited feature will make it a lot easier for new users of Google Voice to adapt to the service. It’ll be simple to just drop your old service automatically by paying the $20 and importing that number to Google Voice.

Too bad this capability was not available a couple of years ago when I first started using the free Google Voice service, and told everyone in my address book about my new phone number. Now, I like that my chosen Google Voice number so much, there’s not an old number I’d rather port.

Add your listings to Facebook Marketplace – from Tech Savvy Agent

Another great article from Tech Savvy Agent: When it comes to Facebook and real estate ads, do you think you should be advertising your listings on your Facebook PROFILE? No, me neither. But, at the same time, you have all these friends that you want to be able to promote what you do as much as possible without being obnoxious, right? How can this be accomplished? Facebook’s Marketplace. Click here to read the entire article on Tech Savvy Agent


Google Apps – Streamline the way you do business

GoogleAppsGoogle Apps for Business is a suite of applications from Google that allow small businesses to receive email, share calendars, store, share and collaborate on documents, upload internal training videos and presentations, all in a secure web based environment. Tired of managing documents, templates, contracts, calendars, contacts, presentations etc… the old fashioned way? Copying them from one machine to another, storing them on a “thumb drive” then copying them over to an employees computer or sending them as an email attachment when they need them? Worrying if your team is all using the newest version of a contract, showing clients the latest presentation or sending out correspondence on the old letterhead? Google Apps will solve all those problems and more! Contact MacWin Local Mobile Marketing to get a free quote on:

  • Domain configuration, setting up Google Apps to work with and receive email for your domain
  • User account creation and provisioning
  • Initial setup of folder structure
  • Full data migration
  • Training covering:
    • Day to day administration tasks
    • Creating and sharing new folders
    • Uploading documents and files, videos
    • Creating Google Sites

Creating the Ultimate Paperless Office for REALTORS

Four Easy Steps Help Realtors Focus on Income Production, not Paperwork
By Jeffrey Raskin, GRI, e-PRO
Arizona REALTOR® Magazine – February 2010