Hi, #miamirealechat, I’m Ivan Mladenovic, and you’re on the website for my technology consulting company, Preemo. No need to tell you the details, but I will say that I’m a 26-year old small business owner, and I’m really passionate about helping people with technology. I’ve sold some real estate, and have my license, and my father is a developer – so I grew up understanding the challenges that the real estate industry faced with technology.
I wasn’t able to join the chat this past Sunday because of Easter, however because it’s a topic that I’m fond of, I wanted to add my two cents.
Here are my 10 of my favorite tech tools for Realtors:
1. Google Apps: a service, provided by Google, allowing you to use custom domain names (www.yourname.com), with several Google products, like Gmail, Google Calendar, Talk, Docs, and Sites. There’s a free version (up to 50 users, limited tech support) and a premium version. Here are some of the basics:
Google Apps (like Gmail) also allows you to have much more flexible mobile synchronization. If you use a Blackberry, use the Blackberry Sync application to sync calendars and contacts to Google Apps. And for your email, set it up via IMAP protocol, so that your phone syncs with your email server. Voila – no duplicate emails, and no more plugging-in your phone to sync.
If you are an iPhone user, setup your Google Apps or GMail account to enjoy wireless synchronization of calendar contacts, and emails. Same applies to Android-based phones.
There’s a growing marketplace for Google Apps as well – think of it as the Apps Store for your Gmail. Includes products that directly integrate with email, calendar, and contacts – like CRM’s (Customer Relationship Management), Invoicing & Accounting, and Project Management Tools.
More videos on the Google Apps YouTube page.
2. Google Alerts: visit this site: google.com/alerts – you can select a specific search term (for example, your name or a property address), and you’ll receive a digest email, as often as you want, when that search term shows up new listings in Google. Great way to monitor your online brand or when you deploy a specific action you want to track (event, press release, etc)
3. Dropbox: I saw on the tweetchat that Dropbox was talked about a lot, so I won’t go to deep into it, except to say that I’m a huge fan, and user. This is, by far, the easiest way to manage files across multiple computers, without having to compromise file-types or names. If you don’t have one, get one now: https://www.dropbox.com
4. WordPress: You might already be familiar with this blogging platform – it is the most commonly user on the web. WordPress is a great Content Management System (CMS) for Realtors, because it’s both user and search engine friendly. I’ve been developing sites for the about 8 years, and I use WordPress for most of our website development. Major companies user WordPress, like Yahoo!, Ford, The Wall Street Journal, and Ebay, for their corporate blogs. You can also integrate an IDX Search into a WordPress template, allowing clients to directly search the MLS on your website. There are many web development firms around town – make sure you keep WordPress as an option for your website. Check out the Preemo site for WordPress in action.
5. Flip Mino HD Camera: I’ve found these camera to be very useful, specifically for client testimonials, and for the speed at which you can shoot an HD-quality video, and broadcast it via YouTube. I recommend you do a personal walk-though of your listings, and use them as a personal way to showcase a property. I recently posted about a great company that does location photography and video in California, they really take video to the next level. Pick up a Flip Mino HD here.
6. Ring Central: this great hosted phone service “helps you look like a bigger company” and works on the “Find Me – Follow Me” concept. Ring Central provides you with a toll-free or local number, which serves as a portal to your business. With a quick setup, you a customize a greeting for incoming callers, with extensions to different departments or individuals. You can tell Ring Central how to reach you – maybe first at your office line, then your cell phone, and then your assistant’s phone. You can also setup a virtual fax account, that will deliver to your email. RingCentral has a free trial available on their site, and some kind of 20% off special going on right now.
7. YouMail: If you call my cell phone, you’ll receive a greeting from YouMail: “Hi (yourname), Ivan is not available right now… It reads your caller ID, and if there is a name available it will saw that persons name. YouMail provides mobile users the ability to have a better visual voicemail, including transcription of VM’s to text message or email, and the ability to check and respond to VM’s like emails. For Blackberry and iPhone users, get the YouMail app, and see how this great service can help you manage messages better.
8. Envato: As a web developer, Envato is one of the best communities for templates, logos, graphics, active scripts, and anything you need to build a better website. I’ll warn you to say, this is pretty technical, and might take some working to get right. But there isn’t a better group of sites that provides these services. My favorite is ThemeForest.net.
9. Tungle.me: The ultimate too for setting meetings. Tunge.me will show availability for all attendees needed in a meeting, coordinate their schedule, and find the best time that works for everyone. This is great when you need to set a meeting with multiple people, or with individuals who have very busy schedules or a not-so-bright asssitant. Save me time every day. More about Tungle.me here:
10. iPhone: I know I’m probably gonna get some heat for this one, but frankly, this is the best phone for Realtors, bar none. First, it’s a master at handling rich media, like high quality pictures, HD video, and pulling content from YouTube, Facebook, and many other sites. It has the best browser of any phone, making internet search quick and easy. 200,000+ apps and counting – no phone maker is even close to this. Try the Realtor App and Loopnet – both are great for searching for listings by GPS. The iPhone also allows for ActiveSync with Google – no programs needed, and it syncs in realtime.