Monthly Archives: July 2011

Excellent Safety Apps for Your Smart Phone From @RealtorMag @Realtors

The National Association of Realtors Magazine had an excellent article today that I think every realtor should briefly stop to look over.  Realtor safety had been discussed frequently in recent months- both by this blog, as well as with Realtors in general.  We all know the stories of the Realtor in Iowa and the ones in San Antonio  and how they were both brutally attacked while showing property.  Being a Realtor is risky-  you are out meeting complete strangers at properties – some of those properties are vacant or in not so safe neighborhoods.

Now, Smartphones are taking Realtor safety into account when designing apps for your phone.  The apps that are discussed are all various forms of GPS tracking and alert systems.  Essentially, you sign up (either for free or a nominal fee) and when you are out showing properties, you will be prompted to “Check In” with the system at whatever the designated time frame is.  If you don’t check in when you are supposed to, an alert will be sent to your selected contacts (on the free plan)  or with the paid plan a 24/7 Monitoring and security system.

I can not emphasize enough how the few dollars these apps charge are well worth the peace of mind they provide.

The full article can be found on the Realtor Magazine Website :

http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology/feature/article/2011/07/feeling-threatened-how-use-your-smartphone-weapon

First Impressions of #Google+

It’s been in the news lately, on twitter, people are discussing it on Facebook.  It’s the next “it” thing, said to rival Facebook.  Google +  promises to be a social media one stop shop.  With the credibility of Google already built right in, and the ease of the Google toolbar-  sharing through social media avenues will be much easier.  However, since Google Plus is so new, there isn’t much happening on it right now.  So, I am torn as to whether or not I like it.  Perhaps, if it takes off, it will rival Facebook- but that is a big IF.  Many of the people that I know are sticking with Facebook because they have spent too long building up their social networks on Facebook and don’t want to lose all they have invested.  Others have created Google Plus profiles, just in case it takes off and everyone moves over, but are still spending more time invested in Facebook and not putting any effort into Google Plus.

There are certainly some positives to Google Plus though.

Privacy is much easier to manage- it states very clearly what is being shown to whom. You can  restrict information based on public, within social circles, or keep information just for yourself.

You can keep people separate.  Have you ever been somewhere with a large group of people  and someone you barely knew kept interjecting their opinions into your conversations, and you thought “who is this bozo and why does he keep talking to me?”  well, with the “friend everyone” mentality of Facebook, some have said that is sort of what Facebook has turned into.  With Google Plus, you can restrict your status updates to just specific circles.  So if you want to discuss something business related, you can send it out just to your business circle.  If you want to make plans for Friday night Margarita night, you can send that out just to your circle of friends.  It shrinks the sphere of social networking again.

However, with just a few people taking a dive in the Google Plus Pool, I’m not yet entirely sold on Google Plus.  I think it’s going to be a wait and see situation.

Using Twitter Alerts to Build Your Business

This morning, I received an email from Twilerts-  the twitter alerting service that I use, to notify me when someone tweets my chosen keywords.  Within minutes of this person sending this tweet, I was notified, and able to immediately respond.  Talk about an excellent feature.  –  This is something, that as a Realtor, I highly suggest you utilize, if you are on Twitter.  What better way to find “warm leads”  than being notified of a tweet made by a person who perhaps tweets something like “I want to buy a home in Naperville”  most likely, it’s not going to be that obvious, and will probably take some effort on your part; however, being able to interact with people who are in your area of expertise is I think an untapped resource that many don’t utilize.  It is essentially like being on twitter 24 hours a day doing searches to find people.  Now, these services have free versions (the notification time is longer, and you don’t get updated as frequently) or you can pay to instantaneous notifications.  Either way- even if you are getting notifications 24 hours later, I think it is still worth the effort to engage-  you never know what will come by it.