Archive for the ‘ Technology ’ Category

Open Source Software for Agents

I’ve been a fairly big proponent of open source software for some time.  For those of you not familiar with the open source movement, it’s the idea that many developers across the world, working together through peer reviews, can develop evolving, superior products. 

Open Source software are typically described as “projects,” rather than products, as there are typically many more releases/revisions than commercially driven products, and there are many more collaborators, who often contribute a small amount of their time.  Open Source projects are typically labors of love for programmers.

You probably already use some open source products.  Firefox is extremely popular, in a large part because it is open source.  The reason there are so many cool add-ons and extensions for Firefox is because the source is “open” to other developers to put together these cool tools. 

In contrast, Internet Explorer has little in the way of customization because Bill Gates et al don’t want anyone messing with their code.  The same rings true for WordPress -– lots of extensions/add-ons because it’s open source.  You’ll notice that the larger a project is, the more stable the releases, and the more customizations that are available.  Be careful of really small projects unless you like tinkering and are ready to invest some time.

One of the most attractive aspects of open source is the price: It’s free! Continue reading this post


Posted by: Eric Bramlett on March 14th, 2009 under Technology

1 Comment »

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Photographing a House

If you can’t use a professional to take your listing photographs, avoid these visual mistakes.  The photographs below were chosen to emphasize errors.

1. Exterior photo with distracting elements

These include cars, bicycles, trash cans, pets, children, etc. This example also has several other mistakes — it doesn’t capture the entire house exterior; the angle does not flatter the house; and trees obstruct the view. Are you selling the house or the car?

2. Subject too far away

Get as close as to can to your subject.  This common mistake can easily be corrected by cropping.  The objective is to have the image fill the frame.  Use Photoshop or any of the many free photo editing tools like or Many computers come with a basic photo editor.  Mine has Micrsoft PictureIt! and it works great.

Continue reading this post


Posted by: Joseph Ferrara on March 11th, 2009 under Best Practices, Technology

1 Comment »

Where Your Office NEEDS To Be … 6 Things You Need To Do To Relocate It NOW

I am frequently asked, “Where is your office?” It’s like the location of my office means something. And to many people, it actually means a lot. It represents, in their minds, the not-so-subtle idea that you are limited to working only a short distance out from the geographical location of your desk.

And so, when asked the “magic” question, my response is always the same: “Where do you WANT it to be?”

Truth is, as a virtual agent, I do have an “office.” After all, our license has to hang somewhere for us to be legit. Although I have a great office in which to work, I’m not interested in “impressing” my clients with the size of the building or the fountain in the foyer. Instead … I meet them where THEY are.

In fact, I’ve discovered that “bringing them home to meet the parents” can raise questions you DON’T want them asking. Such as:

  • “How much money does it take to run an operation like this?”
    • “Dang … this Realtor must be bankin’ BIG bucks … wonder if I can hit them up for part of their commission…?”
    • “If they have a building like this in this economy, are they in touch with reality…?”
    • “Why do I have to drive all the way over here when I live in ________?”

Virtual agents have virtual offices. In my “real” office I don’t even have a desk. Don’t want one. My “actual” desk, when meeting with clients, is any available table at the Starbucks closest to where my clients live. Or the table in their existing digs.

Here is why this is critical: Continue reading this post


Posted by: Carl Medford on January 12th, 2009 under Best Practices, Realtor, Technology


The Future of Real Estate Communication

Yesterday I was perusing online through my cell phone bill. I took note that my two teenagers ages 15 and 17 had sent and received over 10,000 text messages – in December.

The two adults in the home sent and received approximately 400 text messages this month -– mostly between the aforementioned teenaged children. Sometimes it seems like I text them more often than I talk to them.

This got me to wondering about the future of communicating in the real estate industry.

As I write this, I’m looking at an email inbox containing 5,586 messages. Lousy email management skills aside, this is an indication of how often I send and receive emails. As I look into my sent mail folder, I see that I have sent an average of 11.33 emails each day this month. These are emails sent from Continue reading this post


Posted by: Jay Thompson on December 31st, 2008 under Guest Bloggers, Technology


Is an iPhone Under Your Tree This Christmas?

If you had but one item you could purchase or have someone get for you as that special gift this year, I would highly recommend the Apple iPhone. 

Now hold on a minute, I know it’s got a steep price when you add in the service contract but we are talking about a productivity tool for all you Real Estate agents and Brokers out there.  Keep the receipt and you can take the tax deduction for it when tax time comes around.

What’s so special about the iPhone?  I am going to get to that in a moment. First let me tell you if you were not aware, that the continuation of Technology into the Real Estate world and the adoption by consumers to new ways of doing business continues to accelerate even though the economy is slowing.  The adoption of MOBILITY has hit mainstream with a vengeance.

So too will your need to understand and adapt quickly or YOU WILL lose market share to those that are savvy to catch on before you do.

You already know about blogging, it’s after all the reason why you’re reading this post anyways. If you’re behind the curve on blogging, you still have time to catch up here.  With many new phones on the market this year and in the years to come, broadband access is creeping into these phones and new and faster services along with them.  Providing you with new ways to reach out and touch your prospective clients. 

How? By giving them what they want.  Making sure that your website not only has the latest in Social Networking Tools but that you make sure your data is accessible to mobile platforms like Continue reading this post


Posted by: Thomas Townsend on December 13th, 2008 under Technology


Free Stuff to Help Your Real Estate Biz


I love free stuff and am always thankful when I learn about it. Here are some websites that I use very often and they have helped me save time and money.

This is a presentation sharing website. You can upload just about any document or presentation and share it with others. I like to embed the presentations on my website. You can track how many times your presentation has been downloaded. It is also fun when your presentations are marked as favorites.

Google Docs

I use Google docs to store my documents online. Documents can be uploaded, saved, printed, and shared. Documents can also be converted to pdf files making them easier to send as email attachments. I got tired of certain documents being on my home computer and I needed them when I was at the office. No worries, now I just go to Google.


Another great Google product. Upload your pictures to create slideshows. You can add text and music or voiceover. Google will also send it to Youtube. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Heather Lawson on November 18th, 2008 under Online Marketing, Technology, Website Strategies


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