Archive for November, 2008

Create Forms or Surveys Using Google Docs

November 26, 2008

Create forms or surveys using Google Docs to save you both time or money. I used to use my email marketing software or but it takes you way too much time.

Advantages that Google Docs that has using forms:

  1. Show analysis and statistics from survey
  2. Publish form as website
  3. Embed form into own website
  4. Automatic spreadsheet of answers
  5. Publish answers to its own website

What kind of forms are we talking about?

  1. Pre-program questionnaire
  2. Class feedback
  3. Registrations for classes
  4. Registrations for events
  5. Open house surveys

Here is an example of the published form to send out to clients interested in living green.

Here is the example in Google Docs. Feel free to copy and paste into your own spreadsheet.

If you decide to fill out the form, click on the spreadsheet of answers to see how quickly the information appears.

Also, please note you could link text such as “click here to receive a 20 page PDF on green homes”


How to Recruit Young Leaders – Improve the Transparency of REALTOR Associations

November 25, 2008

I have heard frustrations that current leadership want young professionals to participate and join association leadership activities but have no idea how to get them involved.  It is interesting because Generation Y or the Millennials are community driven, fast acting, and innovative in perspective.  They ask … why do things have to be the way they are now, or why can’t we do this another way?  A young leader with guidance from mentors, practice in serving and patience with existing ideals can revolutionize an association.

Generational housing shares that we should keep in mind the preferred method of communication for all of our perspective clients.  If we were to target Gen Y and get them involved then we ought to learn how to communicate with them.  This involves new forms of communication using text messaging, blogs, podcasts, social networks, and online communities. More importantly, young professionals want to do their homework online, communicate online, and share online.  Young professionals are able to create binding relationships online that add value to one another.  Young professionals want to see the transparency in people, groups, and associations so that they can choose how to participate from a distance before they commit to an in person meeting.

We have all the tools to help our organizations communicate more efficiently, faster, and offer more member services while consuming less resources.

It is time to start rethinking the way that we market, communicate, and advertise our services to our members. The future of association lies in the leaders that we select and the new tools that guide membership to embrace innovative concepts and embrace transparency as a way of life.

Take a look at this presentation that I have created for how to implement transparency with young association leaders.

As leaders of your association you have the tools at your side (technology), the materials, (the leadership), and the energy to move your group to collaborate on new ideas, changes and laws that impact the private property rights of homeowners. It is a big ship and may not turn easy but with a little guidance, practice, and patience you can improve the transparency of your association and recruit young leaders into your association.

Please pass this along to your association leadership, board of directors, committee chairs, and young members to see how this plan can fit into your strategic action plan.

Comments are requested below.

Global Warming Videos on YouTube

November 23, 2008

I looked for some global warming videos on YouTube and found some really good ones.  I recommend you visit and start typing words and phrases that match global warming and you will definitely find some controversial and eye opening videos.  Here just some of the ones I found that we cool.

Subscribe to these GREEN Building Blogs

November 22, 2008

I have created a list of GREEN building blogs that you can subscribe to for you to become the source of the source of information and position yourself as the GREEN expert.

How to Become the Source of the Source – Find information faster than anyone in the world using the power of RSS

November 13, 2008

I don’t want to hear the excuse anymore that it takes to much time to pick up the newspaper and find out important industry information to impact the lives of clients that you serve. Motivational speakers and professional development icons recommend that we spend at least an hour a day reading some sort of content from newspapers, magazines, and industry reports. I belong to at least 10 professional trade organization and receive 10 different publications. I would much rather read what I want when I want it rather than finding the publication and then spending the time to find the article.

Become the source of the source

Become the source of the source

You may have heard me say time is money. Time wasted filtering information can be saved using a powerful tool called RSS. RSS stands for really simple syndication and those that see if for the first time think it is too technical and move on with their previous thought or idea. It is simple. Just take the time to learn it.

I recommend becoming a reader of blogs that are specific to your industry, personal tastes, and hobbies. In order to read blogs you need a RSS reader. Once you have the RSS reader in place then organize your reader into categories so you can filter and focus your attention on timely and specific topics.

All sounds great right? What’s next?

Learn how to set up a RSS reader and start subscribing to blogs.

Need more help. Take a look at this PowerPoint presentation to help you step by step.

New NAR Green Designation Released at the National Association of REALTOR Convention

November 10, 2008

I had the privilege to attend the brand new green designation of the National Association of REALTORS at the 2008 annual Convention in Orlando, Florida.  There was so much content it was like drinking water out of a fire hose.  There were so many things that I am going to implement because of the tips, strategies, and innovative methods to save energy. Not only is the course good for the environment but also will help my and my family save money during the winter months.

Let's get green

Let's get green!

There seems to be more people hopping on the green bandwagon and I was lucky enough to have first hand education on how to implement green as part of my lifestyle.

Check out some videos that I recorded from others that were in the class.

To learn more about the green designation and additional green resources check out.

Build Organization Value Using Low Cost Methods – CRS Leadership

November 8, 2008

This entry is a summary from the CRS Chapter Officers Networking Session at the National Association of REALTORS Convention in Orlando Florida.

This workshop was for the Chapter Leadership and RVP’s. to save money, save time, and add value to their local, state and regional CRS chapters. This high energy – high tech session will help them market their activities, member benefits, and create excitement using FREE to low cost technologies. Topics covered were blogging, podcasting, social online networking, Google Docs, and other FREE tools that will boost exposure and communication to members. Retool leadership with cutting edge technology that is easy to use and implement right away. Raise money from sponsorships, classroom attendance, and vendor relationships by allowing them to contribute to the bottom line.


Answers to Survey

Sponsorship Ideas to Offset Education Expenses

View Sponsorship Letter Here

Feedback from Presentation

Instructor Development Workshops – National Association of REALTORS Convention

November 7, 2008

I was blessed to be able to teach some of the best real estate instructors in the U.S. and world this week during the National Association of REALTORS convention in Orlando, Florida.  These two information packed sessions were for both the Certified International Property Specialist instructor (CIPS) and Real Estate BUYER’S AGENT Council (REBAC) cadre.  If you missed the session or want a quick recap please review the PowerPoint, see some pictures, handout, and videos.

Survey answers in spreadsheet

Downloadable PDF handout

Live Alternative Teaching Methods – Kinesthetic Learners

November 5, 2008

Have you ever attended a class, workshop, break out session and heard the speaker go from start to finish without any breaks, no interaction, and limited discussion? That speaker may know their content well, developed an elaborate PowerPoint, and spoke smoothly throughout the presentation. Most of the audience will be satisfied and give great reviews. A small group might say it was fine but they did not get anything out of the class. Why is this? Educators who do not involve the audience in some type of role play or class exercise may not be able to connect with kinesthetic learners.

Connect instead of present

Connect instead of present

Kinesthetic learners sit at their tables or desks and play with their phones, write aggressive notes, or need to be doing something to retain the and act on the information presented. They want to be involved in developing the solution instead of being told the answer.

Here are just a few techniques you can add to your presentation to meet the needs of kinesthetic learners using technology as an example.

Case study. Write a paragraph or two that states a fact or fictitious example of when some event occurred and what were the possible outcomes from the actions that were taken. Ask these questions:

  1. What would the result from…?
  2. Was someone penalized or rewarded if…?
  3. What could have happened if…?
  4. Create the question from these set of facts…

Example. Bobbi Jo was thinking about sending out emails to all of her clients, prospects and anyone who she can find their email address. Her broker has encouraged her to send out emails to stay in touch with the people she knows but isn’t really sure about the best way to send them out.


  1. Should Bobbi Jo buy an email list and send emails to people who she does not know?
  2. What steps should Bobbi Jo take in creating an effective email marketing campaign?
  3. What could happen if Bobbi Jo abused email as a source of marketing and advertising?

Open ended questions encourage kinesthetic learners to think pro-actively about the decisions, questions, and example to see how their lives may be effected if they ever had to make the decisions presented.

Panel discussions. Host a workshop, invite industry experts, and give the audience a list of the questions that they can ask the panel members about their expertise. Members can write down the answers to each of the questions on a piece of paper that way they assume the control of the learning environment.

Example. Invite the best local bloggers to a social media class and inform them that other real estate professionals in the area will be attending. Ask the panelists to provide a short bio, list of 10 possible questions, and to prepare answers to the questions ahead of time. Send out a survey using Google Docs to create the list of questions.


  1. What is the best blogging software that you use? Each person will give their own opinion on what has worked best for them.
  2. If you could start over and do something differently what would that thing be? This helps novices learn from valuable mistakes the pros made.
  3. What was the best thing that you did to get you to be where you are today? This demonstrates a proven track record and how to get there.

Task groups. Set an objective or task for the entire group to be able to complete within a specified time frame and hold them accountable for the results. Once they completed their strategy for how they will perform ask one group member to present the information to the entire class. This sharing makes each group member feel like they have participated in creating the result. Remind students to take active notes during the development of the strategy and presentation of other groups.

Example. Ask the room to split up into groups of 4-5 and ask them to develop a technology plan of action for new agents entering into the business. Each group will write down 10 things that every real estate agent needs in using technology and to prioritize the order of when they should make the investment and how much each will cost.

Role plays. Ask a group of attendees to come to the front of the room and assign them a position, status, and script to read in front of the class. The scripts should

Example. Heather is a listing agent and Tom is the buyer’s agent. Tom wants to make an offer on Heather’s listing but Tom relies on email for communication and Heather does not have an email address.

Tom: “Hi, Heather! How are you today? I showed your property today at 123 Main Street today and my clients loved it. We wrote an offer and I wanted to email it to you. Would that be okay?”

Heather: “Tom. That is wonderful. Thank you so much for showing the property and taking the time to write the offer. My clients are going to be thrilled… but, Tom… I don’t have an email address. Can you fax it to me instead?”

Tom: Long pause… “Heather, I don’t have a fax machine but I have a scanner. I always scan documents and email them to everyone. That way I have a record of everything incoming and outgoing.”

Heather: “Well, Tom, I don’t have an email address and I have never needed one, AND, I am not going to change now just for one contract.”

Question to ask the class

What options to Tom and Heather have in order to communicate with one another during the negotiation and escrow of th e transaction?

Please add any thoughts you may have about using these methods for kinesthetic learners.

Maximize Blog Using Video, Pictures, Audio, PowerPoint, and MORE!!!

November 3, 2008

Blogging is a form of marketing, advertising and communication. It has all the features of a regular website plus allows for so much more. Anyone can create one and it is FREE. If you have a message, opinion, or information that has value post it to a blog.

Put Your Brain on Your Blog!

Put Your Brain on Your Blog!

Take your real estate blog to the next level by incorporating video, audio, PowerPoint presentation and more.

Video. You may have seen people insert video into a blog but never knew how. It is so easy that anyone can do it even if they do not know anything about websites, computer programming or website design. If you can copy paste then you can blog with video. How it is done depends on your blogging software i.e., WordPress, Blogger, ActiveRain, RealTown blogs, etc. Examples of videos could include video property tours, video testimonials, video interviews with industry experts. If you upload videos to a video hosting company like they will give you the HTML source code to copy and paste into your real estate blog. For more information check your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page on your blogging software and they will tell you exactly how to do it step by step.

Pictures. Show off your properties, events, classes, and testimonials picture by picture or insert a picture playing widget similar to a virtual tour into your blog for FREE. The picture should match the written words on the blog entry. Also, each picture is its own website when uploaded to the blogging software.

Audio. Record conversations, speeches, and presentations and upload them to the blog. Some blog software already has the ability to upload .MP3 or .WAV files. I have been using which automatically inserts the audio file into my blog with two clicks.

PowerPoint. Create an account at and start uploading your PowerPoint presentations to the web. These files must be in PowerPoint version 97-2003. Once the PowerPoint has been uploaded then you can copy the HTML source code and paste into your blogging software. Once the PowerPoint has been embedded into the blog, and when published, the viewer can start clicking on the presentation on the blog without needing PowerPoint.

Documents. I have been uploading documents to Google Docs and creating links within my blog to the handouts, forms, and surveys.

MORE!!! Once you have an understanding of RSS (Really Simple Syndication), then you can start creating widgets on your blog that reveal content from other blogs, social media, calendars and status updates.

Best posts from my blog that demonstrate these as examples:

Effective Email Marketing for Real Estate Professionals

Florida Association of REALTORS Education Directors Workshop