Archive for the ‘It is so EASY’ Category

This Blog Has Moved

December 2, 2008

Please visit the link below.

This new blog has more information than the one you are looking at right this moment.  You can find free technology tips, tricks, FREE stuff, see my available seminars, schedule me for your next event, and see the integration of social media in its purest form.

This blog replaces my previous website at also.

See, notice, and feel the difference between hosting a blog at WordPress, or hosting on your own.


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 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.

Create a Looping Presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint

October 9, 2008

These are the directions for creating a looping PowerPoint presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint 2007.

Real Estate professionals can uses these to:

  1. Play at an open house with from their laptop and projector playing on a large clear wall
  2. Display at offices on flat screen televisions when people walk into the door

Instructors can use this to:

  1. Show motivational quotes prior to a class, workshop, seminar or convention
  2. Set a timer prior to class to let students know when to come back to class.

If you are using 2003 then the same directions apply but are found in different places.

Below you will see the picture of the screen that corresponds with the steps listed below each picture.  If you cannot see the picture clearly then click on the  picture for a larger view.

Animations tab

Animations tab

1.       Animations tab

2.       Check box automatically after __ seconds

3.       Apply to all

Set up slide show

Set up slide show

4.    Slideshow tab

5.    Set up slide show

Loop continuously until Esc

Loop continuously until Esc

6.    Check box loop continuously until Esc

7.    OK

8.    F5

FREE Teleseminars by Doug Devitre

September 29, 2008


Every Monday morning at 8 a.m.
unless otherwise noted in schedule

FREE advice from real estate technology guru Doug Devitre

Conference Dial-in Number: (218) 339-4600
Participant Access Code: 205756#

See schedule of future teleseminars

Give feedback from previous teleseminars

111 Ways to Save Time and Money Using Google Docs

September 27, 2008

At the Missouri Association of REALTORS Business conference this month I had the priviledge to share all of the new ways you can use Google Docs for agents, brokers, REALTOR Associations, and instructors in 50 minutes.  How do you think I shared 111 in 50 minutes?  I explain the benefits, how to create the documents and then opened up the floor to see what documents they could create, edit, and share online.  I knew we couldn’t get all of them covered so I came up with my own 111 ways to share with the group when they were stuck.  Would you know that they had some similar ideas but had some gems that I want to share with you on the PowerPoint presentation listed below.

If you have some more ways please share them with everyone by making comments

Transparency of Association Leadership

September 21, 2008

People will do business with you if they know you, like you, and TRUST you.

People will join, participate, and share their hearts, ideas and minds if they know you, like you, and TRUST you.

People will give all that they can if they…..

Where are the new leaders?

Where are the new leaders?

What is stopping new members from actively participating in the bureaucracy of leadership, in my opinion, is the lack of transparency of how the association makes decisions and communicates those decisions with their members.  Generation Y is a very giving, sharing, and community based demographic but are they not giving more??  I think it is because they are not involved in the process or cannot see what is happening behind the scenes.

Here are some ways to improve the transparency:

RSS.  Associations make decisions often and members need should be informed IMMEDIATELY.  This does not mean send out an email blast.  It means adding RSS feeds for status updates, calendar appointments, and changes in practice.  This can be done using a blogging or online social networking platform.

Google Docs.  Decisions, minutes, bylaws, and committees communicate regularly by email are working harder than they have to.  Committee members can be allowed to share and edit documents in real time and make decisions how they can be posted to the web for FREE.  In addition the revision history and RSS feed for documents can

Podcasting.  Set up a free teleconferencing service with and interview a person of influence.  Take the MP3 recording and edit using and upload the file to  Total cost $10/month for unlimited plus $10/year for the domain name.

Social media.  I see more associations using this as a way of positioning themselves online.  How do you make it better?  Discuss hot topics that answer frequently asked questions.  Include RSS feeds from your blogs, podcasts, and status updates.  Set this up once and like Ron Popeil would say, “Set it and forget it”.

New and existing members will appreciate innovative ways of communicating with them.  The only cost is time and time is money.

Time saved:

Once a blog entry has been posted it releases to all of the online social media.  Total time 20 minutes.  No extra steps.

Once a Google document has been edited it releases to all those who have access to the feed.  Total time 0 minutes.  No extra steps.

Once the podcast date has been determined you have to record, edit, and release to the feed.  Total time 30 minutes.  No extra steps.

Once the social networking account has been set up and RSS feeds in place there is not much else to do.  Total time to set up RSS feed 5 minutes.  No extra steps.

Has your association staff been retrained to accommodate this new form of social media?

Publishing to Your Blog Using Google Docs

September 7, 2008

This is amazing. Anyone who has set up a Google Docs account and a WordPress blog can now post their content directly from their documents created in Google Docs. If you are the sole author, great! If you have people who will collaborate on the document, great! Anytime the document is created to in Google Docs it can appear right on your blog without having to log in to your blog administrator and copy/paste the text into your blog to publish.

Let’s take a look at some practical examples:

  1. A marketing assistant starts typing in their listings into a Google Docs document that he/she wants to appear on their blog. The assistant also invites the team leader to collaborate on the document just in case the team leader wants to make any last minute changes. Once the final changes have been approved the marketing assistant can now press one button and the document will not appear on their blog that includes, pictures, links, property information.
  2. A broker is looking at working with their agents on receiving testimonials on why their company is the best to work for. The broker starts out the templated document on Google Docs with company information, etc. and invites all of their agents to collaborate on why their broker is the best to work for in town. The broker or admin, can take the testimonial document from Google Docs and post it directly to the blog. One email is sent to the agents to collaborate. That is all.
  3. A REALTOR association is looking to set up a meeting agenda for their education committee next month. The Education Director starts out a quick few lines about past discussions in a Google Docs Document. Each committee member receives an email from the Education Director to collaborate on the agenda so that all of the hot topics and new items are discussed in the meeting. If any new items appear on the agenda the Education Director or committee chair can decide on the order or which topics to focus on. The agenda is set. Since the association posts all agendas to their blog every member can see the direction that the association is leading them to further develop member benefits.

How to Add a Video into a Live Power Point Presentation

September 6, 2008

There are many reasons why you would want to add a video into a PowerPoint presentation.

  1. Adds excitement.  Sound, animation, and videography captures the attention of people immediately.  Videos can show emotions of multiple people interacting in a way most speakers cannot describe just from their voice.
  2. Explains complex subjects.  Demonstration how to videos found on explain new terms and processes better than most can describe live.  An articulate voice describes uncommon terms in a way that makes sense while animating pictures with their hands.  This clear, concise, and jovial voice is exact each and every time.  This also allows the speaker to view audience members to see who is having more trouble understanding complex subject matter.
  3. Give speaker a break.  A pause in the action can allow the speaker to get a drink of water, recollect thoughts, and organize materials for the next learning objective.  Also, the tone, speed, and differentiation in volume can refocus the attention of your audience.
  4. Live examples.  Sometimes it may be difficult to clearly articulate a case study because some people cannot envision the people involved in the example.  Videos allow your group to see, hear, and watch the entire situation happpen.

Here is how you add a video into a PowerPoint Presentation:

  1. Select the video.  Make sure the video is in the appropriate file format and length that video will play back in a good quality.  Acceptable file format for Microsoft PowerPoint is .avi, .mpeg, .wmv.  The higher the quality of the video the larger the file size.  The lower the quality of the video the smaller the file size.  When a video is inserted to a PowerPoint it may also increase the size of the PowerPoint presentation depending how the video is inserted (see step 2).  I recommend saving all videos in folder called My Videos located in My Documents.  This way you can find them when you need them quickly.
  2. Microsoft PowerPoint.  You can insert video into Microsoft PowerPoint Presentations two different ways.  First, you can insert a hyperlink (CTRL-K) from either text or a picture that when clicked will open up the video in the default video player establilshed on your computer.  This requires that you move back to the computer to click on the link and close down the video player when the video is finished.  Second, you can insert the video directly into the PowerPoint presentation as an animation effect (see step 4).  This will then play the video when the wireless presenter remote is clicked on the screen in a section or in full screen mode.  Once the video has finished playing the video can disappear and move on to the next animation effect in the PowerPoint Presentation.
  3. Animation effect.  If the video is inserted directly into the PowerPoint presentation then it is automatically considered an animation effect.  All animation effects can be edited from the aminations tab and selecting custom animation.  Once custom animation has been selected a window will appear on the right hand side of the screen with the video marked with the standard play button.  All animation effects can be controlled by the wireless presenter remote, playing while other animations are happening, or after animations that have taken place.  Also, enhanced features will determine how the video appears and how long it will last.
  4. Enhanced video features.  Most presenters will want to have the video zoomed to full screen and played by the click of the wireless remote.  This saves time finding the video, travelling to the computer to play, and the class patience waiting for you to get the video started.  On the animations window, right click on the video file and choose effect options.  There will be three tabs that control the movie animation.  The third tab you will want to check the box that says “Zoom to Full Screen”.  On the second tab called timing you will want to select the box that says triggers and then animate as part of click sequence. 

Once you have followed these steps then you will be able to add excitement to your presentations, explain complex subjects, give yourself a break and show live examples of the idea you are trying to communicate.

You may make some mistakes as you learn but that is all part of the process.  Teach it to someone else.  That is really the best way we learn.

Should Brokers Have Control Over Online Social Networking

August 28, 2008
This is a tough one

This is a tough one

An online social profile is a very, intimate piece of marketing, advertising, and communication.  It allows the person to express who they really are so that they can associate with other like-minded people.  The agent has the ability to control who sees what part of their profile, who they associate with, and the comments that are made back and forth with each person.  Since the supervising broker is responsible for the actions of their agents should brokers have control over the profiles of online social networks?

Here are my questions:

1.      Does a broker have the ability to control what happens on an agent’s profile?

2.      Can a broker be liable for the actions that take place on their agents’ profile?

3.      Does the broker reserve the right to terminate an agent solely based on their personal profile?

4.      Should brokers require their agents to join their network, be friends, or participate in the same group?

5.      Can a broker reprimand an agent who recommends another agent or broker (competitor) in the same market?

6.      Should agents keep their online social profiles separate from personal and business?

There are no rules that have been established yet in this game.  Brokers will need to re-examine their policies and procedures to ensure that their agents are abiding by Fair Housing, Code of Ethics and state license laws on a regular basis.

Where does it end?

It won’t.  Free applications, widgets, websites, blogs and profiles will continue to flood the internet making it virtually possible for brokers to keep track of every single agent and their actions on the web.  The best way I can think of is to create Google Alerts for every one of their agents.  There may be others so please make a comment based on what trends you may see.