Archive for the ‘Technology for Brokers’ 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.


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

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.

Create a Website for Each Client

August 13, 2008
Weave webs of communication

Weave webs of communication

Websites do not require a web developer to make changes anymore.  Google Docs allows you to create websites for FREE!  What type of websites can you create?  Let your mind wander.  Anything you create in Microsoft Office you can upload to a website using Google Docs.  All files must be saved as a 97-2003 document and meet the size requirements for each file type.

Here are 25 types.  Choose one at least:

  1. New listing flyers
  2. Marketing plan
  3. Rent vs. Own spreadsheet
  4. Postcards
  5. Listing presentation
  6. Financing alternatives
  7. Prospecting sheet
  8. Phone duty schedule
  9. Print advertising proof
  10. Buyer rep presentation
  11. Listing agreement
  12. Broker dislcosure form
  13. Seller closing costs
  14. Business cards
  15. Open house flyers
  16. Mortgage accelerator
  17. Staging tips
  18. Relocation guides
  19. Investment presentation
  20. Budget
  21. Letters to clients
  22. Listing reports
  23. Address labels
  24. Closing paperwork
  25. Calendar of marketing activities

Google Maps with Google Docs

August 10, 2008

Create an excel spreadsheet of locations and addresses and build a map in seconds using Google Docs.  It is so simple to quickly identify where physical locations are on a map for your online visitors plus give them a birds eye view to boot.  You will need to have a Google Docs account to set this up.  Upload the spreadsheet or start entering the data on a new spreadsheet.  Insert a Gadget called Google Maps and select the range of data from the excel spreadsheet to populate the addresses of the map.  Publish the map to its own web page or to a blog.

Find locations fast!

Find locations fast!

See below as the example.

Doug Devitre – Social Media Websites

August 8, 2008

Can people find you on Google or other search engines?

What is the cost of not being there?

Do other people appear when visitors type in your name in the search engines?

Create a template from Microsoft Word with all of your personal information.  Next start visiting some of the online social media sites and copy paste the information to each one from the Microsoft Word document.  Hire an assistant to do this for you.  You can now create several sites that link back to your main page.

Can people find you online?

Can people find you online?

Doing this will make you appear at the top of the list when people type in your name in the search engines.

Doug’s Social media sites

Criteria for Selecting Which Online Network to Use

July 30, 2008

Since there are several online social networks to choose from it is important to select the one based on the following:

Demographic profile. Each online social networking has its own demographic of users that range from a variety of ages.  We will see though that as time passes the median will increase since more people will have created a profile and become accustomed to the network.  Here is a blog post that had some good info.

RSS feeds. RSS or Really simple syndication allows you to relay information from one site to another without having to post to individual sites.  Online software such as will help you create an account to set up multiple feeds.  Set up a different feed for your blog posts, other blogs, podcast, and Google calendar items.

Widgets. A widget is an application or software that can be use in one or many other applications, websites, blogs and online communication.  Examples of widgets are:

1.      Allowing the world to communicate by instant messaging from the real estate professional’s website.

2.      Display mortgage interest rates that change by the minute without having to update.

3.      Show new blog posts on your website without changing the website regularly.

Maximum administrative control. There are going to be some content displayed on your social network that you want all of your friends to see, a select few to preview, or the entire world to research your profile.  Online social networking allows the participants to collaborate, share, analyze, and add value by posting news, events, or just by saying hello.  Identify which online social networks allow for controlling how members can add, change, or view information.

Doug Live in Columbia, Missouri

July 25, 2008

to watch this video please turn up the sound

Thank you to Chris Lunn with Chapel Hill Mortgage for sponsoring my debut in Columbia, Missouri.  My program 6 Cost Effective Ways to Build Your Online Brand was a smashing hit.  We had someone in our class, Sean Moore say, “I set up a profile in LinkedIn and didn’t do any networking.  Someone found me and hired me to find him a 350k house and was referred 3 million in sales from him.”  The truth been told we explored other social online networking sites and tools that will save agents thousands of marketing dollars and make more money in less time.  I was asked to put some of the sites on my blog so here they are:


What is LinkedIn

July 23, 2008

Someone told me in my class last week that he created a profile in LinkedIn and inserted basic contact information.  This cost nothing.  Later he received an email and sold that person a $350,000 house.  That individual has since moved up to a 1.2 million dollar property and referred 3 million dollars worth of business.  Not bad for spending 1 hour creating a profile.

LinkedIn a fantastic way to make yourself visible on the web.  Watch this video and stay tuned for more information in future posts.

How Adults Learn to Use Technology Effectively

July 16, 2008
Bloom's Taxonomy

Bloom's Taxonomy

The trouble with teaching technology that I have found we only have a limited time to work with individuals in courses, training programs, and keynote presentations.  The attendees catch quick step by step actions, websites, and tools to implement but what happens when they return to their busy life post class? If we cannot move individuals up the ladder on the Bloom’s Taxonomy pyramid then the information will lead to inaction.  Inaction favors less clients, poorer service, and deceased profits.  Action procures direct results, infinite growth, and positive attitudes.  Let’s see how adults learn specific to real estate technology using Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Knowledge.  When new ideas or technologies become releveant to the real estate industry first must know that they exist.  If we don’t know they are available our ignorance may limit our ability to communicate with others, limit the service we provide, or not have any effect of all.  The cost of not knowing may be greater than we can even perceive.  That is why it is important to take proactive steps to find what is new and has a direct impact on our professional and personal life.  Best way to absorb knowledge are books, audiobooks, trade magazines, and asking questions of thought.

Understanding. You may know that it is important to have a contact management database but until you know why, it means absolutely nothing. Instructors can help students understand new concepts by giving examples on how it relates to their personal experiences.  Also individual or group exercises

Here is where the trouble is in taking action in using technology in the classroom

Application. I have had students that say the information was awesome but because they didn’t have their laptop they could not perform some of the new ideas learned.  This is the challenge.  If we were to have laptops present during exercises we would go as slow as the slowest person in the class.

Analysis. If you can perform functions on your laptop that is great but how can you earn more money.  Examining why you should do something and being able to support it with facts or statistics will help develop a clearer understanding of the concept.  For example if we know what a blog is and know how to set it up we can now put together evidence to support the direct impact is has on our bottom line.

Synthesis. Once we are able to support our knowledge with data we can now apply what we know to more intense applications and practical solutions.  This will help us derive an advanced plan for execution of the basic understanding of the knowledge we possess.  For example, 65% of people search online communities before they choose a vendor we know that we must be able to participate in multiple online social networks.  That means we have to create a LinkedIn profile, Facebook profile, MySpace page, YouTube, etc.  We also may have to add syndication feeds to each profile so people can stay in touch with us on our business activities.

Evaluation. I once heard that the only way you really understand a topic well is when you can teach it to others so that they understand.  This involves explaining the same topic in several different ways, answering questions and become one with the material.  Expertise in subject matter will cause someone to become opinionated based on their own personal beliefs and past experiences.  People have a variety of opinons on the effect that technology has on their own business if they have taken the time to learn to use what they know.

Once the evaluation of the information has taken place then the full cognitive learning process is completed.