Archive for the ‘Technology Tools’ Category

This Blog Has Moved

December 2, 2008

Please visit the link below.

http://dougdevitredelivers.com/

http://dougdevitredelivers.com/

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 http://www.ReTechTraining.com 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 http://www.iContact.com or http://www.SurveyMonkey.com 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.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?key=p5g3XfKPKBcTtMzm27LUyZw&hl=en

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

http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=p5g3XfKPKBcTtMzm27LUyZw&hl=en

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.

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 http://www.YouTube.com 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 www.HipCast.com which automatically inserts the audio file into my blog with two clicks.

PowerPoint. Create an account at www.SlideShare.com 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 http://Docs.Google.com 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

Market Yourself for FREE – TV Show

November 1, 2008

I have been researching new ways to market yourself and real estate business for FREE and now I have the perfect solution on how to deliver this education. Welcome to www.DougDevitre.TV. We will be hosting live discussions, classes, and how to demonstrations in both synchronous and asynchronous learning environments.

Tune into the show at pre-set times and interact with me live using the instant messenger. Ask questions for more explanation about advance technology applications or clarification on complex subject matter.

If you miss a show then do not worry. These live sessions will be recorded to play back anytime, anywhere. All you need is a high speed internet connection and visit www.DougDevitre.TV.

We had a great show last week.  There were more than 42 viewers at one time and the feedback was awesome.  Click on the video below to see the live broadcast and the link below the video to see the interactive chat messages.  Stay tuned for future shows.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Market Yourself for FREE“, posted with vodpod
Click here for chat transcript

Ten Technology Tips for Real Estate Travel

October 24, 2008

Whether you are traveling to another city for real estate investing, speculation, booking speakers, attending conferences/workshops, or just to get away there are several technology tips that will save you money and time.

Save yourself time

Save yourself time

  1. http://www.Kayak.com. This site offers the quickest compare for hotels, flights, and rental cars. It has several ways to search by your preferences. There are also links to search hotwire, priceline, expedia, travelocity, and airfare.com in a new browser. The list view, matrix view, and chart view give alternative ways to see pricing and airline selection. The chart view shows the cheapest day to fly out if your schedule is flexible.
  2. http://www.EverNote.com. If you have ever had a good idea and could never write it down, or you saw something that you wanted to take a picture of and be able to save it online EverNote is your solution. This website allows you to take pictures from your cell phone and email to yourself which will store the picture and store online for future retrieval. Examples of pictures would include a snapshot of a business card, picture of a house, picture of a marketing idea or a picture of happy customers. EverNote gives you your own email address that automatically uploads. Save this email address in your contact record in Outlook or own contact management software.
  3. http://TripIt.com. Sometimes arranging all of your travel itineraries can be troublesome because you have multiple reservations for airlines, hotels, and rental cars. Many steps are needed to print each document, share itineraries with others, or locating the emails from each service provider. TripIt is the all in one solution that lets you email your flight, hotel, and rental car reservation all to TripIt which produces one itinerary for you. You can then access the schedule of events online and invite others to share your reservation confirmations. The mobile version is m.tripit.com which allows you to access everything from your PDA telephone.
  4. Ship your luggage. Airlines are now charging up to $25 for every checked piece of luggage each way which will add $50 to your round trip ticket. Send your luggage by UPS or USPS instead using their ground delivery service to your hotel or point of destination. This could save you the trouble of carrying your bags and the difference between what the airlines charge and the mail carrier. Make sure that add the tracking and insurance if you have valuable items.
  5. Text notifications. Almost every airline now can send you a text message prior to the flight to give you the current status. The message will look like, “Flight #5050 to St. Louis International (STL) departing on time 1:45pm (CST). This could save you the trouble from taking an unnecessary trip to the airport if your flight was in fact delayed.
  6. Print your boarding pass. I love the airlines that let me print my boarding pass from my computer so I don’t have to wait in line. I am very impatient when it comes to waiting in unnecessary and try to avoid them at all costs. Do this and save yourself at least 15-30 minutes at the check in.
  7. Register for reward programs. If you spend money on any sort of travel register for their rewards programs. This includes air, hotel, and rental car. The payback from these services can be huge if you travel frequently and maximize the opportunity. If you take four trips a year for a few days at a time, the point can add up quickly. More importantly just by signing up allows you to receive free upgrades, newspapers, bigger cars, and exceptions to the rule.
  8. http://www.FlightAware.com. This website tracks more than 5,000 airplanes and 45,000 flights daily. This site caters to pilots, air traffic control, and business professional who want immediate information on what flights are on time, being cancelled, and airline safety.
  9. Google Maps. If you use your PDA telephone and have installed the Google Map program then you can never get lost. I can’t tell you how many times that I have typed in the address in my phone and showed the cab driver how to get to my final destination. It’s easy, Type in the address and type search.
  10. Text message to Google. Almost every phone has text messaging (SMS) today. Send a text message to 46645 and type in weather + zip code (weather 63141) and you will receive a text message back in minutes with the weather. Google SMS will let you search weather, sport scores, track stocks, flight statuses, and find local businesses i.e. restaurants, starbucks, and hotels.

Here is the perfect example. I want to take a trip to Orlando, Florida for the National Association of REALTORS convention from November 4-10th. I book my flight using http://www.Kayak.com to find the best rate. I then receive an email from from the airline and I forward to tripit.com, I make the reservation (a non NAR registered) hotel and forward the itinerary to tripit.com. I rent a car to and forward that reservation too. Each reservation gives me an upgrade because I am a valued rewards member. Before I leave I go to the post office to ship some clothes that I don’t want to check in for my luggage. A few minutes before the flight departs I receive a text message from the airline that the flight is on time. Just to be sure I text message 46645 (Google without the E) and enter aa5050 and it tells me the flight status too. I don’t wait in line when I arrive at the airport because I printed out my boarding pass from the email confirmation I received. I don’t have to check any bags because I shipped them already. When I get to the airport I go straight to the taxi and give him the hotel address and ask him to take me there. If he/she does not know where that it is I open my Google Maps application on my phone and enter in the address. I show them the phone and they get me there. While I’m in the taxi I see a yard sign that has been ripped in half and I take a picture of the sign with my camera phone and then email to EverNote for future reference. I then get to my computer and make a marketing flyer that says, “We will survive this market. List with us.”

I hope to see you in Orlando, Florida for the National Association of REALTORS Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida. I will be speaking three times during closed sessions but willing to share those presentations with you. All you have to do is ask.

Doug

How to Send Out Videos by Email Marketing

October 15, 2008

What is the easiest and cheapest way to send out email videos in bulk/large quantities?

Send video by email over the web

Send video by email over the web

Answer

Videos can be sent two different ways. Email the link to the website that contains the video or email the video as an attachment. Because videos typically have a large file size it is recommended that you create a hyperlink to the website that contains the video. In order for a website to be able to play a video, it requires video hosting from the web site provider or from another 3rd party that allows you to embed the video into the website.

Website providers will typically host videos or outsource to another 3rd party to be able to post the video for future playback. This requires you to contact the website provider, email or upload the video to their secure server. If you choose to upload your files to a 3rd party they can give you the HTML source embed code that you can copy and paste into your website design editor. 3rd party video hosting companies may charge on a monthly basis plus the cost of bandwidth (the number of times the video is viewed). An example of a 3rd party video host is www.ScreenCast.com.

More real estate professionals, broker, associations and instructors with a limited budget are using YouTube because it is FREE. With YouTube you can create your own association TV channel, upload videos to YouTube and create personalized video players for a category of videos to be displayed within your website for FREE.

Download this link  Create a YouTube Player for Website

Please share some other sites that you have found useful for sharing videos over the web or by email by leaving a comment below.

Creative Communication Beyond the Classroom

October 10, 2008

Most adults are in tune with learning behind closed doors because that is what they are used to doing.  Why not?  It is the same old fashioned way.  Nothing wrong with taking classes live but there are additional costs that include both time and money.  Time costs include preparation, driving, and managing the facility of operations.  Money costs include paper, ink, additional staff, facility rental.  If we could eliminate these costs and took education outside the classroom would learning take place at the same level.  According to a study by the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials I learned what is known as the “No Significance Difference Phenomenon”, which claims that there is no difference between learning that takes place in a classroom vs. distance learning.  As long as the institution is able to incorporate multiple learning strategies and engage the learner, then retention would be at the same or higher level than traditional live synchronous learning.

This so easy

This so easy

Here are some examples of types of delivery devices that are available which cost considerably less money, time, and resources than traditional education.

Webinars – This synchronous learning environment allows me to pretest the students, verify knowledge using formative questions during the class, and record both video and audio of the entire presentation into a streaming or download file. The webinars using WebEx have breakout sessions that you can assign people to work on collaborative projects too.

Advantages: real time instruction, audio, visual, and printable documents can be transmitted live

Disadvantages: most people have not had experience taking webinars. Additional steps are required to ensure learner understands how to use system.

Teleseminars – I am using http://www.FreeConferenceCall.com to record my audio presentations which I can receive a mp3 download. I use http://Audacity.SourceForge.Net to edit the mp3 file and now using http://www.HipCast.com to upload the audio files to an RSS feed so that iTunes will pick it up and people can download to their iPods.

Advantages: Modality. People can download the file from iTunes to their iPod or MP3 player and listen anywhere anytime. People also get questions answered from a live human being on during the call. Each call is archived.

Disadvantages: Visual and kinesthetic learners have a tougher time with this format. They want to see or experience the program. If they cannot see or do during the call or archive it becomes a challenge for them.

Video Tutorials for CD or streaming live – I am using Camtasia to record audio plus video of live demonstrations, PowerPoint, and how to review my document. A service called http://www.ScreenCast.com will allow you to upload the videos to embed into presentation without going the YouTube route.

Advantages: Audio, Visual obviously benefit but the kinsthethic learner can now stop the video, practice what they have learned, and then move forward with the rest of the program.

Disadvantages: Some still need a live person to at least motivate them to do it. Overcoming the fear of pressing the wrong button will hinder learning and performance. This form takes a proactive learner to meet the learning objectives.

FREE Teleseminars by Doug Devitre

September 29, 2008

TECHNOLOGY TIPS FAST!

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

Reasons Why LinkedIn Groups Don’t Work

September 23, 2008

Anyone can create a group on LinkedIn or another online social network and attach a logo, description but that is the easy part.  Adding members, encouraging discussions, and monitoring messages can be more work than originally perceived.

Why don't they work?

Why don't LinkedIn Groups work?

Here are the reasons why LinkedIn Groups Don’t Work:

Self promotion. Group administrators must supervise discussions so that members do not monopolize discussions by offering their services as the main message unless that is the goal of the group.  This is no different that people going to a live networking event and the first thing they say is BUY from me now.  Discussion messages should mainly focus on analyzing hot topics, concerns or industry trends.

No promotion. Creating a group is not enough.  Consistent marketing and communication to existing organizations is mandatory for members to join the online group and participate.  Group administrators should encourage their members orally, link in email signature, advertise on website, blog, and other online social networking profiles.

No discussion. If nobody posts discussion questions or messages then the group just becomes a database.  People that share similar interests and expertise can fine tune their knowledgebase by asking questions and receiving answers.  Most discussions involve opinions which is great to see another viewpoint.

No members. There is such thing as a one person group but it is hard to communicate with just yourself.