Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ 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.


Effective Email Marketing for Real Estate Professionals

October 27, 2008

Listen to Doug explain:
1. The difference between email marketing and effective email marketing
2. How to send personal emails using Microsoft Outlook and Word together
3. Email marketing software to track online behavior
4. How to upload lists
5. How to create hyperlinks

This session was recorded on live streaming web broadcast at http://www.DougDevitre.TV

Are You Transactional or Transformational?

October 26, 2008

Completed transactions are a sign that the task has been completed but did it make an impact in the peoples’ lives we are trying so hard to serve? Earning a paycheck means a client has found the services we provide worthy enough to deserve compensation and completing the due diligence to serve their interests whereas future paychecks result from servicing existing clients, going beyond what is necessary, marketing new information, and keeping in touch on a regular basis.  Every home owner moves approximately 5-7 years.  This means if a 30 year old couple lived to be 80 then they could move around 7-10 times.  If we took the median at 8 times multiplied by an estimated $3,000 per transaction it could mean up to $24,000 income if they didn’t move up in sales price.  Each person served and the potential referrals from these clients make every single one extremely important now and in years to come.

There seems to be a higher purpose than waiting for people to say

Are you transactional or transformational?

If you are transactional then…

  • No relationship is necessary
  • Get the job done as quick as possible
  • Don’t get to know the people
  • Lose potential referrals

If you are transformational then…

  • People remember your name, your face, and your company
  • People recommend you to their friends, family, and co-workers
  • You feel good about yourself and your job

The status between transactional and transformation exists in yourself.  You have to be willing to put the client’s needs above yourself.  You have to be willing to accept people who are indifferent to you, your company, and profession.  As the past president Calvin Coolidge says, “No person was ever  honored for what he received.  Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”  Give all that you can in as many ways as possible.  Share your expertise in a blog, email newsletter, social media, and in person.  You will can make your life and the life of others transformational only if you give and continue to give as much as you possibly can.

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. 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 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. 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. 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 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. 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 to find the best rate. I then receive an email from from the airline and I forward to, I make the reservation (a non NAR registered) hotel and forward the itinerary to 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.


RSS Simplified

October 20, 2008

Here is what was covered:
1. What is RSS
2. Being a reader vs. publisher of information
3. Send information by email
4. Send information to a RSS reader
5. RSS in blogs, podcasts, social media, google calendar.
6. Marketing your RSS feed

Every Monday morning at 8 a.m CST sharp.
FREE advice from real estate technology guru Doug Devitre

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

Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile to Make More Money

October 14, 2008

Do you heard about LinkedIn, have a profile but don’t know how to make money using this form of online social networking?

In this teleseminar we will discuss:

1. Create the perfect LinkedIn profile
2. Add people to your network
3. Receive recommendations
4. Use RSS to track your connections

111 Ways to Use Google Docs to Save Money and Time

October 7, 2008

This is a section of my 3 hour class that shows agents, brokers, and educators how to save money and time using a FREE program called Google Docs. Look for a post on my blog that includes a PowerPoint presentation for this topic too.

Conference Tree Killers

September 9, 2008

Every time I attend a conference, meeting, or class I am surprised at how much paper is wasted.

Recycle Bin

Are we so afraid that if we don’t print it out then people won’t read it and take action?  Please…  If the information was so great then we would be talking about it rather than stacking it in the corner of our desk for the next opportunity for us to consider throwing it away.

Does that make sense that someone recycles at home but prints a monster stack of paper in which half will be disposed of anyways without being read?  It’s like me going to McDonalds and ordering a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, extra large fries, and a large diet coke.  Do you think I am doing my body that much more justice by ordering the diet coke?

Let’s take a closer look at the wastes that happen at conferences:

  1. The binder. Some conferences give you the big fat bible of information, course handouts, and advertisements that give people the opportunity to see everything about everything.  I have seen the binder take as much as 300 pages of which only 10% is actually is implemented from the classes or break out sessions.  The 90% represents what we didn’t have time to see live or advertisements about some product or service that we will not use.
  2. The flyers. Extra paper shows duplicate information that is already covered in the binder but printed separately to promote the hot topics or higgest bidder.

Here are my solutions:

PDF Download. Give every attendee a link to a downloadable PDF document once they have registered online.  This link can be set up in an auto-responder message which contains all conference handouts, brochures, and other relevant information.  Spread the advertisements throughout the PDF document to keep advertisers happier.  This will save money printing paper, conference staff time sorting paper, and still be able to sell advertisements to sponsors.

SD Card. Outsource a 3rd party to take the PDF download and all other conference brochures and handouts and save them to a SD Card or memory stick for people to be able to download onto their laptop or PDA telephone. Cost $10/a piece.

Conference Resell Package. Video every single presentation, meeting, or break out session.  Separate the audio file from the video file using audio editing software.  Hire a 3rd party to transcribe the audio into a typed format which can be saved as a PDF document.  Now you can sell the video, audio, and written transcription of every single event as a extra revenue source.

Stop printing, start linking

Give chips not paper clips

Go digital, not traditional

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.

Why do Brokers SPAM Their Agents?

August 30, 2008

The cheapest form of communication for brokers to release information to their agents is email.  Sure, you can call every agent.  Sure, you can leave voice messages.  Sure you can post it on the office bulletin board.  Faster, cheaper, and reliable is why brokers will rely on email as the single most effective source to communicate with their agents.

But how reliable?

I mean what is the conversion rate of the emails that are sent to your agents?

How many agents open their emails?

How many agents click on the links in the emails?

How many times are the attachments opened?

The answer to this question is most don’t know because they don’t know how.  Tracking online behavior of agents in the office is just as important as the tracking the customers that you are trying to serve.

Here is my solution to this dilemma.


Really Simple Syndication (RSS)will allow agents to choose what types of information they want to subscribe to that is important for the success of the office.  A blog or enhanced email marketing software will allow brokers to add content about important notices, status changes, and market updates will help keep their agents in the loop without flooding their agents’ inbox with unsolicited mail.

Types of RSS feeds Brokers Can Use

Open houses for offices

New listings

Broker tour of properties

Policy changes

Advertising samples

Schedules, events, or meetings

The listserv and distribution lists are not working.  How will brokers face the dilemma of remaining relevant in email inboxes?