Amy’s App of the Week

My favorite app this week is called Lightrac for  Iphones ($4.99) or Droids (2.99). It is marketed for the outdoor photographer to track the sunlight for the optimum daylight times to shoot.  This is great for real estate professionals that shoot their own listing photos as well as an App they can tell their professional photographers about.  When I am showing houses to a client and they ask me where will the hot Texas sun hit, then I tell them to download the Lightrac app.” One recent buyer client I shared this app with him and his wife when they asked this question.  Let’s face it, I am not a Girl Scout, so as they say….”There is an App for that”. My clients were impressed & used the app the next time we went to look at homes.

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Dropbox 101- Step 1 in setting up your Cloud biz

Learn how to use Dropbox.com to become efficient in your business. I have a lot of people ask me how to use their Ipad, but one of the most fundamental things to learn is how to get information from your laptop to your Ipad.  First thing to remember is your laptop is going to use either programs or the web to operate in your  daily real estate practice. The Ipad is going to use a specially designed program called an (application or App for short) or use Safari (which is how you access the web-much like you clicking on the litttle blue E for Internet Explorer).  Just an FYI, even though an Ipad has an App for a program, it normally won’t look like the program on your laptop. So how to I can a file off my laptop so I can see it on my Ipad?  The answer is easy-use Dropbox.

What is Dropbox? Dropbox.com is a “cloud based file system”. By putting your files in the “cloud” meaning it sits on a remote server (not just on your laptop) allowing you access to retrieve the file from various devices.  It’s a great way to have your briefcase of files all digital – leave that paperwork behind. Let’s get started:

1. From your laptop/PC- go to dropbox.com and sign up for an account. I would recommend doing the free one to start with until you see how much you will use it.  Save your password in whatever password program you are using like, SplashID.

2. Install Dropbox to your desktop from dropbox.com. When completed installing, go to your desktop on your laptop and look for the Dropbox icon.

3. From your Iphone/Droid and Ipad, download the Dropbox app from the App store.  The log in information here will be the same as the login information you created on dropbox.com on your laptop/PC.

4. Let’s start to put files into your Dropbox on your laptop. You have 3 options to do this, depending on your needs. Pick the one that works best for you.

  •  Option 1- Go to Dropbox.com, sign into your account. Then hit the upload button, find the file on your computer, click start upload. When it is done uploading, it will be in the Dropbox  “cloud”. You can create folders and share folders as well, which I will discuss in another post.
  • Option 2 – Let’s say you are typing up something in Word or you have a .pdf that you need to access from your Ipad later. With that document open, click on File, Save, then click Desktop, Click MyDropbox (sometimes MyDropbox is saved under My Documents depending on how you downloaded it to your laptop) and then click Save.
  • Option 3 – Find the file on your laptop you want in the Dropbox.  So either right click on it to copy, click on MyDropbox on your laptop, and right click & paste.  Or you can simply drag the file over to the Dropbox icon.  Doing this will remove the file off your laptop and it will only be in Dropbox.  You choose what is right.

Now your files are sitting in the Dropbox “cloud”, but how do I see them? Now go to your Ipad, Iphone or Droid and open the Dropbox app. Once you login, you will see the files come in.  If you put a big file in the Dropbox, be aware that sometimes it takes a bit to show up in the Dropbox app.  Quick Amy tip….Before leaving your office, double check to make sure the files are truly in your Dropbox!!! If not, then when you are out in the fiel & need the file, you will need to use another program to remotely access your computer.  (Coming soon in another post to you!)

This is the just the pure basics.  In Dropbox 201, I will give you other suggestions on how to use it to be more efficient in your real estate biz.

Happy Dropboxing!

 

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Do you want on Facebook Timeline??

So what is Timeline? It is Facebook new digital “scrapbook” of your posts on a timeline- Facebook Timeline

Amy tip on this – Follow the steps in the link below-

 

http://blazomania.com/2011/09/22/how-to-install-timeline-in-your-facebook-profile-tutorial/

I don’t want everyone seeing what I put on Facebook

This is a common complaint I hear from fellow friends and real estate agents. I always say, “Remember, you are in charge of what you post!” So here are simple step by step instructions straight from Facebook Help Center! Amy tip- Always remember your audience!

When I share something, how do I choose who can see it?

Before you post, look at the audience selector. Use the dropdown menu to choose who you want to share a post with.

Public (Maximum audience for adults)

Friends of Friends (Maximum audience for minors)

Friends (+ friends of anyone tagged)

Custom (Includes specific groups, friend lists or people you’ve specified to include or exclude)

You’ll see this tool wherever you share content, whether it’s a status update or information on your profile (timeline).

The tool remembers the audience you shared with the last time you posted something and uses the same audience when you share again unless you change it. For example, if you choose Public for a post, your next post will also be Public unless you change this audience when you post.

If you want to change who you’re sharing with, open the dropdown menu and choose a different audience. Remember: anyone you tag in a post, along with their friends, may see the post.

To make it clear who you’re sharing with at all times, the audience you select appears along with whatever you are saying, every time you share. You can also use the audience selector to change who you are sharing with after you post something.

Accessing HAR.com MLS on your Ipad

As a Real Estate agent out in the field, I need access to my MLS. I was frustrated that their were no good solutions for me using my Ipad- but Ta-Da- here it is!!!

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Alaska Presentation -Marketing on a Shoe String Budget

Marketing on a budget for alaska association
View more presentations from Amy Smythe-Harris

Speaking in Alaska-Marketing on a Shoe String Budget

amy speaking at VBR in Alaska april 2011 number 2

amy speaking at VBR in Alaska april 2011

Social Media Overwhelmed!!!!!

Ok, so I admit it! I teach Social Media to REALTORS and how to time manage. I give them tips, tricks,etc and I see the “Deer in the Headlights” look staring back at me….  When I ask them later what they thought….”OVERWHELMED” is a resonating comment! “Where do I begin?”, they say. I answer back, “Just take one bite at a time, swallow, savor and then take another bite!” Don’t try to do all of it at once! 

I am a FRAUD!!! I am sitting here starting to implement my 2011 marketing plan which is to take the time to learn WordPress and plug-ins. Plus I want to make my blog a habit for me!  But instead, I am googling what I need to put on my site and the how-to’s. Now, I feel that bile rising up in my throat, head throbbing, eyes-crossed panic feeling! My pulse is rising because I am just as OVERWHELMED as those agents that are just starting to use Social Media. I am not even listening to my own advice I give out!!!

 I’ve been scared of it because of my own stupidity. I am not a Jeff Turner, Gahlord Dewald, Todd Carpenter, Dale Chumbley, Brian Copeland, Nicole Nicolay or my other numerous Social Media friends that have stratosphere IQ’s. (I know they are getting a good chuckle out of this) I don’t know how to write code…. My niche in Social Media is not in the development of it, but of taking products already out there and implementing them to use in my Social Media plan.  Using their stuff and putting my own marketing spin on it~I relate that to agents that all the time & they love it.

I am getting quite a bit of  business leads through Social Media, but I know I need to step it up a notch. Hence taking the time to finally start to learn WordPress!

I know in our business that knocking on doors or calling on FSBO’s was not in my comfort zone of getting leads.  But it works, just not for everyone. The same thing can apply to Social Media….one area of Social Media may feel more comfortable to you! But I am going to step out of my comfort zone, over come my own self-induced paralyis & ignorance, and learn this darn thing!!!

So my FB friends or my Tweeps out there now you know my goal! Be forwarned, I may need to tweet or post out my frustration as I learn!

Happy Social Media Posting to you all!

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Why I like Twitter for my Real Estate Business

Twitter is a great tool for me in my Real Estate business because unlike Facebook, I can search to see what people are talking about.  Twitter lets me search to see if someone is looking for a home in your area, what’s going on in Politics or at your local board  Association, as well as for National Association of REALTORS® Midyear and National Conventions.  I can build my online relationships in 140 characters or less.  Through the use of Twitter, I have sent out referrals to agents in Arizona, found Virtual Assistants that I have been interviewing, and found my graphic artist that has redesigned my brand for me @ryanzundell.  

I can tweet asking for help with Real Estate or technology and I get quick responses. No other avenue besides Facebook have I been able to in my 16 years in the business been able to get information this quickly and efficiently.

Great RE people to follow on Twitter- @mayareguru, @therealclint, @respres, @utahrepro,@tcar. When I want to look for information I can search by using # (hashtags). Since I will be heading to DC next week for National Association of Realtors Mid Year meeting, I have been watching all the tweets of what’s going on or who’s going by watching the #midyear.  NAR convention has it’s own hashtag for their convention in November 2010 in New Orleans that people are already tweeting about- #nardigras!. Your local Association can use hashtags for any events they are doing. One that I watch for Houston Association of REALTORS is #hartrepac.

Follow me on @amyoutloud and I look forward to your tweets!!

Top 10 Facebook Tips

1. Be genuine– Just be you….whatever that “you” is!! Sarcastic, witty, dry, drama-filled, quirky,silly … I want to know that when I meet you IRL, that you are the same person.

2. Don’t sell your business until I know you– the beautiful idea behind Facebook is to create an unlimited network of people. (up to 5000 friends on a profile page) Now, keep in mind, it is about getting to know people…Not touting about what you sell. Life today is more about relationship selling, so give me a chance to get to know you and if I’m interested in your business, then I know how to find you! 🙂

3. Know how people can find you on Facebook- An idea to build your friends on FB is to start asking people you meet, “Are you on Facebook?”  You will be suprised about how many people are on the site. I ask them to find me on Facebook and give them my vanity name- http://www.facebook.com/amysmytheharris . I use to always hand out my business card when meeting someone for the first time…it was the way you did things in real estate industry.  Now, I only pass them out if they want to remember my name to add me on FB. It has been a great way for me to build my Sphere of Influence.  A quick tip-if you have a common name, you may want to have a nickname next to it so it will make you easier to find on Facebook. Example, Jim Cronin with http://realestatetomato.com/ told me to find him by looking for his nickname(tomato) next to Jim Cronin when I was searching for him.

4. Don’t update your status too often– Most people I know do not like a blow-by-blow account of your day…Don’t post too much on other’s peoples walls or in groups…Guy Kawaski got kicked off Facebook for this. See 13 ways to get kicked off Facebook.  http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=26991062444&topic=5553

5. Remember people’s birthdays– My friend, Lorene Perrin, an El Paso Realtor® http://www.prudentialbkb.com/agent/lorene-perrin or http://www.facebook.com/LORENE.PERRIN reminds us that Facebook is about connecting with people. The best way to remember is to wish them Happy Birthday! Use the Birthday Calendar app to grab their birthdays. If you have an Iphone, you can download Birthday Calendar app so you have one quick easy way to see the birthdays of your FB friends.  You can say “Happy Birthday” to their wall or use the Birthday card app or use tokbox.com for a video message to them.

6. Be positive- Don’t say anything that you would not want your Grandmother to see. If you post negative comments on someone’s wall, be prepared for the backlash. Many a times I have had my friends text me about the person that post negative comment on my wall to see how good a friend I was with that person or could they something back. Remember, it is hard to get your point across through words, so double check how it could be interpreted. When in doubt, put a 🙂 with it!

7. Pay attention to your privacy settings– How private do you want to be it totally up to the individual person. To set your privacy settings in FB, go to the top right hand side where the heading is blue. Click on Settings, Privacy. Under the Profile Information look at who can comment on your wall, who can see photos, who can see personal information. Once you have selected, click on the right hand side to Preview. This way you will know what an outsider sees. Under Contact Information, pay attention to current address, & mobile phone. I would suggest you keep Send me a message for eveyone. This is a personal take but I use FB as a database to contact someone even if they are not my friend.  http://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=privacy#/amysmytheharris?viewas=499458919

8. Send a message- when adding a friend, of course. Please don’t assume that everyone will remember your face or name from “back in the day”!!!!

9. Time management is key – In real estate the old adage was that we are suppose to be prospecting for business 60-70% of our time. If you are integrating Social Media into your existing prospecting/marketing plan, set aside the time needed to get familiar with your “platform” of speaking/engaging. I try to spend only an hour a day on FB/Twitter, but I can time manage much better with my IPhone.

10. Content is king– Do good posts!!!!! “Going to the bathroom”=Bad Post!!! ” Had toilet paper stuck to my shoe and no one told me! Would you?” = Good Post. If you can come up with cutesy things to say, then post a picture or a youtube video or a link from your favorite website saying why you love this site!

Disclaimer*** These were done in no particular order and they are must my opinion! See you on FB or Twitter @amyoutloud