Monthly Archives: February 2015

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5 Smart Phone Apps Every Agent Should Consider Downloading

Apps are like cable TV channels: Most are just a big waste of time. But there are some that can truly make you more efficient and effective – especially if you’re a busy real estate agent. Included below are five that deserve special consideration.

WatchMe 911 (personal security)

Personal safety is a top priority for most real estate agents, whose work requires them to meet with total strangers in often vacant homes. With the app “WatchMe 911” installed on your smart phone, you can rest a little easier in these situations. Designed by women, the app includes a “monitor me” function that will send out an emergency alert if it’s not turned off at a pre-determined time. Another function makes it easy to alert loved ones when you’ve safely arrived at your destination. Plus, there’s a panic button and a two-touch system for calling 911. To watch the app in action, see this video. Other options include the Guardly Safety App and SecureShow, an app that allows you to confirm the identity of a client before meeting them in-person.

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Facebook Does an About-face: No More Free Marketing

Free marketing services almost always come with strings attached. For years, Facebook was the exception to that rule, allowing real estate agents to promote homes, open houses and more on their Facebook pages at no charge. Now, Facebook is attaching strings that will have a dramatic impact on your social media marketing.

The good old days: How Facebook used to operate

For many tech-savvy small businesses (including real estate professionals), Facebook has been a Godsend. Instead of paying to promote their products and services via print ads, direct mail and email marketing, they could simply post a “status update” on their Facebook page for all their Facebook “friends” to see. If any of those friends “liked” the post, it would then be broadcast to the Facebook friends of those folks, as well, creating a “viral marketing” effect.

For small businesses with the digital wherewithal, Facebook had the potential to be a very powerful – and free – marketing medium. Unfortunately, Facebook decided to end all that as of mid-January, 2015.

The new normal: Pay-to-play

According to a recent announcement from Facebook, any posts that are marketing focused (including contests) will suffer “a significant decrease in distribution.” You’ll still be able to post marketing-focused messages and contests, but Facebook’s powerful computers will automatically squelch their distribution – which means only a small fraction of your Facebook friends will see them.

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