Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Need a little direction for GPS guide

For the January 2010 buying guide for Realtor magazine online I’ll be looking at “tech tools for getting there”—GPS navigation systems and services.

Reader input always helps make these stories accurate reports on what real estate processionals are using and why. So, I welcome comments from Realtors about your GPS solution.

Have you tried, do you have a preference for a dedicated navigation system, or the services available over your cellphone? Found an innovative way to integrate GPS into your real estate career? Send comments to me, antoniak at dtccom.net . Just tag it GPS in the subject line

I read all responses, and, based on trends, follow up with a few for interviews and inclusion in the article.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Electronic Signatures Update

Even in this digital age, there’s often a lag between when a story is researched, submitted and it posts. Case in point the December TechWatch column on digital signatures.

When I spoke with Tom Gonser at Docusign for the story in late October, he indicated it would take leadership from the top to really promote the digital standard, and indicated be something in the offing.

Lo and Behold, in late November, NAR announced Docusign as the latest member of its “Benefits Partner” program. You can see the release here.

Those who can’t yet take advantage of the tech, but would like to, can point to this announcement to bolster your case for a move in this direction with managers, brokers, fellow Realtors and local and state associations.

I’ve been meaning to make this post a while, but as any bloggers out there know, other things can easily get in the way. At any rate, what finally prompted this post is a follow-up email to my original column from a contact at a company called DotLoop.

They’re targeting the real estate market with a Web-based solution combining electronic forms, digital signatures, CRM and transaction management.

With NAR’s embrace, I expect 2010 will see the beginning of a real migration to electronic signatures and documents, for the good of all.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Art of the Blog

Working on a story about what Realtors have on their tech “wish list” for next year. A couple have mentioned getting serious about a blog. It’s a lot of work, I advised, something that often gets pushed down the “to do” list as other responsibilities take precedence.(as here)

One reported the webmaster had it figured out, suggested entries and updates could be farmed out to overseas content creators. Cheaply too. If you can’t do it yourself, hire American, I say. As a freelancer, I’ve started to see overseas writers bid for work here for as little as $4 per hour on some of the freelance job boards.

A blog should be your voice, reflecting your unique understanding and insight into your market area. If you can’t pull it off yourself, find a professional writer to work with you and develop a voice for your blog. They need the work, and know enough to ask the right questions to make your blog speak for you. Just like your website, the best entries will be written by a professional who understands your business, your unique challenges.

You won’t get that by outsourcing....and if you can’t find someone in your area, hey, I’m available.

Shameless plug, sure. But having made writing my career, I just hate the thought of any of that work heading overseas, to the lowest bidder.