Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Google Guide
To Google for Real Estate

        There’s much you can miss, when you aren’t looking. 
Everyone knows and recognizes the importance of Google as a tool for marketing and drawing potential clients to online listings and sites. For all you know, though, you may not know how to take full advantage of all that's available. Google wants your business, and to make it easy they’ve put together a page specifically targeting real estate pros. 
Appropriately named, Google for Real Estate Professionals, it presents a brief overview of how and why to effectively embrace Google’s many resources to reach buyers and sellers — everything  from Google Docs through SketchUp, YouTube, Google Places, Maps, Earth etc., etc. If you can use it, it's there.
If you’ve been disappointed with your online performance, and willing to explore ways to make more effective use of the Web, this might be a good place to start, measure up, and adapt, as needed.
Speaking of websites, Coldwell Banker proudly reports its branded real estate websites topped all national franchises in unique visitors last year, according to figures just announced. In a press release, the company says Nielsen puts the traffic at 17.5 million unique visitors, while comScore Media Metrix  estimates the traffic at 26.1 million unique visitors. By either tally, they’re obviously doing something rich....and there’s much to be learned from compelling websites.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Briefs out of this year’s starting gate

       Time for that next portable PC? Yet another choice awaits you in 2012: the ultrabook. At CES PC makers put new emphasis on on the compact PC, without compromise,showing off respective versions of the thin and light  powered by Intel processors.
IdeaPad Yoga, one of the new ultrabooks
Not for the budget minded, yet, they offer the portable experience the MacBook Air  has allowed its users, with all the PC performance one can’t get from a tablet. Introductions include the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga, Dell’s XPS 13, HP Envy Spectre and the Acer Aspire S5.....In peripherals, Logitech has a new take on the mobile mouse with its Cube ,wireless handheld device for controlling your screen or presentations with swipes of the touch sensitive surface. of this palm sized device.
Lumia 900
Think the choice smartphones comes down t IPhone or Android for app-powered functionality, don’t  count Windows Phone handsets out entirely. Recent developments there: Both HTC and : Nokia’s  have announced  new models  for the Windows Phone operating system, the Titan and Lumia 900, respectively.... Adding to their appeal could be a software tool from the company BlueStacks which will allow existing Android apps to run on Windows  PCs and possibly smartphones  when Windows 8 appears.... Since the topic is phones, here’s something useful every handset could use, regardless of OS.  HzO WaterBlock nano technology  if adopted by manufacturers could permanently protect electronics from spills, splashes, even the dreaded  accidental drop into water.

Logitech Cube
       Ipad and  notebook who have been wishing for a way to scan detailed forms and contracts without heading back to the office, take heart. Xerox may have the just he solution you’ve been awaiting with its Mobile Scanner   Powered by a lithium battery, the scanner reads and converts documents into JPEGs or PDF files then transfers them via WiFi to your hardware of choice. 
       CES always is a showcase for things to come, maybe. Two of note: Cotton Candy, from FXI Technology , essentially a tablet in a flash drive, for the ultimate in mobile convenience. Plug it into a TV set or monitor via USB or HD connectors built into the unit, it becomes an Android device, connected to the cloud, controllable by an app-powered smartphone.....The car as computer cockpit isn’t that far off, either. Auto makers Audi, Mercedes Benz and Kia, gave glimpse of what could be the the future for the car dash and interior with interactive display systems. Graphics and text projected on the windshield/screen, could provide touch control of car functions and easy access to the kind of information you get now form your mobile PC or navigation system.
Cotton Candy 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Strategic Aside....

        CES, the annual consumer electronics show, is always big news in technology, and last week’s gathering in Vegas played to that rule. 
Before you weigh which latest marvel you’ll want in coming months, 
think strategically. In a year where the real estate market shows signs of slowly recovering , and many budgets are limited, focus on solutions to empower you to do more with less. 
We’re steeped in an era of converging technologies, and multipurpose tools. Your phone or tablet can handle whatever you want it to do, if so inclined. For navigation, service providers and apps likely deliver all you need for negotiating your market area. What’s really good enough in a camera for your needs? Camera features on phones and tablets are muscling into the point and shoot category. Snap on lenses make them even more versatile for photos and video
Maybe it’s time to leave that camera and navigation system behind...two less things to carry.
  Can/should your phone be your computer, too? Loaded with the right apps, possibly. But screen size and overall performance can still be challenges, especially for those who judge the phone screen just too small. 
So, should your other other device be a tablet, a notebook, or both? If budget dictates either/or, a PC of some form is still the more practical primary computer. Be it a desktop or notebook, most will be best served by that full-powered performance.
A tablet, for now, should still be seen as an extension of it. Loaded with apps, its serves neatly between smartphone and computer.; more practical for reviewing, listings and tours and contracts with clients . Add the the reach of the Web, you have whatever you need, when you need it.
Which brings us to cloud computing. Explore it, learn how to take advantage of it and empower your real estate career.  Technology , at its best, makes like simpler. Pare down the hardware while ramping up on software apps and services, and be all you can wherever you are.