What is a Money Frog?

November 13, 2007

What is Money Frog?  I chose the name Money Frog several years ago after receiving a Money Frog as a good luck charm to increase my wealth.  Shortly after receiving the money frog I did in fact receive some unexpected money then I received a promotion and a raise.  Since then I have surrounded myself with money frogs and even named my company after this Chinese good luck symbol.  In Chinese lore, the money frog is thought to drive away evil, protect goods and money, and increase income.  The Money Frog (also called Three Legged Toad or Frog or “Chan Chu”) is used to invite luck, additional sources of income and career growth that eventually leads to more income.  Feng Shui Masters believe they go out in the afternoon to collect money and return at night with lots of money sticking on their feet.

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Zillow is Taking Over the World

November 7, 2007

If you have not guessed it by now, I love technology!  I always want to know about the latest and greatest technology so one Blog I read daily is Gizmodo.

Here’s something I found interesting for the real estate community…a new feature from Dash GPS.  Zillow added an API (fancy talk for my software can talk to your software) that displays the search results of home prices right on the GPS screen. I want this feature on my GPS now!

My real estate agent friends, I predict this will be a common feature on cars in the future. Just think, your clients will know instantly with the push of a button, the price estimate and property details on any home.  Can you say “Wow” or should we say “Oh oh…” Click this link to see a video demonstration.

Tip 7: Why Do I Need a Blog…

November 2, 2007

Blog… you have heard about it and probably think you know what it is. But did you know that it is a great marketing tool for real estate agents. We discuss in show seven what is a blog and some tips to use it as an effective marketing tool. If you want to see show seven live then visit MoneyFrog.com and register for your free membership to see the video.

  • Blogging is personal comments or observations arranges by date on a web page
    • This page is an example of a blog on WordPress
  • GoDaddy.com is a great resource to secure a domain name for your blog
  • There are two blogging platforms that you can use for free:
  • If you have a farm… then create a blog farm
  • Don’t add advertising to your blog unless you can prevent other agents and mortgage brokers from appearing
  • Write useful and unique content about your local area
  • If you’re not creative then comment on other blogs and news postings
  • Add your blogs to your main web site as a link. If you have more than one blog then combine the blogs with a free JavaScript site at RSS-TO-JAVASCRIPT
  • Download Tip 7: Why you need a blog [5.5MB- 22 minutes]

Beware of the iPhone “Case” Return Policy

October 19, 2007

Disclaimer time- I am not an Apple fanboy.  However, for the past two years I have been using a Macbook for my main computer and I recently bought the iPhone.  I have had every version of Windows and the Apple system has a been a dream to use.  I tried Windows Vista and I was disappointed with the feel and functionality.  What is sad is that in real estate, the industry leans heavily towards Windows.  Specifically Internet applications that require the Microsoft Server technology to generate on-line applications- sorry can’t avoid the technical jargon.

Now back to my story-  I bought a case from the local AT&T store for my iPhone.  My new phone is expensive and  I wanted to protect it from damage.  Only after a few weeks the clip snapped right off the case.  No worries, I will just go to my friendly AT&T store, where I bought it and have the nice store associate exchange the defective case for a shiny new one.  I arrived at the store with a jump in my step and forgetting all the horrible experiences I had previously with the store associates on other matters.

I explained to the associate what happened and give him the case and my receipt for the original purchase.  He looked at the case and his face immediately changed from a blank stare to an uncomfortable look.  I thought to myself, “this is weird why does look like he is about to give me bad news?”  The associate explained to me that any iPhones and case accessories are to be returned at the local Apple Store.  My only response was “Huh? but I bought the case here and it isn’t even made by Apple.  Why do I have to go across town when your store sold me this product here?”  Anther blank stare for him  and an immediate request for store management.  A bald headed man approached us and the associate gave him my receipt and the broken case.  He too repeated what the other associate said that the AT&T store doesn’t take returns of the iPhone and accessories.  I acknowledged that I understood the iPhone would apply to this crazy rule- I don’t know why.   However the case is made by Case Logic not Apple, ipso facto the case should be returned.  The manager just shook his head.  I then relied on my smooth talking abilities and previous retail sales experience and asked him for my receipt back.  He handed me my receipt and I turned it over and began to read him the AT&T 30 Day Return Policy.  “Check– Mate”  He exchanged my case, no paperwork he just wanted me out of there.

If you encounter this situation, just read them back the AT&T return policy for accessories.  Who thought selling lawnmowers at Sears would help me twenty years later…

Reader wants to know who can make a inexpensive web site

October 19, 2007

Reader wrote to me:

“Who can construct a dynamite,informative web site for me, inexpensively???”

It depends on your ultimate goal.  A simple site can be created very easily with a free online blog from http://Wordpress.com.  Add a domain name from http://Godaddy.com and you have an inexpensive, but nice site.  Out of pocket- $9.99 per year.  See my wife’s web site blog at http://www.realestategenius.net for an example.

I noticed your site is from Superlative which is good for one reason- it has links to property information.  Many studies of consumer’s real estate web site viewing habits focus on the importance of having property inventory on a site.  I recommend to all agents that their main web site have a database of properties on their site.

Hope this helps.

Anthony

Tip 6: Tech tips for top producers- part one

September 6, 2007

Let’s face it, you ‘re not interested in learning every little technology system. What you want is to generate more sales. I have worked with top producing agents for many years and I know what they use in their business. Some of it I suggested and other items I learned from them directly. Here are some key suggestions about hardware and software:

  • Reviews.cnet.com is an excellent resource to help you decide on what laptop to buy.
  • Make sure any laptop you buy has these minimum specs:
    • 14 inch or larger screen
    • At least 1GB of memory, but at least 2GB if the laptop has Windows Vista
    • 120GB or larger hard drive
    • DVD burner for backups
    • Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Turion 64 processor
  • Buy a smart phone. Treo is the best for real estate, but Blackberry is close behind.
    • Treo 755 or Blackberry Pearl
  • Google Mobile is the best information query tool available anywhere! With Google SMS, you can get phone book listings, movie show times, sports scores, weather forecasts, facts, dictionary definitions, product prices, and more.
  • Do you stay with MS Office 2003 or buy the new version 2007? Nice but don’t rush to replace old version. If you do decide to buy the new version purchase the Small Business option. It includes Excel 2007, Word 2007, Publisher 2007 , PowerPoint 2007, and Outlook 2007.
  • Get a contact manager if you don’t have one. Three choices for real estate are Outlook, ACT!, and Top Producer.
  • Other software to consider, all for the low price of free are:

    • GadWin PrintScreen- capture screen shots and edit image for free
    • KeePass– free/open-source password manager
    • Picasa– a free picture editor and organizer that surprisingly is a powerful picture editing program
  • Download Tip 6: Tech tips- part one [6.5MB- 14 minutes]

Tip 5: Choosing the best real estate printer

September 6, 2007

Why does everything technical have to be so difficult? You would think that buying a printer wouldn’t be hard. But unless you are a nerd, buying a printer is confusing. Have no fear- Anthony is here with what you should buy for your real estate business.

  • There are five groupings for printers: Inkjet, Laser, Photo, Multifunction, and Portable.
  • The best printer for real estate is the multifunction, inkjet printer. These printers will scan, copy, fax, and print. The perfect solution for any busy real estate professional.
  • My two picks are:
    • HP Officejet Pro L7780- a nice all-in-one printer by one of the best manufactures of these multi-function devices, HP
    • Lexmark X9350 All-in-One- this little beauty has a built-in wireless node
  • Download Tip 5: Choosing the best real estate printer [3.3MB- 8 minutes]

Tip 4: Choosing the right Smart Phone for real estate

August 2, 2007

Are you deciding between a regular cell phone and a smart phone? Stop and choose the smart phone. In real estate the smart phone is your office and lifeline to your clients information. As with most things in technology there are many choices, so we reviewed the top contenders in the smart phone space.

  • The top smart phone is the Treo brand. The latest release is the Treo 755. A confusing item about the Treos are the choice of Palm or Windows. I suggest you choose what you are familiar with, that way there isn’t a huge learning curve.
  • The Blackberry Pearl is a very nice phone. An advantage of this smart phone is the email “push” directly to your phone. Blackberry is the top choice if getting and responding to your email is important.
  • Other smart phone brands are:
    • Nokia N95– qwerty keyboard and a 5 Mega pixel camera [wow!]
    • Samsung Blackjack– qwerty keyboard and a quad band phone to travel the world and still close those deals.
    • iPhone– two words “very sexy”, but not the best tool for real estate- unless you practice in San Francisco then it is a required purchase;>
  • Buy yourself a Bluetooth keyboard to type your email messages on your Bluetooth capable phone. My suggestion is the iGo Stowaway keyboard.
  • Download Tip 4: Smart phones [6.5MB- 14 minutes]

Tip 3: Using Photoshop Elements to edit your pictures

August 1, 2007

Knowing how to use a picture editing tool is important in your business. Resizing a picture, editing out a hose, or adding text to the photo are examples of what you might do.

Tip 2: Digital Camera Nitty Gritty

July 28, 2007

We discussed the technical jargon of the digital camera experience. It wasn’t pleasant, but I hope the tips will help you decide on what camera to buy.

  • Purchase a wide angle lens camera- the Digital SLRs are pricey so you should consider the Kodak Share V705
  • Don’t purchase any camera below 7 Mega-pixels
  • The higher end cameras will have multiple camera sensors- this increases the quality of the image and price
  • Suggest a compact or ultra compact digital camera for the busy REALTOR
  • Get familiar with the various camera picture taking features
  • Memory cards are confusing- you can use the memory cards from your previous camera or buy a new larger card at Costco
  • If you don’t have a memory card reader for your computer, then get one- make sure the reader can work with all major card brands (12 types and above) and has a USB 2.0 cable
  • Download Tip 2: Digital Camera Nitty Gritty [5MB- 11 minutes]