8 Tools the Modern Real Estate Agent HAS to Have... #1

By
Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Results Realty

OK, these are presented in any specific order... but over the next couple of weeks, I will be posting up useful tools for real estate agents to utilize in a Web 2.0 world.  There are so many tools, sites and technologies... and every day there are new ones entering our sights. 

For many here, the first tool is going to seem like a no-brainer... 

Active|Rain...

There are three aspects of Active|Rain, and I think that a real estate agent that wants to compete in a Web 2.0 world needs to leverage all three in order to accomplish that goal.  Each has a specific purpose, and while there certainly is overlap, each fulfills a specific purpose that is beneficial to agents in a different way... 

Let's start with Incredible Learning Opportunity...

Active|RainThere is no secret among those that have surfed around the site for more than a minute or three that there is a LOT of great information... free for the taking... right here on Active|Rain.  There are scores of the greatest minds in real estate sales right here... EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Bryant Tutas, Lenn Harley, Brian Brady, Midori Miller, Ken Cook, Jon Washburn, Jeff Turner, Pat Kitano, Missy Caulk...  and I could list 100 more.  And this isn't like some "MasterMind" seminar where the interaction is minimal.  These people are here, they are on FaceBook, Twitter and other sites.  They are interacting with everyone that chooses to interact with them.  They are at the REbarCamps, they are at REtechSouth, NAR Conventions or other events.  I have met (like in person) most of the folks on that list.  Whether it is technology, sales techniques, presentation tweaking... just about anything... these folks have the inside lines.  Even the free membership has full access to all of these people and more...  And writing "Member's Only" posts allows you to not only share, but ask the community for help or advice. 

And then there is Google Dominating Blogging Opportunity...

One of the future tools I am going to cover is WordPress... but for now I think we need to spend a few minutes talking about Active|Rain RainMaker blogs.  These things have the juice... Google Juice.  Sure, you can load up a self-hosted WordPress blog, tweak it out with a custom theme and set it up with all of the coolest plug-ins.  But after doing that, until you start getting the love from Google, nobody will know you are there.  And that takes time...  Active|Rain has the system tweaked right out of the box. 

Active|Rain RainmakerSo, you can grab your own domain, like GwinettGarageGuy.com, and have a blog that is ready to go.  It doesn't need to be tweaked, tuned or rebuilt every few months (or days).  Instead of thinking about the plug-in updates and the new version of the platform that just came out today, you can just blog.  There are some modifications that can be applied, but compared to a full-blown, self-hosted blogging platform, it is quicker, easier and at least as powerful... and FAST. 

But, one of the primary reasons to blog is because of the longtail search and attracting business through search results.  EVERYTHING that needs to be done in the background to make RainMaker blogs rank well with search engines is done...  And the staff of Active|Rain, the Ambassadors and even the other bloggers will share all of the tips about writing content that you could ever want... content that WILL get you to the top of the search engines for the terms you want to target. 

But wait, there's more...  Localism Opportunity...

Maybe you've seen it... maybe not.  But there is a part of Active|Rain that is strictly consumer facing.  I think it still needs a little work, but the concept IS where the web is going...  The web is going local.  It is kind of funny... when the internet first started to show its muscle, the allure was that everything in the world was at our fingertips.  We could use it to learn about strange and exotic locations half a world away.  And now we are finding that one of the most powerful things about the World Wide Web is that we can find out what is happening around the corner and even in our own neighborhood. 

LocalismAnd Localism is a network built on thousands of neighborhoods.  The neighborhoods are networked into towns, the counties and states.  Consumers can surf through neighborhoods and find out about them, see what is happening and even pictures and videos.  Maybe they are interested in buying... maybe they are just keeping a pulse on where they live. 

Being a RainMaker opens up Localism to posting.  Sure, sponsoring a community is a way to crank it up another notch, but writing quality, local material is the way to reach consumers, and Localism is another way to showcase that material... pointed towards the communities in which we work. 

So...

ToA|R Ambassador compete in the RE.net, in a Web 2.0 world, Active|Rain is an indispensable tool.  If you aren't a RainMaker, you should be...  Talk to your local Ambassador.  And yes... I am an Ambassador.  If you are in GA, feel free to give me a shout.  If you are already a RainMaker, and want to ratchet up your performance, talk to your local Ambassador...  I am working on setting up a local seminar on tweaking Active|Rain for better results.  I haven't even touched on the benefits of tuning your profile...

 

***See comment #5 for an update...

New posts in the series... 

Impress With WordPress... Tools for Web 2.0 Agents, #2

8 Tools #3A "Sweet Embeddable You"... before

8 Tools #3B "Sweet Embeddable You"... after

Also possibly of interest... 

Do you FBML?

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Topic:
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Ambassador
883,319
Lane Bailey
Realtor & Car Guy
Century 21 Results Realty

Thanks Everyone.

Donna - I wouldn't hold my breath that isn't a crash coming in Canada.  Hopefully you guys will escape it though. 

David - I'm old school.  There used to be a | (seperator) between Active and Rain... I think.  I just do it out of habit, now.  The | isn't al l, though. 

Lyn - It was more of an overview...

August 18, 2009 08:46 PM
Rainmaker
233,907
Jenny Durling
For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758
L.A. Property Solutions

I'd still not clear on the difference between an AR blog and and outside blog either. Since I started blogging here when it was still free, does that mean I have an outside blog?  I don't have the icon for it by my pictures.  I'd also love to know the benefit of sponsoring localism. The majority of my posts are to localism but the current sponsor of my chosen areas doesn't seem to blog at all. What does sponsoring do for him and what would it do for me?

August 23, 2009 10:11 AM
Ambassador
883,319
Lane Bailey
Realtor & Car Guy
Century 21 Results Realty

Jenny - For you, you would get a "Raindex" blog (the outside blog).  It would cost $19/mo.  you DO have a public facing blog, though. 

Sponsoring allows that person to maintain a presence on the front page of the community they sponsor... nothing else.  I sponsor a community, and will continue to do so.  I think it is a good investment.  But, if YOU are the driving force of content, YOU are going to get more benefit than the sponsor...

August 27, 2009 09:28 PM
Rainmaker
1,240,650
Charles Stallions
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services

I am still trying to understand this outside blog thingy and I think you have done a good job of it. I am going to looking to getting me one.

September 01, 2009 09:02 PM
Ambassador
883,319
Lane Bailey
Realtor & Car Guy
Century 21 Results Realty

Charles - it is a great platform.  And pretty easy to deploy. 

September 03, 2009 03:49 PM
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