technology: Is ActiveRain Helping the Real Estate Industry? You Bet It Is! - 01/02/10 02:58 AM
We all know that ActiveRain is an amazing social networking venue focused on the real estate industry. With 169,296 members as I write this, ActiveRain is an incredible voice in the real estate, and social networking, world, with significant power to influence change. 
Is ActiveRain helping the real estate industry? You bet it is! Here are just a few ways.
AR provides a forum for: 
Real estate agents/brokers, staging professionals, mortgage brokers, inspectors, title professionals and others in the industry to share ideas and learn from each other. Consumers benefit through their own increased education, as well as benefiting from more … (34 comments)

technology: A Special Day with Well Wishes for All - 12/25/09 12:29 PM

Today was a wonderful day, with my daughter and her new husband, and my other daughter and her long-time guy, all down from LA for a few days. We always cherish these times together, especially at this time of year where the traditions, new and old, are such an important part of being together. And that, really, is a big part of what it's all about. 
Technology has become such a big part of our lives, and today was no exception, In fact, it sorta hit me in the face when I noticed the dining room table. While most of … (18 comments)

technology: Great! Zillow Sent me a Listing Activity Report on a Property That Isn't Even on the Market - 12/07/09 05:28 AM
I opened up my email yesterday morning, even before I had my morning coffee, and found 3 emails from Zillow.
Those emails provided me with listing reports - (1) Listing Activity Report for 4686 Cordoba Way; (2) Listing Activity Report for 1286 Discovery St SPC 88; and (3) Listing Activity Report for 1286 Discovery St SPC 88.
Two things immediately jumped out:
First, there are 2 reports on my listing on Discovery. Hmmm. That's helpful. NOT.
Second, the listing on Cordoba doesn't even exist anymore and hasn't been on the market since November 9, 2009. So much for accurate reporting.
But, … (33 comments)

technology: "I'm Not Your Average REALTOR!" - Are You Sure? - 12/05/09 05:43 AM
I doubt most people want to be considered average, though there is probably nothing inherently wrong with being so. Of course a high school grade of C is average, which puts a different perspective on things.
Being middle of the road and being part of the status quo is the route many take in their jobs, politics, and lifestyles. Being average is, well, being part of the crowd and therefore like most others you are compared to...including being a REALTOR.
The public, as we all know, has a pretty dour view of REALTORS, in general. There are plenty of exceptions, but … (69 comments)

technology: Do You Share Your Blog Posts? How About Your Friends' Posts? - 11/25/09 07:34 AM
Blogging provides an opportunity for us to share a wealth of knowledge about a wide array of topics, much of which, hopefully, is of interest to consumers. 
And if we are doing it well, with the right keywords, folks will find those pearls of wisdom you have created and come back repeatedly to learn more, and ultimately will perhaps call you to help them buy and/or sell.
Some readers will stumble on your writings in ways you don't expect, or even know about...the long tail approach. That's good, too. 
But do you take a proactive approach and also actually share your … (44 comments)

technology: So What Do You Say About Them Comments? - 11/12/09 04:28 PM
Commenting, or not, has often been a topic of discussion, and disagreement. While there seems to be little argument that spam commenting is inappropriate, varied opinions have been shared about the nature of commenting and what is acceptable and what is frowned upon. 
But what about responding to comments?
Some folks are very diligent about writing a thoughtful response to each comment, or most of them anyway. Others take a more efficient approach and simply say "thanks for the comment," or some other brief rejoinder. 
Is it wrong, or impolite, to not respond to your comments, at least those that are … (76 comments)

technology: Using My Blog to Enhance Existing Relationships - Tips and Strategies - 10/30/09 03:51 AM
The value of a blog is, of course, information. Whether you share that information directly, or guide readers to others sources of information that you have found and feel worthy, the gift to the reader is adding to their knowledge about a community, buying or selling real estate, or whatever the topic might be. 
A blog enables you to establish relationships with your readers through regular postings, valuable information that they want and need, and through sharing who you are in your voice and your writings. 
Another value of blogging, however, is to enhance existing relationships by sharing information needed by … (12 comments)

technology: Do You Moderate Comments? Should You? - 10/08/09 04:15 AM
An interesting discussion took place at the California Association of REALTORS (C.A.R.) Convention 2 days ago in San Jose when I was on a panel about blogging - the question arose about moderating comments, and whether you should or not. 
Do you moderate comments?  
Do you feel you should?  
Or do you not allow comments at all, and if so why? Obviously much of the value around blogging in the Web 2.0 world is transparency, and encouraging dialog, discussion and interaction. Commenting can be a vital part of blogging by adding to the conversation, sharing a different perspective, teaching … (88 comments)

technology: Do YOU Give Good Phone? - 09/27/09 03:11 AM
The phone, in many ways, has been replaced. Email, texting, and voice mail have become the standard way of communicating, in our business and outside it. Indeed, many people are surprised when we answer our phones and even thank us for doing so. And so often we hear people complaining about the inability to actually speak with someone on the phone, whether it's another agent, a vendor, or a retailer - they have to deal with voice mail, or some complicated voice activated system. And let's not get into the lack of returned phone calls. 

But assuming you use the … (9 comments)

technology: Social Media and Your Business - Tips, Strategies and No Nos!! - 09/22/09 05:19 PM
I spoke to the Rancho Santa Fe Business and Professional Women's Association last week about blogging and social media. This is a diverse group of business owners, including real estate professionals, with a broad range of knowledge and experience about on-line marketing (and a fabulous group to network with if you are in the North County San Diego area).
I talked briefly about social media and how it worked to start, and then shared some notions about:
WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA WILL NOT DO!
Transform your business if it is crummy ( a Linda Davis "almost"quote from Bloggers Connect) Make you a … (107 comments)

technology: I'm Going to Become Automaton Agent - You Can, Too! - 09/18/09 03:46 AM
Sometimes there is just too much to do, to successfully balance life's business, social and personal responsibilities and tasks. It's impossible to keep up. 
Fortunately, in a world full of technology, there are plenty of systems and processes that can become automated so I don't have to worry about them in my real estate business.
I JUST don't have the time so I think I'll become Automaton Agent. You can, too! (Automaton pic courtesy of Mark Dalzell on Flickr).
Here's how to make it happen...
AUTO-RESPONDERS - I can preset these to say whatever I want when an email comes in. Folks get … (91 comments)

technology: 20+ Facebook Tips/Tricks You Might Not Know About - My New Discovery at Hongkiat.com - 08/13/09 03:31 AM
I just discovered this new blog for tech users, designers, and bloggers (that's me, at the end) from my weekly on-line CRS newsletter. 
What caught my eye are the 20 Facebook Tips/Tricks You Might Not Know. I'm there, since I don't do nearly as much with Facebook as I can...and probably should. How about you? 
But there are some other neat posts in this blog, with Twitter badges, logo ideas, creative business cards, and a host of other cool things. For example:
 
60+ Photoshop Actions for Photo Enhancements
 
30+ New WordPress Tricks and Hacks
  
They make finding things … (12 comments)

technology: I Have No Time to Blog - Here are Some Suggestions to Conquer That Excuse - 07/24/09 02:02 PM
I have often heard, from experienced and new bloggers, that they have no time to blog. 
Some use it as a reason to not get started Others fade into the sunset soon after beginning And those of us at it for awhile often find it hard to take the time when other things are flying at us faster than we care to think about  So how to do you conquer that excuse that you have no time to blog? 
In some cases I think it is a commitment issue. Those who truly understand the value and the power of blogging find … (109 comments)

technology: I Love my GPS - 07/04/09 03:10 AM
I happen to think very highly of my GPS. I liked the one in my prior car, a lease, better because it was built in and had more functionality, but my Garmin works pretty well. 
This is what I like about it, and how I use it. 
First, it tells me where I need to go and I'm normally pretty compliant unless I think it's wrong (and I occasionally tell IT where to go). Despite living here in SoCal for 4 years I am still learning my way around. There are a zillion roads and with the large area I cover … (20 comments)

technology: 13 Ways to Promote Your Blog - 06/26/09 01:45 PM
We all know the promotion is important, although one does not want to come across as salesy or pushy.
The same is true of our blogs. We want folks to know about them and the valuable content they offer, but shoving them down someone's throat is not likely to be accepted kindly. 
As I learned yesterday at REBarCampOC (although I sorta knew this), publishing your post is about 30% of the work. (that's a quote from notable RE.net dude, Jim Marks, founder and President of Virtual Results ). The rest comes afterward. That is, promoting your blog so consumers can take … (77 comments)

technology: RE Bar Camp AGAIN Does Not Disappoint - RE Bar Camp Orange County - Newport Beach, CA - 06/25/09 05:22 PM
I had the pleasure of meeting up with some great minds in social media and technology today at The Blue Beet in Newport Beach at RE Bar Camp Orange County (#rebcoc for those Twitter folks). This was my second bar camp this year and it did not disappoint. 
First, congratulations and thanks to some of the folks I know who were involved (and my apologies for leaving out people who also contributed) - Stacey Harmon, Jim Marks, Linse Planeta, Loren Nason, Eric Stegemann, Gretchen Benes, and Devesh Khare. The venue - a REAL bar, will multiple levels and rooms, practically on … (19 comments)

technology: Twitter: What Does the Future Hold? - 05/27/09 03:54 PM
There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday about Twitter, the darling of the social media world, and the future of the site. Here's a link to the full article, "Twitter Trips on Its Rapid Growth" - I recommend you read it.
No, the article was not a doomsayer, predicting a failing. But it did raise the question of what lies ahead in Twitter's future in terms of their ability to mange growth and their business model. 

Twitter is a business. And like any company it has a business model...well, sort of. Like so many start-ups it … (50 comments)

technology: Cool Techie Tool - Convert Your PDFs to Word Documents for FREE - 05/19/09 04:09 PM
Turning written documents or similar files into PDFs is common these days. When you scan documents this is often the result, although scanning technology sometimes creates Tif files. 
But, what about the other direction? 
Haven't you sometimes had a PDF file that you would like to be able to edit? While there is some software from Adobe that allows this (Adobe Professional, which is not inexpensive, and there are issues with this), why not use a conversion tool that is FREE. 

PDF to Word is a FREE on-line application that will convert your PDFs to word documents. I just tried … (18 comments)

technology: Here's the Buzz: Are You Cross-Pollinating? - 04/29/09 12:50 PM
There is lots of buzz about blogging (sorry, couldn't resist) and stuff flying all over AR and elsewhere about the success folks are having with their blogs in generating business. The sting of the market (oops) has not hit everyone in the same way. 

We smell the sweet flower of success regularly with members reporting leads, and closed transactions, generated from their blogging, and folks are finding different ways to use their blogs to market themselves, their listings, and their services, all the while providing useful information to consumers who need to make buying and selling decisions. 
Consumers flit from … (40 comments)

technology: Using Docusign for your Real Estate Signatures: A Cautionary Note - 04/22/09 03:00 AM
Here in California we have a lengthy Offer to Purchase contract along with a long list of real estate disclosures (some statutory), both state and federal, that are part of the typical residential real estate contract. Getting signatures and initials in all the required places, and keeping track of paperwork can be a challenge, but is certainly a necessity. 
It becomes even more problematic when working with buyers and/or sellers who are out of the area.
Technology has made life much easier and faster, and faxing, or even better - scanning and emailing documents - is the way to go. And … (9 comments)

 
Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) Ambassador large

Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude

Carlsbad, CA

More about me…

Solutions Real Estate

Address: 2055 Corte Del Nogal, Carlsbad, CA, 92011

Office: JUSTMYCELL

Mobile: (760) 840-1360

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