What I Learned Today at "The Google Academy" Blew Me Away!

Home Stager with Patsy Overton Interiors, Atlanta, Georgia


Several weeks ago, when I noticed that there STILL is not a RainCamp scheduled for Atlanta, I signed up for a seminar presented by The Google Academy on "Using Google for Real Estate" and the "2010 Google AdWords/SEO Seminar."  How could I go wrong?  Today was the day.

The entire morning session was spent on Google's G-mail.  Of course, our instructor touched on the basics of G-mail, the Google tool bar and a few of Google's unique features (weather, stock quotes, time, sports scores, airline travel info, etc.,)  One of the most interesting things we learned in this morning's session was that, once you are using Google G-mail, your data is no longer stored on your computer but on "the cloud."  (I'm assuming "the cloud" is somewhere near Mars, maybe to the right of Pluto.)  The cloud stores data FOREVER.  If When your computer crashes, if you are using G-Mail, the data is never lost. That sounds good to me.

Next, here are a few great Google services that I was unaware of.  If you're not using then, you should start immediately.  I certainly will:


  1. Google's Free 411 Information Service - 1-800-466-4411Never again call 411 to get a number, which you'll be charged for.  Plug this number into your cell phone now.
  2. Google SMS for your cell phone.  First, text "help" to 466453 from your cell phone, then it will register in your system.  This is the number for Google SMS.  Shoot them a text any time you are looking for a pizza place (text "pizza" and your zip code), flight information (type DL or the airline code and flight number), or whatever info. you need and it will come right back to you within seconds.  In class I typed "weather" and my zip code.  Within about 20 seconds I had a weather report for my area for the next 3 days!
  3. ChaCha Assistant - This is so cool!  With ChaCha you can ask any question in conversational English and receive an accurate answer in a text message.  You can either text your question to 242242 (spells "ChaCha") or call 1-800-224-2242.  Amaze all your friends at the next office party with your unlimited knowledge!

Okay, I'm realizing this is going to be way too long if I share everything, so I'll cut to the chase.  We then went on to Google Docs (again, where everything is saved to "the cloud" for infinity and beyond), Google Blogger, Google Picasa, UTube (which is owned by Google), and on and on and on.  We all had headaches by lunchtime.  But here is what blew us ALL away.

How many of you know that your smart phones have scanners built in?  No?  I didn't either, but they do.  You will need to download a free app to use it, like "scanlife," but the technology is there.  (Have you seen the commercial where the couple scans their checks from their smart phones and deposits them without ever going near the bank?  That's what wer're talking about.)  Now, hold that thought for a moment.

Have you ever heard of a "QR-Code"?  "QR" stands for "quick response."  With the scanner that's built into your smart phone, you can scan any bar code, or QR-Code, and receive a transmittal of information.  The bar code will tell your smart phone how much the item costs there in the store, but also how much the same item costs in several other stores.  Instant price check!  But here's the amazing thing.  A QR-Code can link to 1) a website, 2) video hosted on a website, or 3) text information.  The QR-Code provides additional information to the tech-savvy person who is seeking it.Man on smart phone

Okay, so what's the application for you, the Realtor?  How about affixing a QR-Code to your Realtor signs?  The buyer drives down the street, sees the home you have listed and wants more info, but can't get into the home at the moment.  What's a buyer to do?  He whips out his smart phone, scans the code which you have linked to a virtual tour, and views the virtual tour on his phone instantly. Or maybe you have a QR-Code that's linked to Google Maps.  Or, if you're a stager like me, you might produce a brochure with a code on it that's linked to a slide show of your most recent staging job.  Wow!  For more information and to see an example of a QR-Code, here's a link to the Fast Signs website.  Check it out.  The possibilities are endless.  QRStuff.com is another good site on the subject.

There's lots more I took notes on that I'd like to share with you, but I'm tired of typing and you're probably tired of reading.  While The Google Academy was great and I heard much more than I could process, I'm still pining away after RainCamp.  Somebody toss me an umbrella!

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If you want your home to glow, the colors to flow and the clutter to go, call Patsy overton Interiors.  Accredited, Licensed, Insured.  770-843-2307

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Patsy Overton, AHS, CNRCP

Accredited Home Stager * Certified Color Consultant

Patsy@POInteriors.com    770-843-2307    www.POInteriors.com

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Comments (106)

Patsy Overton
Patsy Overton Interiors, Atlanta, Georgia - Duluth, GA

Hi Barbara.  You always seem to be ahead of the game!

Aug 28, 2010 05:32 AM
Chad Lariscy
Keller Williams Realty Partners - Blue Ridge, GA
Advocate For Mountain Living

Hi Patsy,

I seriously considered going to this very same Seminar. I am glad to hear that you got so much out of it, and I like so many appreciate you sharing some of it with us. Thank you. Maybe next time I will not just go!

Thanks again.

Aug 28, 2010 01:56 PM
Patsy Overton
Patsy Overton Interiors, Atlanta, Georgia - Duluth, GA

Hi Chad.  You should've gone!  BTW, I love that shot of you with the Blue Ridge Mtns. in the background.  I LOVE the Blairsville area.

Aug 29, 2010 02:45 PM
Laura S. Baker
First Weber Inc - Lake Mills, WI
Realtor (920) 728-4118, First Weber Inc

Hey Patsy, is there a way to send this blog and part two to an e-mail account?  How about gmail?  how about rss.home.staging@gmail.com?  I want to forward it to several people ~ I cannot believe how much I got out of it!  By the way,...shhh,...I am getting the new Droid phone!  Yep, I'm doing the happy dance!  I have almost enough saved up (thanks Dave Ramsey)!  Whoew hoo, whoew ha hoo!   Now, if only I could make her dance!  By the way, the goog411 saves me $2.50 for every phone call!  THANK YOU!!!!! 

Seriously, if you have not gotten any special recognition for this blog yet, you sure should!  It has got to get,...what's that called,....FEATURED that's it!  VERY heavily loaded with help!

Aug 30, 2010 12:56 PM
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

Congrats on the feature Patsy! I have been using google's free info for a long time now and love it.

Sep 28, 2010 03:22 AM
Stephanie Williams, Realtor Murrells Inlet
Seaside Properties - Murrells Inlet, SC

Wow!  Missed this blog, but saw the part 2 and found it.  So glad I did.  Thanks!!

Sep 28, 2010 03:29 AM
Susan Brown
Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too) - Kingwood, TX

Patsy, I saw this post on a reblog by Kathy Denworth - fantastic info!  I enjoyed the QR Stuff website & have created some codes to use in my advertising.  Thanks!

Sep 28, 2010 05:18 AM
Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

First, thanks to Al and Peggy for reblogging this so I could catch it.  Then, whew, so much information that I will have to bookmark it to read later along with so many comments.  Congrats on the feature. 

Sep 29, 2010 01:43 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Patsy, I didn't even know there was a Google Academy!  I'll be looking into that, it sounds interesting!

Sep 29, 2010 01:44 AM
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Great information Patsy, I have already texted help and saved the 411 number.  Thanks

Sep 29, 2010 05:42 AM
Don Wixom
RE/MAX Executives Nampa, ID - Nampa, ID
"Looking out for your next move..."tm

Patsy, I've been using the Google SMS text for a couple years now. I love it! I've been thinking of getting a Droid or EVO, but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

Great article! Thank you for sharing what you learned!

Sep 29, 2010 03:07 PM
Shirley Parks
Sands Realty 210-414-0966 - San Antonio, TX
Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate

Hi Patsy, You have shared some great information here.  Thanks!

Sep 29, 2010 03:19 PM
Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi
The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi - Lodi, CA
The Nines Team in Lodi

Patsy ... seems your universe just keeps getting bigger and bigger ... thanks to reblogging!  With such valuable insights - I'm really glad that Don Wixom hit the reblog button - 'cause I'd missed all this ...

Sep 29, 2010 03:25 PM
Jim Hale
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

I've looked at google from both sides now

From no android

To brand new one

And still some how:  I really don't know clouds

At all.


Haven't had my new phone long enough.

Sep 30, 2010 12:20 AM
Patsy Overton
Patsy Overton Interiors, Atlanta, Georgia - Duluth, GA

Laura - you are too funny!  I will email you the links to both posts so you can send them out.  Then maybe you can really do the happy dance!

Shar - thank you!  This thing has gotten new life since being reblogged.  What a great invention!

Stephanie - you are welcome!

Susan - I think those codes are too cool.  I'm seeing more and more of them in ads.  You are on the cutting edge!

Suzanne - thank you!  Yes, it's a lot to take in.  I recently got an invitation to another Google training session but decided against it since I haven't implemented all I learned in the first one.

Silvia - it was news to me, too.

Chris - don't you love helpful tidbits like that?  Those 2 things alone were worth the price of admission.

Don - don't walk, but RUN to the Droid store today!

Shirley - glad you found it helpful.

Jack - I've been absolutely "living in the cloud" since the seminar.  Glad you found the post.

Jim - hilarious!!!  You should be a Droid song writer.

Sep 30, 2010 02:10 AM
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Patsy, thanks to Al & Peggy for the re-blog.  So much info here...I've also bookmarked it.  I've read about QR codes for a while now...guess it's time to get into that game.  

Sep 30, 2010 08:16 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Patsy, terrific information. I immediately checked the schedule, and alas, they have run a seminar in Orlando September 30th. Just a couple of days ago. Ouch

Oct 02, 2010 05:48 PM
Patsy Overton
Patsy Overton Interiors, Atlanta, Georgia - Duluth, GA

Nick - I was totally unaware of the QR codes, so you're way ahead of me.  Glad you found the info. helpful.

Jon - oops!  They came back to Atlanta about a month after the seminar I attended, so keep checking back.

Oct 05, 2010 01:33 AM
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Patsy, what great information, this week there seems to be a lot on QR codes.

Nov 02, 2010 04:06 AM

You might try one more amazing qr code generator: http://justScan.it, which support various data types like URL, text, Vcard, SMS and has scans statistics!

Sep 12, 2011 06:51 AM