CB Bain Upcoming Classes Personal Safety, Listing Management, Blogging and More…

Did you miss the Personal Safety training on 4/11 at Lake Union?
If you have time to go to Vancouver, it will be the only other time that we will be offering it this year.

April 25th- “My Will to Survive” Personal Safety Training for Brokers– Vancouver Square office

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Here is a list of other upcoming classes in April and May…

CB Bain:

CB Seal:

 

To view all of our upcoming training opportunities please visit: www.cbbainsealtraining.eventbrite.com

No, we don’t HAVE to have an Apple a day… Finally a post for Android users!

Yes… FINALLY a post for us Android Lovers!  I know it seems that we live in an Apple World but believe it or not Android users  outnumber iPhone users. Android’s market share in Q2 of 2011 was 39%, Apple’s was 28%. So take that Apple!

Below is a list of my favorite Android apps for 2011. I’ve tried to have a good mix of personal and professional apps. Keep an open mind and imagine the possibilities that could pertain to your Real Estate business.

1. Evernote

As Debra stated in yesterday’s post, this is a wonderful app. I use this for all of my note taking during business meetings or just to keep a log of things I would like to implement in the future. You can easily share documents that you have created or added to Evernote. The editing features in this app are fantastic. Save your notes, files, links and images all in one place. There is a desktop/online version as well so you always have access to your files, where ever you are at the time. There are so many possibilities with this app. When you think of Evernote, think text/notes (you’ll get why I’m saying this when you read about Dropbox below).  Check out their site for tutorials and read their blog for even more info. http://blog.evernote.com/

2. Dropbox

I’m a Dropbox Lover. I have been for about 5 years. Dropbox is a lot like Evernote in the sense of sharing on multiple computers or devices. When you think of Dropbox, think files. I like to think of it as an online hard drive that I can access from anywhere. They have a desktop, mobile and website version so literally anywhere you go with internet access you’ll have all of your files. You can also share certain folders with other people. One straightforward way you could use Dropbox with your clients would be to set up a folder for their transaction, give them access and they can log on and view the exact file you would be referencing. You can also make folders private. Have I sold you…?! Check out their blog for more info. (http://blog.dropbox.com/)

3. Google Location Based Apps: Places, Navi, Maps, OH MY!

So I know I was supposed to keep the list to 11 apps that I love for Android but let’s get serious… WE LOVE GOOGLE! Without trying to gush too much about how awesome Android is for having Google Location Based Apps standard on their operating system, let’s go over a bit about each one…

  • Google Places: Out with a client and need a spot for coffee or lunch? Or maybe you’re gas tank is almost on empty? Set up your searches and it will automatically calculate your location and find those places closest to you. Need directions? That leads me to the next feature…
  • Google Navigation: Click on your place or the address you entered and hit Directions and Navigate (the little blue triangle arrow). The nice little GPS lady will guide you to your location without having to purchase a third party GPS device. Hello multi-tasking device!
  • Google Maps: I use this so much… Mainly for drive times and traffic updates. The directions feature will even tell you how long it will take to walk to your destination. Have a client that is a bicyclist? Yup, does that too!

4. WordPress

As you know we are WordPress Advocates here in the CBBain|Seal Training Dept. We love them. Well we have yet another reason to love them… the app. This makes blogging so easy and instantaneous! Out in the field and see something interesting that is blog worthy? Why wait until you get home and vaguely remember the details? Do it now! Snap a pic, write some verbiage that people can benefit from, upload and BOOM! Blog post of the day… DONE!

5. Facebook

I won’t go into this too much because you hear it all the time. Bottom line: Facebook is where it’s at and the app makes it so it’s where YOU’RE at. Use it… Love it.

6. Dolphin Browser (multi tabbed browsing)

This is a new one to me but once I downloaded this browser I haven’t gone back to the standard Android Internet Browser. With the old browser I kept getting an error message that my tabs were at capacity and I needed to close some in order to open another window. I only had 4 open. The Dolphin Browser fixes this problem, I can open away! I don’t like to be limited. 😉  It also has a fun feature that allows you to “draw a gesture” to go back or open Facebook and many more. Pretty nifty little browser, if I do say so myself.

7. Hootsuite

This is my ‘Go To’ app for Twitter. I’ve tried a bunch of different apps for twitter on my droid and have always gone back to Hootsuite. Hootsuite allows you to set up multiple accounts and feeds and makes it all come together nicely. I don’t have many issues with loading or refreshing and it’s easy to update my status. Hootsuite also has a desktop web version. You can set up tabs and save searches for quick easy viewing. The app lets you just swipe from one tab to the next with ease.

8. Google Currents (link to Zite in Debra’s post)

Google Currents is a lot like Zite, the app that Debra mentioned in her post. It’s an online news tool that pulls in popular articles that you can customize to your liking. You can pull in your Google Reader accounts too. You can read articles from your Library or read what’s Trending at the moment and easily share this out via email, Facebook, Evernote, Google+ or wherever you have set up to share to from your mobile device.

9. Voxer

Voxer is a fun newly popular app. This turns your phone into a Walkie Talkie. Think of it as a more personal text messaging tool. Most of us love the convenience of texting and Voxer brings that same love. For the same reasons we love video, we love verbal messages. It’s more personal. The message is clear. Can’t stop to take or make a call? Shoot them a Voxer message. Voxer also allows you to send picture and text messages, all while keeping a nice log for referencing!

10. Lightbox (Android’s version of Instagram)

Lightbox is an online photo sharing community. Snap a pic, snazz it up a bit with the filters they offer and share it out. It gives that “I’m a human in your community not just a ‘sales person'” feel to things. Lightbox is another tool to use to connect with people. How could you use this in your business? Snap shots around your community, share it out with some clever captions, next thing you know with a little consistency you may be that Community Specialist your next client chooses. Just sayin’.

11. Foursquare

Since this app was already mentioned in Debra’s post. I just want to add a little tidbit… Instead of just “Checking In” to places, think of Foursquare as a business review tool. Within Foursquare you can leave Tips. <—- Do THIS! We love to hear from our peers! The same way you would give a review on Yelp you can give a review via a tip on Foursquare. Another fun way to use this app is to take photos of places you frequent in your community, make lists and leave tips. People search these in Foursquare and again, with a little consistency, you could be the person that keeps popping up in their searches. Check out the Corcoran Group on Foursquare for a BEAUTIFUL example of how to use Foursquare in your business.

Although I’ve reached my Top 11, something I feel is noteworthy about Android is the fact that speech to text is standard within their operating system so there is no need for the Dragon Dictation app you can get for the iPhone. Oh yea and that QR Code scanner that you have to download separately for the iPhone… Standard on many of the Android mobile devices. Yup… Already done for you. We like that don’t we?

There’s my list about my love of Android… I hope you enjoyed and found it helpful. If you have any Android apps to share or have questions about how to use these, please, feel free to share or ask in a comment below!

Have Fun Android Adventurers!


 

Living Day 2 Day with My iPhone 4S: Work, Play… LIFE.

Below is a list of the Top 11 apps that I used nearly every single day this year.  There is a mix of personal and professional here, so I had to be painfully strict with which ones made the cut.

Here we go:

1. Evernote

Seriously, this is my NUMBER ONE MOST USED APP.  I interact with this app like no other… You can save all of your notes, links, clips, files and images in one place  where they are made available on every device and computer you use.  I dictate my blog posts, write lists, clip photos, send articles to it… Seriously, there are too many business and personal uses to list here.  If you only look at one app next year – make it this one.  Feel free to head over to their blog, catch up on the posts there, and watch some of the tutorials.  http://blog.evernote.com/  (I would love to hear how YOU use Evernote, so please share your thoughts in the comments section!)

2. Camera+

Camera+ is my #1 go to app when I want to take pictures – NO competition.  I only use the native camera to take video now…  There are several scenes, filters, and borders to take your every day snapshots to a whole ‘notha level.  You can easily share to your social platforms, email or text in a split-second.  You will never want to send a “regular” photo again!

3. Instagram

This is one of my most treasured apps. It truly taps into your creative eye… and adds a social element to photo sharing.  You simply share your photos in a photo stream and follow your friends’ photos with the click of a single button. If you are passionate about photography Instagram is an excellent way to build relationships with others across the country who share the same interest.

4. Zite

Zite is my go to “personalized magazine” where I read blog posts/article. (It is also on my iPad).  This app, much like Pandora, automatically learns what topics and authors you like and gets smarter every time you use it. Zite delivers all the great news, articles, blogs, and videos you want – and helps you discover things that you’ll love.  It will also sync with your Twitter and Google Reader accounts… Just imagine the possibilities.

5. Twittelator

This is my iPhone Twitter app of choice.  I have tried nearly every single one out there and this one fits ME the best.  I love the ease of retweeting, the ability to shorten a link or entire tweet with one click, as well as add all sorts of icons.  Uploading pics and videos is always a cinch (BONUS: it hosts them on my Posterous blog)  and Twittelator even remembers the last several #hashtags used so you can easily inserts them from a Vegas-like multiple choice spinner!  If you are a creative type – you can also customize and save lots of themes with different colors and fonts – so it always matches your mood!  If Twittelator allowed scheduling, it would be my solo Twitter app on my iPhone.

6. SoundHound

I use this app almost every day… Usually while I am in the car listening to XM radio and want to share  what song has my feet tapping, hips moving, or is just plain riling me up… I also like to share songs that remind me of a fun moment in my life!  Music is a great way to connect with friends… the conversations these posts inspire are ALWAYS entertaining and informative!

7. Photosynth

Photosynth is an interactive panorama capture and sharing app that is great for taking 360 photos of listings or of gorgeous scenery on vacation.  You can capture an ENTIRE room or a canyon in one pic… then share it on Facebook for hours of interactive fun.  If you are not interested in getting interactive with your pics… you can just post or print the still version.

8. Yelp!

I have found some of my favorite restaurants using Yelp!… whether I am looking for a new place to try, curious about what the tastiest items on the menu are, or who the friendliest waiter or best bartendar is – Yelp! is always right there in my pocket.  You can do a TON inside this app including check in, leave tips or reviews, bookmark for later, make reservations through Open Table, and text/email the place to a friend!

9. Voxer

This is my new favorite communication app. It seriously turns your iPhone into a WALKIE-TALKIE!  You can send instant Audio, Text, Photo and Location messages to one friend or a group of your friends. They can hear your message while you talk or come back and check it out later. A few aspects I love most about this app: 1. This technology allows you to share your thoughts in your VOICE – with the emotion, tone, etc you intend.(Brilliant.) 2. It can instantly trigger the giggles OR lead to a thought-provoking conversation – all at the same time. 3. It inspires you to reach out to people you would not normally “call” on the phone – taking an online connections to another level!  (Special thanks to Chris Smith for introducing my inner circle to this one!)

10. Google+

Circles, Streams and Hangout – OH MY!  One of my most used new technologies of 2011 is HANDS DOWN the Google+ Hangout.  I have turned 80% of my traditional phone/conference calls into Hangouts!  I wrote a post a few months ago on how I use the Hangout. The latest version of the mobile app for iPhone allows you to join in a hangout while on the go… so I can pretty much guarantee my usage will continue to be nice and strong in the year ahead.

11. Foursquare

I use this app nearly every day I leave my house.  It is a fun way to connect with friends… sharing things like checking in at the gym (also keeps me on track and accountable!), my favorite haunts, as well as finding new places (keep track of where you visit on vacation = an instant journal)!  When I am on the go it is easy to see where my pals are or to tell them where I am – when I want to be found.  The ability to share pictures, comments or get/share insider tips is super easy! Many places offer discounts and freebies to Foursquare users, so be sure to check in at your favorites spots so you don’t miss out.  Oh… and for the “gamers” out there – you earn points, badges and mayorships for doing the things you love.

Of course, there are many other iPhone apps that I love and use quite often…  If your favorite didn’t make my list – let me know below what app it is and WHY you love it!

hAPPy APPing!

 

Ready or Not…Here Comes MOBILE!

Debra Trappen Mobile siteI am THRILLED to announce our new personalized mobile websites for Coldwell Banker Bain and Coldwell Banker Seal brokers!!  Our tech geeks and marketing peeps have been working non-stop to develop new mobile versions of CBBain.com and CBSeal.com… and made sure that they can be custom-branded for every broker!

We all know that Smartphone and Tablet adoption continues to skyrocket and accounts for the majority of web traffic on many sites. As business owners and brokers you need to be ready to meet and engage with mobile real estate consumers on an optimized and easy-to-use platform – and now you have one.

It’s simple to set up… just create your personal mobile URL by adding your name in front of your company website, either cbbain.com or cbseal.com. Here I’ll give specific examples by picking on two individuals who I know can handle the attention. The new personal site for Bellevue’s Ron Sparks is ronsparks.cbbain.com. And the new personal site for Pam Saunders from Vancouver Square is pamsaunders.cbseal.com. When iPhone and Android users visit these sites they’ll enjoy mobile real estate experiences that are branded exclusively to Ron and Pam.  You can also check mine out at: debratrappen.cbbain.com – it is just that simple! Debra Trappen profile

Do I have you hooked yet? Are you ready to try yours out??  Good! To help you launch your new mobile website the marketing team has prepared a Mobile Marketing section on the intranet.  There are lots of idea to inspire you on how to market your mobile website on a continuing basis so it becomes an incredibly powerful tool for engaging with both existing members of your sphere and new leads and prospects. To find these tools simply click on the Marketing link on the left side of the Access Page and then look for either the CBBain or CBSeal Mobile Marketing section.
Now, it’s up to YOU to make it happen… I look forward to hearing how you are marketing and using your new personalized mobile website!

Take a peek at this short video on going mobile with CB Bain Seal.

Pssst…  don’t forget to join in on the conversation over on the CB Bain|Seal – In The Know Facebook Group! It is an excellent platform to ask questions, so if you have any as you are going through this mobile process – post it there, along with your tips, tricks, and ideas on taking it to another level!

 

 

Coldwell Banker Bain | Seal Goes Mobile

Coldwell Banker Bain | Seal is on the move and going mobile with our new mobile websites. Why mobile?  According to Nielsen research, by the end of this year, more than half the country will own a smart phone. And, as shown by Morgan Stanley’s Mobile usage study, over the next five years more people will connect to the internet via a mobile than a PC. By the year 2013, 50% of all internet searches are expected to originate from a mobile device.

Mobile presents an opportunity for our CB Bain | Seal brokers to reach real estate consumers wherever and whenever they want it!  Mobile owners have their device within four feet at all times and are ready and willing to engage when provided ease of access and information of value.

That’s why CB Bain | Seal is launching our mobile sites and applications over the next month. They will make searching for homes on the go simpler and more convenient for you, your clients, and your potential clients. The cbbain.com and cbseal.com mobile websites will allow buyers to use their smart phone to easily obtain comprehensive listing information for all listings from all companies in seconds…perhaps most importantly for the home right in front of them.

We think our mobile sites – with their ability to efficiently deliver listings and open house information to buyers’ smartphones – will enhance our brokers’ business. How?  By connecting them directly with very engaged real estate consumers, whether by email, text or a call.

Our mobile sites are optimized for iPhone and Android and have many instantly accessible features, including

  • Nearby Property Search
  • Nearby Open House Search
  • Broker Search
  • MLS Number Search
  • Recently Viewed Properties
  • Favorite Properties
  • Video
  • And more

Better yet, mobile buyers can contact our brokers directly from their listings’ property detail pages, via email, call or text message. Buyers can also connect with brokers the same way directly from the brokers’ profile pages. As you can see, one major goal of our new mobile websites is to make it easier for our brokers to connect with and cultivate prospects and then to acquire and retain them as clients.

The mobile CBBain.com and CBSeal.com are available for beta-testing now. We’re asking for our brokers’ help in testing them so that we can be confident we’re creating the best user experience for their clients and prospects. To help brokers get started, each Principal Managing Broker has our one-sheet titled “Going Mobile on CBBain.com and CBSeal.com”. Brokers can also find it via the Company Access Page.