April 16, 2014

Getting Down to Basics

teaching 300x199 Getting Down to BasicsNow that we have launched into 2011, I am starting a new regular series here at the BVAS Connection called “Getting Down to Basics”. In this series, I intend to explain the basics on using social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, various platforms such as HootSuite, Google, or any other technology plaform.

On this blog, as well as many other real estate marketing and real estate technology blogs, we review and talk about various technologies and platforms meant to improve your real estate business. For the tech-savvy among us who work in these platforms all the time, they are like second nature to us. But over the years of working with clients for whom technology may not always come easy, I realized that quite a few people didn’t really know how to actually create an Facebook page  (or the difference between a profile and an official page), how to sign up for Twitter, how use HootSuite, or other tasks. So I saw a need for some easy to understand tutorials to bring agents into the tech savvy arena.

I’m creating this series of based on the frequently asked questions I have run into on various things from Facebook to Google. It will include some instructional blog postings, as well as video demonstrating exactly how to do various tasks.  Now, of course I am not an expert in everything (shocking, isn’t it?), so I will occasionally be inviting other experts to guest post on the BVAS Connections with their tutorials.

Have a question about how to use Facebook, your CRM, or any other technology that has you stumped? I want to hear from you! I invite you to please leave me a comment below with any questions or requests for basic how-to’s for anything social media related,  technology tools, what have you. And if I don’t have the answer, my team of experts will!

First up, Facebook pages and more, so stay tuned!

 Getting Down to Basics

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Best Uses of QR Codes on Your Yard Signs

clikbrix 300x189 Best Uses of QR Codes on Your Yard Signs

Clickbrix Screenshot

QR codes are a very cool little piece of tech that agents are starting to use all over the place. I’ve previously gone over what exactly QR codes are and how to use QR codes to market your listings. Today I want to touch on the best uses of QR codes on your real estate yard signs.

  • Mobile Enabled Single Property Site - The QR code on the yard sign can take mobile users to a comprehensive listing info site that is formatted just for mobile phones. Super simple way to deliver all the property info to prospective buyers right in there hands.
  • Video or Video Tour - Put a QR code on your sign that sends them right the the YouTube video of the virtual tour. Prospective buyers can scan the code from the sign and instantly see the home tour video. YouTube is already mobile friendly, so it can be a great fit.
  • Contact Form - Send prospective buyers to a place that not only gives them some home info, but send them to a contact form you to capture their contact info for them to request more info or personal contact with you.

A few recommended resources:

I mentioned in my previous post about listing marketing that vyoo.it is a great source for creating mobile enabled single property sites. Sign riders from them are also in the works (as of this date they’re “coming soon”).

A company called Clickbrix is taking the real estate QR code world by storm and they have solution that creates fantastic looking mobile property sites that include pictures, maps and more. They also provide great looking mobile agent profile sites. I think the best feature is that they provide realtime tracking and reporting for your QR code traffic, which is awesome. Agent plans run $25/month.

If you need stickers or yard signs printed with your QR codes, you should try a company called StickerScan.com. They give you the ability to print 3″x4″ stickers for several of your you listings at once with them. You can take a code you generated from elsewhere or have them generate it for you. Their pricing starts at $19 for 20 stickers (2 for each sign).

The BVAS Connection, Megan Barber and Barber Virtual Assisting Solutions are in no way affiliated with the above companies and have not received any compensation for recommending them. We just simply like their product/services.

 Best Uses of QR Codes on Your Yard Signs

 Best Uses of QR Codes on Your Yard SignsMegan Barber is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, and owner of Barber Virtual Assisting Solutions. With over 12 years of experience working within the real estate industry, Megan provides top notch real estate support services such as marketing, lead follow-up, social media, WordPress websites, and more. She is also author of VA Mommy and Co-Founder of REVA Academy, a Real Estate VA Training program.

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Market Your Real Estate Listings QR Codes

In this previous post, Technology Fun for Real Estate – QR Codes , I gave an introduction into the world of QR codes, what they are, how to get them, and what you can do with them. Today I want to dig into them a little more and talk about some ways to spice up your listing marketing by using QR codes and using them effectively.

Don’t know what they are yet? Check out my previous post

So you have a new listing, and want to enlist the technology of these curious looking codes to promote to mobile users. how do you do it? First of all, you will need decide on the destination you want to direct your mobile users to. It helps to have a mobile friendly page to direct them to that can convey all the listing info easily. Here are my 3 favorite uses:

  1. vyoo logo2 Market Your Real Estate Listings QR CodesMost single property websites are also mobile ready. Simply use a generator like Goo.gl (which I love for it’s tracking ability) to turn your single property site url into a QR code.  Some single property website providers,  like Real Bird, have even added the ability to generate QR codes for you to use in their services.
  2. If you are not a user of single property websites, another option you can use something called vyoo.it. From the samepeople that brought you Postlets, vyoo.it allows you to create a fabulous looking mobile ready page, packed with all the details of your listing including pictures and your contact info. And if you are a current Postlet user, you can save yourself a step since you can automatically import the Postlet url to populate the vyoo.it page for you. Super simple!
  3. Another great destination to direct your QR code to is to a video or virtual our. YouTube, for example, is already
    youtube qr Market Your Real Estate Listings QR Codes


    optimized for mobile viewing, so sending your mobile visitors right to the video tour on YouTube is a perfect match. Imagine a potential buyer standing outside your listing and scanning the code off the sign to be taken to the virtual tour instantly. And if they’re holding a flyer in their hands with a majority of the property information, it makes little sense to direct them to a site that rehashes the same information. So why not send them to the video tour? Just use a generator like Goo.gl to make the QR code.

Now where should you put these codes to market your listing? Naturally, some of the best palces to put these codes are on your property flyers, “Just Listed” card, or on signs and sign riders. Anywhere that you can reach potential buyers that would be interested in your property.

A couple more quick tips before I go: I recommend when using QR codes in your marketing, is to add in small print instructing users to scan the code with their phone’s reader. And just so you don’t completely alienate non-smartphone users (or those that still can’t figure out this scanning thing), provide the short url that can take mobile and non-mobile users to the same destination.

If you know of some creative spots to add your QR codes for marketing your listings, I would love to hear them in my comments down below. and coming up soon, I tell you how to utilize these things on your signs, business cards, and more. Plus I’ll include various QR code vendors who provide great products and solutions using QR codes. Stay tuned!

 Market Your Real Estate Listings QR Codes

 Market Your Real Estate Listings QR CodesMegan Barber is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, and owner of Barber Virtual Assisting Solutions. With over 12 years of experience working within the real estate industry, Megan provides top notch real estate support services such as marketing, lead follow-up, social media, WordPress websites, and more. She is also author of VA Mommy and Co-Founder of REVA Academy, a Real Estate VA Training program.

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The Poken- My New Favorite Tech Gadget

4391166566 34699b7f6e m The Poken  My New Favorite Tech Gadget

Image by MegBarberVA via Flickr

Do you Poken? That question brings up the subject of my latest techno-gadget-geek obsession… the Poken. It was introduced to me at a recent DVVAA networking lunch by fellow Virtual Assistant, Kyna Baker, and I think it is just the coolest thing ever. As usual, I’m always looking for things to make the business life of real estate agents easier, and this fun little gadget can do just that.

What is a Poken, you ask? To put it simply, the Poken is a digital business card device. It provides you an easy way to share your contact info as well as all your online social network profiles with others you meet who have a Poken too. The exchange works by simply touching the palms together with another Poken user, or “high 4″ as they call it. And viola, the green glow means the information has transferred.

Later, you just plug your poken into your computer’s USB port and transfer the contacts of the new people you just met into your Poken hub(it’s web based). You then can easily download those contacts and put into your Outlook or other contact manager. And if you make changes your contact info, it updates your connections in their hubs and vice versa. There’s no more scribbling down your social network links, or new email addresses.  There’s no scanning business cards, no typing into a database.  How cool is that? (Scroll down for info on where to get one)

They have 2 products currently, the Poken Spark and the Poken Pulse, and I ordered both just to test them all out. So far I am liking them a lot for different reasons. Here is a video I made showing them off and talking about the differences between the two products.

The Poken Spark is the original incarnation, and come in all sorts of eye-catching designs. I think they live up to their name as they can really spark up a conversation when people see them. They are small and can easily clip to your key key chain. The Spark holds about 50 contacts (before you download them), but does not have additional storage.

The Poken Pulse is their newer product that works in the same way, but also has 2GB of flash memory. It’s plainer looking than the Spark. It looks almost like a standard USB memory stick, but it does have the little hand on it and can be ordered with designs on the inside. It interacts with all other Pokens just the same, and has the ability to hold more contacts. Again is is the size of a USB memory stick and like the Spark, can be hooked on to a key chain.

So where can you get a Poken? The easiest way is to purchase your Poken online, and here are a number of places that sell Pokens on US soil:

Some of these vendors also allow you to by them in bulk orders, and you can even get them with your own logo printed right on them. Great to hand out for networking events, REALTOR conferences and expos, or even Thank You gifts for referrals.

Hope you find the Pokens as cool as I do. I see lots of possibilities with them as they gain popularity around the globe. And if you ever run into me in person (it can happen folks), be sure to Poken with me.

 The Poken  My New Favorite Tech Gadget

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Fun Little Widget For Your RE Blog

greenscreenshot 2 Fun Little Widget For Your RE BlogWhen searching for new plugins and widgets for my own blog, I stumbled upon this nifty little gem that I thought would be great for the “green conscious” Realtor and their blog.

Check out this Green Living Tips widget. It’s a cool little box that randomly cycles some tips for living a little greener and I think would be great little addition to a real estate blog. Right now it is only available for WordPress or Joomla sites, but it installs easily and looks great.

I’m always on the lookout for fun things to make your RE blog better. And if you need help setting your blog up, it’s a great job for your Real Estate Virtual Assistant to help with. Just sayin’.

 Fun Little Widget For Your RE Blog

 Fun Little Widget For Your RE BlogMegan Barber is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, and owner of Barber Virtual Assisting Solutions. With over 12 years of experience working within the real estate industry, Megan provides top notch real estate support services such as marketing, lead follow-up, social media, WordPress websites, and more. She is also author of VA Mommy and Co-Founder of REVA Academy, a Real Estate VA Training program.

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Are You Attending the Virtual RE BarCamp? I AM!!

vrebcsm3 Are You Attending the Virtual RE BarCamp?  I AM!!In just a couple short weeks, the very first Virtual Real Estate BarCamp will be held on November 17th. I just signed up and so should you!

So what is a BarCamp anyways? According to Wikipedia – BarCamp is an international network of user generated conferences (or unconferences) – open, participatory workshop-events, whose content is provided by participants.

Why should you attend? It’s VIRTUAL! So you have little excuse not to attend. You can attend right from the comfort of your own office, and can even invite a few of your colleagues. It’s a great opportunity to learn about and share great ideas about what’s new real estate marketing, real estate technology, social media and more. And all in a informal webinar sort of way.

And did I mention that it is free? That’s right, it wont’ cost you a thing!

So go and sign up and I hope to see you there!

More info from the VREBC folks…

Educating Real Estate Agents On How To Use Modern Technologies To Better Their Business Will Never Be The Same!

On November 17th, 2009 dozens of the most respected educators in the real estate industry converge to host the first of its kind, Virtual Real Estate BarCamp.

Virtual Real Estate BarCamp is a 1-Day Learning Extravaganza.
From 9am until 4pm PST, three concurrent webinar "rooms" will each host 9 different sessions, for a total of 27 different presentations.
There is something for everyone and everything for someone, and best of all, IT IS FREE and attendance is unlimited!

Click below to:
Learn more.
See who is coming.
Check out the Session Calendar.
Get sponsorship info.

Attendance is projected to be at least 1000 agents, nationwide.
Do not miss out on being part of this ground-breaking event.

Session topics include:

  1. Social Media Risk Management

  2. Flickr for Real Estate

  3. Developing Your Brand

  4. Online Advertising Secrets

  5. Facebook for Real Estate

  6. WordPress Training

  7. Daily Goal Tracking

  8. Starting a Real Estate Blog

…and much more, with new sessions being added every day.

And if that wasn\’t cool enough, individuals from around the country are volunteering to host In-Real-Life MeetUps for after the event.
Learn all day, and then meet to have a beer with local participants. This is going to be a blast!

We hope to see you there!

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Mega Props to Coldwell Banker on YouTube

cbScreenshot 300x166 Mega Props to Coldwell Banker on YouTube

Lately I have been exploring the uses of video for my own business as well as how to best help my agent clients use real estate video for their own business.  While doing this, I ran across Coldwell Banker’s very cool YouTube channel, Coldwell Banker On LocationSM. It launched in May of this year, and though my own area doesn’t have as much activity, I am quite impressed with the look of it and it’s potential.

On the consumer end, I think the page itself is very cool with an interactive map a the top with your selected location, and all videos uploaded from Coldwell Banker agents from the selected radius. This includes listing videos, agent promotional videos, etc.

For Coldwell Banker and their agents, I think this channel and its setup is incredibly smart. This benefits their agents by allowing them to upload their own videos of their listings, personal promotion, or community videos, and it helps increase the agent’s exposure. It is also great for Coldwell Banker to help increase their brand exposure and possibly making it the go-to channel on YouTube for real estate.

Social media has become an increasingly valuable real estate marketing tool, and with their presence on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and more, Coldwell Banker seems to be a step ahead of most of the other big brokers right now. I have a few of their lucky agents as clients, and as their Real Estate Virtual Assistant I am eager to help them utilize these awesome tools their broker has provided them.

If you are not a Coldwell Banker agent, that’s not a problem. You can still have a kick butt YouTube channel on your own. Your Real Estate Virtual Assistant can not only help with your video marketing strategy, but help you develop and implement your overall social network marketing strategy as well.

Megan Barber is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, owner of Barber Virtual Assisting Solutions, LLC,  and runs blogs, The BVAS Connection and The Virtual Perception. Megan has been in a Virtual Assistant for 4+ years and has spent 10+ years doing the “behind-the-scenes” work in the real estate industry assisting agents with their real estate marketing and transaction needs.

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Great post on Active Rain – Time To Dump The Desk??

media httpactiveraincomimagestoreuploads93838ar125372746883839JPG ulIjbBmpiDddDzF.JPG.scaled500 Great post on Active Rain   Time To Dump The Desk??

If you want to ditch the desk and go completely mobile, here are the necessary tools to do so. This is a great post from Clint Miller on Active Rain. Follow him on Twitter too – http://twitter.com/therealclint

Posted via web from megbarberva’s posterous

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Testing out the Very Cool Posterous

CUsersMeganDocumentsYoucamSnap.jpg.scaled.500 Testing out the Very Cool Posterous


I found a cool tool today, called Posterous. And if it worked right, you are viewing this not only on my Posterous page, but on my blog as well.  Posterous is a simple and very cool tool that you can easily post anything with email. Share thoughts, photos, videos, blog postings, etc right from your email.


One great way to use it is to make blog posts anywhere you are from your mobile phone. For example, take a photo of your newest listing from your phone, make a quick write up, and email from your phone to post@posterous.com, and boom, it’s posted. And even better, set up your Posterous account with Autopost and you can updated your Facebook, Twitter, or your blogs (as I have done). So it’s one-stop instant posting.


There’s many other cool ways to use Posterous, so I recommend you run over and check them out.


Gotta love all the many of ways you can post your content to anyone, anywhere, any time. Thanks for letting me have a little fun here testing today. J

Posted via email from megbarberva’s posterous

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Great Showing Feedback Tool That’s FREE!

feedback bubble Great Showing Feedback Tool Thats FREE!Ever get fed up chasing down showing agents by phone trying to get showing feedback for your listings? Playing phone tag, or dealing with a fellow agent who is annoyed with the fact you called to bother them is never fun. (Been there, done that.) Then some of the online feedback systems can cost too much but offer just too little.

Well a client of mind found a free online showing feedback solution solution recently, we tried it out, and it is working great. So today I wanted to share this great tool to help you get your showing feedback results in an easy and automatic fashion. And best of all is that it’s FREE! The program is www.ShowingFeedback.com, and my agent client and I had recently stumbled upon it when looking for cost effective online showing feedback solutions.

ShowingFeedback.com allows you to track the feedback on your listings by creating and sending short surveys to agents that show your listings, and then give access to your sellers to review the reports and comments that have been left by the agents.

To use is, you simply enter your listings and seller’s information into the system, and when there is a new showing, add the showing agent’s information and a showing feedback survey is sent. The feedback survey will be sent automatically up to 3 times until the showing agent responds. When they do respond, they you AND your seller will receive email notification of the showing feedback that was just left. It is that simple.

So far in using it the past few weeks we have seen about a 90% response rate from the showing agents and we are very impressed. And of course, the sellers really appreciate getting direct email notification of their showing activity and feedback.

And did I mention that this was free? So go give it a try, you have nothing to lose!

Megan Barber is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, owner of Barber Virtual Assisting Solutions, LLC,  and runs blogs, The BVAS Connection and The Virtual Perception. Megan has been in a Virtual Assistant for 4+ years and has spent 10+ years doing the “behind-the-scenes” work in the real estate industry assisting agents with their real estate marketing and transaction needs.

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