Giving cool real estate products, tools and news a Big Encore

Microsoft’s Windows 8 has hit the market recently, and it has received  mixed reviews from both computer professionals and consumers, notably due to its unique interface and lack of a start button. However, it does some cool interactive things that will make social media easier, especially if you are a real estate professional trying to market your business and keep in touch with clients.

The main screen for Windows 8 looks a lot like the one on a smart phone. It consists of a series of colorful boxes (dubbed “tiles”), each with a program, special application or feature. You can pull up the weather by clicking on the weather box, check out your Netflix account by scrolling over and clicking on the app for it, and switch all of the tiles around so that the ones that you use the most are closest to the front.

And if you want to switch back over a more traditional interface, one that looks a lot like Windows 7 (minus the start button, of course) is included, so you can flip between the two as you see fit. Here are a few of the other things that Windows 8 has:

- Pictures. The pictures tile has not only all of the pictures that you’ve uploaded to your computer, but also all of the ones from your social media accounts. For example, you will be able to locate  a picture of yourself (or a property) that you posted to Facebook from your cell phone without having to physically right-click and download that picture to your computer.

- Contacts. The contacts tile is a listing of all of your email contacts, as well as all of your social media ones. You won’t have to log into your Facebook account and search for a particular email address or phone number, since they will be right on your fingertips, almost literally, if you upgrade to a tablet PC running the software.

- Social Media.  The social media tile makes it easy to update all of your account at once, and allows you to keep tabs on all of your followers and friends. While there are programs out there that do this very thing (like HootSuite) it’s nice to have this option included.

- Skydrive. One of the most useful things included in Windows 8 is Skydrive. Yes, Microsoft has finally caught on to the “cloud” concept and has created a place where you can save everything, without having to resort to your hard drive alone.

While Windows 8 seems to be designed for a tablet computer, it does run on non-touch-screen laptops, and there are a number of them available for sale. It does take some practice in order to use this operating system to its full capabilities, so we suggest playing with it in the store before deciding whether or not to upgrade.

Smart phones are like mini computers. You can compose documents, check your email, update your social media accounts and even play complicated mini-versions of full scale video games on them. And, just like you would install and continuously update antivirus software on your computer, you would do the same for your smart phone, right?

In fact, many antivirus companies are selling package deals, or multi-versions of their software. This means that you can purchase one for your computer, and receive a code to use on the smart phone app version of the same program. But the real question is, do you really need an antivirus program for your own, or is it all just a way for antivirus software companies to make extra money?

Actual statistics are hard to find, but the most recent ones (from 2010) show that there was a 46% rise in viruses, trojan horses and worms worldwide. Most alarmingly, the same people who are making and sending the viruses for computers have started turning their attentions toward smart phones like the iPhone or those running Android software.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Do you do banking on your smart phone?
  • Do you have an Android phone?
  • Are you indiscriminate when choosing which apps to purchase and download?
  • Do you have sensitive work related (or even personal) information on your smart phone?
  • If something should happen to your smart phone, will your business collapse?

If you’ve answered yes to several of these, then you should install the software, just to be on the safe side. However, if you’re extremely careful about which apps you download and which website you surf with your phone, have an iPhone (these are harder to target with viruses), and keep everything secure with the recommended interesting and lengthy passwords, then you should be okay without it.

But, if you wanted to install one just to be on the safe side, no one will argue!


Zillow releases app for Blackberry

With all the recent buzz around the iPhone and Android apps, Zillow has created quite the stir after releasing a real estate app for the Blackberry.

The location-based Zillow BlackBerry App uses GPS technology to find and follow users on an aerial map, and displays Zestimate® home valuations, homes for sale, homes for rent, Rent Zestimates, Make Me Move® listings and recently sold data on the homes around them. Additional features on the Zillow BlackBerry App include:

  • Multiple search filters that include price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and other valuable home-related information.
  • Homes viewable on a map with high-resolution satellite and street view.
  • Home search by location or by typing in a city, ZIP code or address.
  • Full-screen color photos of homes.

The Zillow BlackBerry App is available today and is free to download.

EstatePad client management on the iPad

EstatePad is a one-time fee download for the iPad that will help save you time managing your Real Estate business.

We love EstatePad as it automates the simple tasks such as contacting your existing clients, capturing new clients and tailoring to each of your clients needs.

EstatePad automatically connects to Facebook and Twitter allowing you to manage some of your social media marketing while on the go.

EstatePad is there to simplify your client management. We think that’s a good thing!

Are business cards dead? A new app for iPhone and Android, Hashable, makes it dead simple to share contact info! When you are meeting new contacts at your next trade show or awards ceremony simply type in a person’s email address or Twitter handle to exchange contact info.

With Twitter on pace to reach 200 million users we believe that it is very possible that these types of apps will become the norm of tomorrow’s business card sharing. Today we think it is just a very cool way to share info.

We first wrote about the real estate open house iPad app Open Home Pro here, and since then version 2 was just approved on the Apple App store!

This is great news for lovers of Open Home Pro. It is an iPad app to manage your open houses and convert more leads! We hope you are excited as we are. We give OpenHome Pro a Big Encore!

BackAgent Real estate back office

BackAgent aims to reduce a brokerages monthly costs by combining costs for online faxing, customized flyers, email marketing, lead tracking, and transaction management services into one service called BackAgent.

A Houston-based company, REALM, has been working for the past five years to combine and improve the many tools used by Realtors on a daily basis to create this unique product, BackAgent.

BackAgent offers Online Faxing, Contacts & Leads, Agent Websites, Transactions, Online Training, Flyers and more.


Evernote App

Evernote for iPad and iPhone

Evernote makes it easy to remember things. Evernote is intuitively organized, so  you can remember web pages, photos, screenshots or a text note. Evernote keeps them all safe and easy to find later. It’s a very clever and useful app.

Evernote is one of those helpful tools that you really need to see to believe.

Everything you capture is automatically processed, indexed and made searchable. Which makes everything very easy to find later.

Open Home Pro

Open Home Pro for iPad

A high-tech way to collect email addresses, phone numbers and info about visitors to your open house. It also automatically emails them a thank you and sends you their contact and other info.

Open Home Pro is like a sign in sheet, retooled and ready for the 21st century.

Version 2 was to be released March 9th. New features include Facebook integration, built in Address Book to store collected clients and over 15 new questions to ask potential leads.

For more visit their site

Remember the Milk

Remember the Milk for iPhone, iPad and Android

Take your to-do list anywhere with this feature-packed app; never forget the milk (0r anything else) again.

Remember the Milk not only makes organizing and managing task easy and quick, it also sends you reminders via email, text message or instant messenger.

It’s a clever app that helps any Realtor keep organized through out their day.


Real Estate Dictionary for Android

Dictionary of Real Estate  Terms for Android

Real Estate Dictionary for Android. This Android app is the most comprehensive of its kind and provides an easy-to-use reference guide you can suggest to your clients or use yourself.

Real Estate Android App.


DaVinci for iPad

DaVinci for iPad

1. Meet DaVinci for the iPad


It’s the first field app for property appraisers on the iPad. It’ll change your world.

One of the really nice features of DaVinci is that you don’t need to carry a camera with you, it supports both front and rear facing cameras on the iPad.

Read more…

Realty Promoter Software

Realty Promoter Software

As the saying goes, a carpenter is only as good as his tools. In Real Estate if a tool can save you time and organize your business needs it’s going to save you money. Realty Promoter Software is a company that specializes in building software to make your business run more smoothly. Despite its lack of design flare it is probably the best functioning software on the market.

Realty Promoter maps every part of your business for you and it is very unique in how it does it. You can also customize the software to your needs. They have different modules that you can include to create a system around what you do and pricing starts at just $12/mo.

How does it work?

Realty Promoter runs directly on your computer like normal desktop software. Ensuring that important information is under your control. However, unlike normal desktop software you can access it via a mobile device like a phone. This makes it easy to access your information on the go.

I first came across Realty Promoter Software at the Banff trade show and thought it was a very cool product. It simplifies the day to day administrative tasks and it even integrates with Twitter and Facebook. It’s official we give Realty Promoter Software a big encore.