New iPhone…New Macs With Lower Prices…Safari 4

As we were showing off the new “My C.A.R.” iPhone app for the C.A.R. and REBS staff, Apple was rolling out their new stuff in San Francisco.

I have to admit it was a bit of a blissful geek moment to know that we were doing a demo at the same time as the Apple biggies..especially since they both involved the iPhone.

What would be really cool is to eventually see the “My C.A.R.” app get demoed at Apple’s WWDC as part of a keynote.
Maybe version 2.0?

Oh yeah…the Apple news.

So the big news from San Fran was the roll-out of new laptops with LOWER PRICES, the incredibly cheap Snow Leopard upgrade, Safari 4.0, and of course the much expected new iPhone 3GS.

So I could go on about all the nitty-gritty details but a lot of other blogs/websites have done that , my favorite Apple related sites  are AppleInsider and Mac Rumors.

I’m totally in love with my son’s iTouch and have downloaded app after app for it games for the both of us, and utilities for me.

I’m just waiting for the iPhone to be “officially” supported by the I.T. staff. I can get e-mail on the iTouch but since there’s no “official” support for accessing office e-mail like that I can’t give up my Blackberry. Once it is…it’s bye-bye Blackberry, hello iPhone!

It’s an incredibly brilliant device and the amount of apps available as well as the incredibly low price of them is astounding.

I think it’s great that Apple has brought the prices down on their laptops…it was much needed, especially with the BS Microsoft ads. While there was no “netbook” announced they did bring the price of the MacBook Air down significantly, that was another brilliant move.

Offering the Snow Leopard upgrade for $29…WOW!!!! One of the boldest moves I’ve ever seen a company make and another great shot at Microsoft.

I DARE Microsoft to offer Windows 7 upgrade for the same price!

Now I don’t totally hate Microsoft…it has its place in the world. After all we need a couple of competitors for us to get the best out of the tech market. Microsoft though continues to not listen to its customers and does what it thinks is right…that’s where it fails, and has been failing for the past 5 years.

It will be curious to see how yesterday’s product announcements bode for both companies. It’ll be exciting to watch…that’s for sure!

“My C.A.R” App Featured On Inman

Those good folks at Inman were kind enough to mention our wonderful new iPhone/iTouch app on their site here. and link back to my original blog post.

We’re getting a lot of great response to this and a lot of great questions. To answer a few…

1. Is this available to real estate professionals outside of California?

The application was developed keeping re-use in mind. It will be available for re-licensing by other real estate companies and REALTOR® organizations so they can easily put in the data that they want to share with their staff or members.

2. I’m a member of the California Association of REALTORS®, how do I get a copy?

The app was initially rolled out in pre-release format, and made available to the members who attended the business meetings last week in Sacramento. We’re going through the final approval process with Apple and once it’s approved our plan is to make it available through Apple’s App Store. Keep an eye on www.car.org and the C.A.R. Newsline for an announcement  once it’s made public.

3. How much will it cost me?

The app will be FREE for all members of the California Association of REALTORS®.

Twitter Makes The Cover Of Time Magazine

As if Twitter wasn’t big enough already, now they’ve made the cover of Time Magazine.

In an article titled “How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live”, Steven Johnson of Time Magazine talks about how Twitter is impacting all the facets of life for us.

It’s a great read and excellent for those REALTORS® who are still on the fence about Twitter.

While you’re there be sure to read the article about how a church is allowing and encouraging its parishoners to Tweet while in service.

New “My C.A.R.” iPhone/iTouch App

Here’s a demo of the new “My C.A.R.” iPhone/iTouch app just announced at the C.A.R. meetings in Sacramento.

Right now it’s only available to those who are at the meetings but will be available through the Apple App Store later this month.

The video was put together by yours truly with help from Alan Arora and Ben Karp.

The voices are courtesy of C.A.R. staff members Rick Laezman and Stacey Katzin.

Face2Face Interactive Video Conferencing Program Launched!

For the past month and a half my co-workers and I have been working feverishly on a new program called Face2Face that will help state associations deliver N.A.R. designations (Green designation, Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®), and the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation) along with C.A.R. Education courses my own Technology training series.

It’s all done via video conferencing. The instructor sees the students at the associations and the students get to see the instructor as well as the presentation materials.

Here’s what it looks like for the instructor…

My view of the students while teaching
My view of the students while teaching

What’s great about this program is:
* Smaller associations will be able to hold training for their members and not have to worry about the typically large class size minimum
* One instructor can teach to up to 4 different geographic locations all at the same time…one person can finally be in multiple places all at the same time 🙂
* It’s DRE approved!

Perhaps the best is that we’re the first (or one of the first) state associations to do this.

Myself and the team have done A LOT over the last month and a half, and this was an incredible team effort!
Good job Albert, Ana, Candace, Dani & Michelle!

Of course many thanks to the local associations who helped us deliver our first training sessions..

California Desert Association of REALTORS®

Delta Association of REALTORS®

Newport Beach Association of REALTORS®

Tri-Counties Association of REALTORS®

Orange County Association of REALTORS®

Solano Association of REALTORS®

South Bay Association of REALTORS®

I’m so thrilled and honored to be a part of this and I think we’ve got a great product.

To read more about it, check out the press release.

Now it’s time to start working on more classes to deliver via Face2Face – See you on-line!

The White House Is Tweeting…Are You?

I gotta say that I’m incredibly impressed by how much our government has embraced social media and networking. They’re getting information out to people in a manner in which they really like to get it.

Found this great article on how the White House is now using Twitter to communicated updates. It also talks about how the different technologies are being implemented across the board.

So for all my REALTOR® readers out there that have as yet to fully embrace the goodness that is social media and social networking…WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??????

Please don’t tell me that you’re going to let the federal government out do you….

Time to start socializing on Facebook, Tweeting important updates on the market and posting home tour videos on YouTube.

It’s all free too! All you need to do is invest some time and be open to getting into something new…trust me it’ll be worth it.

Marketing Done Right!

As I was headed from the Metrolink to the Red Line at Union Station I was handed this….
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After first thinking….”Cool, something for free…free rocks!” I then started realizing how brilliant a marketing strategy this was.

They were passing them out in an area where they’re going to get to THOUSANDS of their target customer group – business people and commuters who want a quick and simple lunch that’s easy to carry.

Imagine the impact it had on the people who had forgotten to bring a lunch, or didn’t have time to pack a lunch because they had to rush out the door. If it was me I’d be more likely to actually go and buy the product later because they helped me keep from having to shell out $10-$15 for lunch.

As I got to the red line people were looking at the boxes – checking it out – THEY WERE LOOKING AT THE PRODUCT – that’s huge!

So how are you marketing yourself?

Are you where the clients are looking?

Are you providing something of use?

Are you helping them out?

Granted REALTORS® may not have a physical product to hand out, but they do have their knowledge to give away. They have their experience and wisdom to share. They have market data to share.

In a housing market like this, information & data is KEY!

So when you’re thinking about marketing your services think about how you can not only make sure you’re in front of potential clients but how you can make their lives easier and a little happier.

For those of you wondering how the sandwich tastes? Not sure yet. I may not have it today for lunch, but I will have it and I’ll let you know what I think.

In the meantime…get working on that marketing…get in front of those clients!

The Power Of YouTube & Music

YouTube in conjunction with a number of companies started a contest to find musicians from all over the globe to put on a concert.

Auditions were held via videos submitted and posted on YouTube. Each musician had to perform a piece composed just for this contest by Chinese composer Tan Dun.

All videos were reviewed by some of the world’s renowned orchestras.

The prize?

An invitation to perform in New York City at the famous Carnegie Hall under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.

Of the 3,000 that submitted videos, only 96 were chosen and got to perform at the concert held on April 15th.

So here, virtual unknowns were plucked from the masses all over the globe thanks to the wonderful video upload tool that is YouTube.

My question now to real estate professionals…why don’t you have video home tours posted on YouTube? There’s an incredible amount of exposure out there and so many people using the services it’s almost mind boggling. Better yet – IT’S FREE!!!!!

If you YouTube can be used to gather musicians from all over the world, it can certainly help showcase your homes and your services.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start uploading videos!

You can get more information on the symphony as well as check out video of the performance on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/symphony

And The Biggest Twit Is…..@APLUSK (A.K.A. Ashton Kutcher)

Ashton Kutcher has done it…he hit 1 million Twitter followers.

Actually as of this posting he’s at 2,070,898. WOW! He not only hit a million, he blew it totally away.

CNN finally hit a million as well, but they’re well behind Ashton now with 1,016,166 followers.

Still way better than my 20 followers.

I think we need a new contest. First non-celebrity to hit a million followers.

For those of you thinking he’s just using Twitter for fame and fortune…he and his wife Demi Moore (@mrskutcher)are also using it to support Malaria No More – http://www.malarianomore.org/. They’ve already gotten a number of people both famous and non-famous to make donations. Well done Ashton and Demi!

C’mon real estate pros…jump onto Twitter…it’s free and it’s a great way to keep your clients up to date!

Sign up at www.twitter.com – First 20 real estate pros to set-up a new Twitter account, and follow me will get a blog post here featuring their Twitter accounts as real estate pros. This does not apply to pre-existing accounts…this is meant to get those on the fence off of it.

While you’re at it, go and make a donation to http://www.malarianomore.org/ .

Give up a couple of lattes for the week to help save someone’s life. I did 🙂

Biggest Twit – Ashton or CNN?

As if Twitter couldn’t get more public recognition or notice…here’s yet more press for it.

Ashton Kutcher has challenged CNN in a race to get 1 million followers. As of this post Ashton was at 950,187 followers,  14,420 behind CNN‘s 964,607.

I’m rockin’ the charts at a total of 20 followers. You can find my profile HERE.

So for those real estate professionals who thought that there was no one on Twitter, or that Twitter was just a fad.

Guess again…perhaps it’s time to start looking at Twitter and figuring out how to use it to market yourself and your services.