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3 Cool Apps to Help Real Estate Professionals Reach Their Fitness Goals in 2017

January 30th, 2017

Is improving your health and fitness a New Year’s resolution for you? For many real estate professionals, daily life is hectic, and finding time to focus on personal wellness is often challenging.  However, by putting your health first, you will find personal satisfaction that will not only benefit your well-being, but also with business successes. Here are three apps that can help busy professionals get started to improving their health in 2017: Read more…

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How The “Internet of Things” Affects Real Estate

January 5th, 2017

smart_homeGrowing interest in Wi-Fi connected gadgets as holiday gifts inspired us to write this article about Internet of Things (IoT). So today we cover IoT: what it is, how it affects real estate, and what to look for in the future.

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

The English Oxford dictionary defines the Internet of Things (IoT) as “the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.” For example, lights that can connect to your smartphone via internet so that you can turn them on or off wherever you are, even if not at home, wearable devices to track your sleeping habits, or self-driving cars. These everyday objects with internet connectivity aim to provide convenience and efficiency to the user by sensing, tracking and transmitting data. And because the growth in the industry has made such devices very affordable, they are proliferating. All these devices, regardless of who makes them, are categorized into the IoT concept.

How It Affects Real Estate

IoT gadgets for the home lead to Smart Homes. Did you get a Wemo Switch this year as a holiday gift? Or perhaps an Alexa-controlled Echo speaker? If you did, you are probably on your way to transitioning your home to a Smart Home. Smart Homes are homes “equipped with network-connected products”. In the real estate industry, perhaps you already started noticing clients who are more excited when they tour properties with “Smart Home Technology.” In these homes, devices communicate with each other – from the alarm clock to smart thermostats, fire alarms and security cameras.

 READ: Prep Agents with 6 Smart Home Facts

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Best Practices for Shopping Online Safely

November 28th, 2016

E-commmobile-payment-customerce is great! It offers choices and convenience. And this holiday season, many of us will purchase gifts online for our loved ones. But there is no substitute to being a well-informed consumer. So, we put together a list of best practices to help you shop safely and confidently this holiday season. Read more…

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A web page not loading correctly? Try deleting the cache.

October 26th, 2016

If a web page is not loading properly or if it is loading slowly, you may benefit from deleting the cache.

What is a cache? A cache is temporary storage that your web browser uses to keep local copies of pages, images and other content you frequently visit online. The browser uses what is stored in the cache instead of loading the entire website again.

Why should I clear it? While very helpful to have a good user experience online, over time the cache stores numerous files in your computer; when you clear out the cache, the most up-to date version of the websites you access regularly will load and display, reducing error messages. Deleting those old files will also allow you access information online faster.

What about cookies and browser history?

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Windows 10: Fast Startup

October 10th, 2016

Windows 10: Fast Startup

Windows 10 introduced a new feature called “Fast Startup.” The purpose of this feature is to allow your computer to turn on a bit faster after you have shut down. Windows performs this by overriding the Shutdown command and never fully turning off; instead it goes into a sleep-like hibernation. When you turn the computer back on, it resumes right where it left off. As a result, the sub-processes and programs never get the fresh-start they need. This can cause your computer to do all kinds of odd things: slow down, fail to print, load web pages incorrectly, and more.

How do you know if your computer is being affected by Fast Startup? 

Fortunately, Windows keeps track of this with a clock called “Uptime.”

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Do you fear making a call to tech support?

September 13th, 2016

calling tech supportIf you are frustrated from your experiences with past technical support calls and dread contacting tech support for help, you are not alone. When nearly 3,000 people were asked about their biggest customer experience success or failure in the last decade, 76% recalled a failure. Almost half – 45% – could not remember having a single recent successful customer experience success.

It’s a universal problem that was a motivating factor when Florida Realtors® created Tech Helpline for real estate agents and brokers some 15 years ago. Our goal for more than a decade has been to eliminate the “fear” out of contacting tech support for members. Fear is a major factor when it comes to technology, ranked one of the top fears of Americans, second only to Man-Made Disasters, according to a study by Chapman University.

Tech Helpline has clearly been successful in removing the fear factor, as not only has it been dubbed the “Genius Bar for real estate” in praise of its Apple-like, personalized, experienced support staff, but has become the real estate industry’s #1 tech support service. In fact, today, 60 percent of Realtors in North America – the U.S. and Canada – now have access to Tech Helpline.

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New Drone Rule Affecting The Real Estate Industry

August 29th, 2016

droneSmall Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS), most commonly known as drones, are making an impact in many aspects of life. In the past, being able to use drones for commercial purposes, including in the real estate industry, had been complicated and limited to operators who had an FAA Section 333 exemption.

That just changed. The first operational rule from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems became effective August 29, 2016.

If you have been following the development of drones for commercial use, here are three significant changes to note with this ruling:

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6 Things You Should Do When Your Email Gets Hacked

July 19th, 2016

Email Hacking1Getting your email hacked can happen to any of us, and it can be alarming. The most popular way people realize that their email has been hacked is when a friend or family member lets them know that they received a strange email from them.

Email hackers target the public to take money from them fraudulently. One popular way they take people’s money is by getting unauthorized access to your email account and sending an email to your contacts. The email may state that you are on vacation overseas and suddenly need help and money – could they please send money right away to the mentioned account.

Unaware that it wasn’t really you who sent the email, and because it seems like a legitimate email from you, some contacts do send money to the fraudsters.

If you ever recognize that your personal email has been hacked, do these six things to mitigate risk:

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Making Tech Support a Universal Benefit for Members, Agents

July 15th, 2016

Today, nearly 60 percent of all the Realtors® in North America have access to technical support provided by the real estate industry’s #1 tech support team, Tech Helpline. Owned by Florida Realtors®, Tech Helpline has become well known for its warm, friendly, U.S.-based tech analysts who specialize in solving real estate agent and broker tech challenges. In fact, because it was built by Realtors for Realtors, it has earned the moniker “the Genius Bar for real estate,” paying homage to Apple and its world-class reputation for technical support.

Top member benefit
For many MLSs, local and state Realtor Associations — and even real estate brokerages — the services offered by Tech Helpline are often the top-rated member and agent benefits at these organizations. MLSs and Associations strive to add value for their members, and they tell us that Tech Helpline is most often cited as a top service that their members appreciate most.

That’s really not surprising when thinking about the day in the life of a real estate agent or broker. Technology is often integrated into every part of their business processes, and as we move closer and closer to fully achieving a digital real estate transaction, technical support will become even more important.

When a printer won’t connect to a laptop, a smartphone loses all of its contacts, or your desktop is infected by malware or a virus—anything that gets in the way of helping a consumer buy or sell a home—whom does one call? For two out of every five Realtors in the U.S. and Canada that still don’t have Tech Helpline, most will tell you they will lose valuable time and money dealing with these kinds of problems. Unfortunately, these technology glitches happen every day, and the more technology becomes embedded onto our day-to-day lives, the more we need – and appreciate – having someone to reach out to who will help us quickly solve our tech problems. Read more…

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The 3 changes in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that will benefit Realtors

June 22nd, 2016
Comments Off on The 3 changes in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that will benefit Realtors

Microsoft is releasing a large update for Windows 10, which they have dubbed the “Anniversary Update.” There is no official release date at the time of this writing, but it is expected this summer, near the one year anniversary of Windows 10’s release. This update promises dozens of changes to Windows, some behind the scenes and some front-and-center. Let’s take a look at the three changes that will be significant for Realtors.

Additional Security with Windows Defender –

Virus, Malware, Adware…. These issues are among the top reasons Realtors call Tech Helpline, so we know additional security will be beneficial.

Although viruses, malware, adware plague Windows users, historically it has always been a bad idea to run more than one anti-virus at the same time. For example, having both Norton and McAfee on the same computer leaves you just as vulnerable as having no anti-virus at all. But no single anti-virus is perfect enough to catch everything, so having a second line of defense, such as anti-malware software, helps keep you safe without causing issues. With the Anniversary Update, the built-in Windows Defender can be set up as a “second opinion” anti-virus that won’t interfere with your main protection.

To enable Windows Defender as a second anti-virus, you will need to go to your Start Menu (in the bottom-left corner of your screen) and click “Settings.” From there, click “Update & Security,” then “Windows Defender.” If you have an anti-virus other than Windows Defender installed you will see an option called “Periodic Scanning.” Once that is enabled, you will have even more protection against malicious software! Please note that this option won’t appear if you don’t have an anti-virus beside Windows Defender installed.

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    • Please contact your Tech Helpline provider (Association, MLS or Brokerage) to obtain your dedicated Tech Helpline phone number.