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The 5 Tech Tips You Can’t Live Without

June 5th, 2017

By Tricia Stamper

Let’s face it: our lives are now tech centric. Think about this: In 2011, only 35% of American households had smartphones, but that number is now 77%! And three-in-four Americans ages 50-64 now own smartphones, a jump of 16% in just one year. The day in the life of a Realtor® relies upon dependable technology and dependable technology needs upgrading.

So, what are the must-do technology tips that every real estate agent and broker needs to protect themselves and their businesses? We turned to our experts at Florida Realtors® Tech Helpline, the real estate industry’s #1 tech support service, created by Realtors® for Realtors®. Collectively, our technical advisors have over 250 years of technical knowledge, and they specialize in supporting real estate brokers and agents.

Here are their Top 5 Tech Tips: Read more…

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How To Make A Video People Will Actually Watch

May 29th, 2017

Video is one of the most powerful forms of communications. And today, your smartphone and your laptop together make the production part of video easier than ever. The hard part is still finding a way to create videos that people actually want to watch.

So what can an agent do to create a video that people actually want to watch?

Create a community close-up
The secret to a great real estate video, say the experts, can be found in creating content that homebuyers want to see that they can’t easily find elsewhere on the Internet. That’s why videos that include content that profiles a neighborhood or is a close up of a community are so effective.

Video tips

Here’s how to put together a great community close-up or neighborhood profile:

1.    Collect “b-roll” video footage all year round. “B-roll” is simply video that you shoot that you can later narrate. You see this all the time on the nightly news. When they do a story on the Federal Reserve raising mortgage rates, they show people shopping for homes, For Sale signs, and signing loan documents. All of those video shots are “b-roll.” Read more…

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Tech Helpline Records Another Growth Spurt

May 11th, 2017

In the first 120 days this year, more than 53,000 real estate professionals from the states of Virginia and Wisconsin, Woodstock in Ontario, Canada, Estes, Colorado and five markets in Pennsylvania – from Metropolitan Pittsburgh to the Poconos Mountains – have access to Florida Realtors® Tech Helpline for the first time. Agents and brokers from nine states and local associations can receive a wide range of technical support services that covers both software and hardware issues, including their smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops, printers, email problems, viruses, wireless connections issues and more.

Today, nearly half of the Realtors® in U.S. and Canada – more than 500,000 real estate professionals – have access to Tech Helpline, a service owned by Florida Realtors® with a U.S.-based staff of professionals who have nearly 300 years of combined IT experience, offering support in both English and Spanish.

Dubbed “the Genius Bar for real estate,” Tech Helpline is the real estate industry’s number one technology support service. Since January, it has contracted with two state Realtor® associations – the Virginia REALTORS® (32,500 members) and the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (14,800 members) – and seven local associations, including the REALTORS® Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh (2,800 members), REALTORS® Association of York and Adams Counties (1,000+ members), the Pocono Mountains Association of REALTORS® (800 members), Greater Erie Board of REALTORS®, Inc. (600 members), Allegheny-Highland Association of REALTORS®, Inc. (260 members), and the Woodstock-Ingersoll & District Real Estate Board (nearly 200 members), and Estes Park Board of REALTORS® (100 members). Read more…

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How worried should you be about cookies?

May 3rd, 2017

cookiesIn this article, we review what cookies are in the computer realm, their purpose and how to manage them.

What is a cookie in computers?
A cookie is what we call a small text file that a website stores on your computer’s hard drive or in your mobile devices.

Origin / First-Party cookies
The original purpose of cookies was to provide you with a better browsing experience. Here is how it works: when you visit a website, its web server (the computer where the web content is stored) creates a small text file and transmits it to the web browser you are using (the software that retrieves and displays the web page). The web browser stores that small text file on your computer. Read more…

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Don’t get caught by the phishing hook

April 18th, 2017

Untitled design (1)It’s spring home buying season, but that also means it’s phishing season, and not the kind that puts fresh trout on the dinner table. “Phishing” is an attempt to try to trick you to give up financial or other confidential information, such as your user ID or password, by sending you a communication that looks as if it is from a legitimate organization. The communication typically is from scammer who is using the name and likeness of a financial institution or other trustworthy organization. It contains a call to action or link to a fake website that can look identical to the real one and usually features a web address that is nearly identical.

As home sales activity heats up this spring, real estate agents and brokers also need to ramp up their alert levels and be increasingly aware of these scams. Scammers are increasing their focus on real estate because they know that there are millions of transactions totaling billions of dollars each year, and our industry relies heavily on email and texting to coordinate communications for these transactions.We all get busy, yet we need to be particularly cautious and keenly aware of any communications that ask for confidential information, no matter how trustworthy the source may appear. Read more…

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Are you getting the internet speed you paid for?

March 27th, 2017

1 high-speed-internetMany Internet Services Providers (ISP) promote lightning-fast internet speeds, but are you really getting the speed you paid for? Here are four components that may be preventing you from getting that lightning-speed promised.

Modem- If you use a modem, check with your ISP to see if you have a modem that can handle the fast speed you purchased. Whether you own the modem or are leasing it, if the modem can’t handle the speed, it may be time to upgrade your modem.

WATCH: This fun, albeit old, video explains the basics of what a modem does. Read more…

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Is Your Technology Slowing You Down?

March 23rd, 2017

Untitled design(2)How long has it been since you bought a new laptop or smartphone? Upgraded your Windows or Mac operating system software? Switched to a new, better web browser? If you’re like Michael Phelps in the Intel TV commercial – and the tech tools of your trade are more than two to three years old – then your technology is slowing you down.

At Tech Helpline, the real estate industry’s number one tech support service, we tapped the brainpower of our tech analysts to shed some light on this topic. They work with real estate agents every day and have a combined IT experience of nearly 300 years.

Here are the three big reasons you need to upgrade – and update – your technology. Read more…

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Beware of telephone scams claiming to be Tech Helpline.

March 17th, 2017

Phone Scam Alert

Please be careful of impostors claiming to be Tech Helpline representatives. For your security, please review this list of things that authentic Tech Helpline analysts will not do:

Tech Helpline analysts will not

  • Cold call individuals
  • Ask for payment over the phone
  • Ask for credit or debit card information
  • Ask for birthday, social security number, password, or other personal information
  • Tech Helpline will not call you to sell you our service over the phone

Tech Helpline is based in the United States. We only call you back if you are a member of our service and left us a message requesting it. And for verification purposes, we may ask for your Realtor’s information.

“Every year, thousands of people lose money to telephone scams — from a few dollars to their life savings. Scammers will say anything to cheat people out of money. Some seem very friendly — calling you by your first name, making small talk, and asking about your family. They may claim to work for a company you trust, or they may send mail or place ads to convince you to call them.

If you get a call from someone you don’t know who is trying to sell you something you hadn’t planned to buy, say “No thanks.” And, if they pressure you about giving up personal information — like your credit card or Social Security number — it’s likely a scam. Hang up and report it.” ~Federal Trade Commission

To report fraud, please contact the proper authorities:


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4 Steps Brokers Can Take to Get Agents to Adopt Technology

March 14th, 2017

Tech-ToolsOne of the greatest struggles that broker-owners have with technology is getting their agents to use the technology tools they provide. On the other hand, many agents are suffering from tech fatigue with simply too many tech tools to learn, sometimes taking too much time to learn, none of them being integrated and often requiring too many different passwords to remember to access everything.

While brokers throughout the U.S. over many years have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in technology for their agents, many studies show that fewer than half of all agents are using the tech tools their broker provides. A study by the WAV Group (“Broker Tecnology Adoption and Satisfaction Study”) pointed to some of the reasons: Read more…

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How Can Brokers Meet Agents’ Tech Needs?

March 7th, 2017

Realtors using technologyWhat would you do if you lost access to your smartphone for a day? A week? What happens when you try to print out a copy of a CMA, and the printer stops and you can’t find the problem? What recourse do you have if you accidentally went to the wrong website and your laptop got infected with malware and has been slowing down ever since? Or what if you just can’t connect to wireless when you are on the move?

Keeping agents connected and their basic technology working is one of the most important things a brokerage can do to support their agents’ tech needs. Too often, it seems that brokers focus on solely their own technology solutions: how to get agents to adopt the various tech tools and software in which they’ve invested so much to provide.

But providing basic tech support – making sure real estate agents have a lifeline if they get stuck using their go-to technology, that their smartphone is getting email properly, that their laptops are optimized and virus-free, that if their printer doesn’t print there is someone to help fix it now, and not later – is of paramount importance as well.

Read more…

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