Category Archives: Uncategorized

Interactive Youtube Video – Technology That Makes You Play & Think

This is one of the first interactive videos on Youtube, so what’s next?

Here’s an interactive video on Youtube that allows the viewer to play the piano and control the guitar player.  My first thought was, “How did they do this?” My second thought was, “What song shall I play?“  But my third thought was, “How can this cool video technology be used in our business, or any business for that matter?“  This may seem a bit far-fetched but if someone can assign the keys on your computer keyboard to do specific functions in their video, imagine the possibilities of how this might work for Real Estate in the future?

Here’s another cool video that let’s you interact and play.

So there’s 26 Letters and 10 numbers creating 36 potential keyboard video marketing opportunities?

What if the keystroke “V” offered a virtual video tour of the home, maybe “A” could give an aerial view of the neighborhood, or “S” search all the homes available in the neighborhood?  I can see how allowing folks to interact with your videos could become a huge marketing/advertising opportunity and still be fun at the same time.

In the meantime, if you’re one of the skeptics out there who thinks this will never happen, hold everything.  Creating an interactive Youtube channel that allows viewers to do more than just watch your videos is already here, you better fasten your seat-belt.  Take a look what one Bay Area Real Estate office is already doing with their Youtube Channel.  Make sure you check out the tabs and the interactive options available.

Finding ways to use technology to better serve your business (and your customers needs) is one of my favorite ways to contribute to this network.  If you’re looking for ways to stay ahead of competitors, use technology to increase your online potential, and trying to find ways and tools to help improve your business in 2011, then stay tuned…

I’ll be back next year to continue my journey sharing my explorations and findings with you here in the rain.

Enjoy, have a safe and Happy Holiday season~

America’s Got Talent – One For The Money, Two For The Show…

It’s not often that I would post something like this, but it’s just way too exciting to pass up.  Many of you who went to RainCamp in San Francisco got to see our family Band “Armored Flight” play for our first “live” performance.  We had a blast!  The support and love we’ve received since has been awesome.  One thing led to another, and the next thing I know, we’re auditioning for America’s Got Talent!

Here’s the long story made short~

After RainCamp SF, our youngest son Brandon, (age 13) also our guitar player, asked if I would take him to LA to enter as a guitar in AGT5.  Well I did, and after his 90 second debut solo, the NBC producer said to him “You remind me of Van Halen, you should be entering your family band!”  You can read about our journey on Brandon’s very first blog post: “America’s Got Talent – My Adventure and Dream Come True” 

 

So when we returned home, my wife and our two boys went into the recording studio and recorded a song called “Just Do It” in hopes that we might get into this years competition.  We submitted our video to AGT’s audition site.  We think we may be one of the few if not the ONLY “Family” rock bands in America.  This last Thursday, I received this email from the casting producers at NBC and America’s Got Talent.

OMG!  When I saw this, my heart rate tripled, my blood pressure exploded, I immediately ran into the bedroom where my wife was taking a shower (TMI) and told her of the news.  Then I ran back to my computer and responded to their email and answered their questions.  I was literally shaking with excitement and couldn’t wait to tell the kids and the rest of our family.

You can’t imagine the next moments, hours, and days that followed.  To us, this is like winning the lottery.  It’s Even Better!!  Here’s our announcement we put up on the Armored Flight Blog for our family and friends.

SO WE ARE GOING TO THE NEXT ROUND and think we have a good chance.  We would be the very first and only family rock band to ever make it on the show in the history of America’s Got Talent.  If there were ever a favor I’d ask from anyone who reads this….well, I think you already know what it is…   :-))

The Executive Producers at NBC are now reviewing all the finalists to see who makes it on the show.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed and hoping they’ll give “America” the chance to possibly vote for us. 

Win or lose, this is a very exciting time and journey for us.  I am so proud of these kids and of my wife!  We definitely have our work cut out, so now it’s one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and hopefully……”four to go!”  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our family, one of the coolest things that’s ever happened,  and it’s something we just had to share with you all.

NEW UPDATE – 3/25/2010

We received a voice mail from AGT while I was away at Seattle.  They want us to send in one more “live” video for the next round of competition.  This one is just for the Executive Producers.  They want it raw, uncut, recorded in our living room.  I’m setting up my flip video camera this weekend and recording a song (the very first and same song that we opened up with at RainCamp San Francisco) and sending it in this weekend.  How ironic is that?  We’re back to the “first song” that got us here to begin with.  lol~

I have to say, after staying with Bob Stewart the last couple days, and watching American Idol with him at his house the other night, this whole experience is becoming so surreal.  I still can’t believe this is happening or even wrap my brain around it. It’s like a dream that I just can’t seem to get down to a reality.  It is very REAL and I am very PROUD of my family right now!!  Thanks to ALL our AR friends and family for all your comments of support and encouragement, it means more to me us than you will ever know.

Tomorrow’s Real Estate Technology Today

Tomorrow’s Real Estate Technology Today

One of my favorite things to do at Inman Connect is to see all the new Real Estate Technology that’s being introduced to the industry.  While I was wondering around the EXPO checking out the vendor booths and different products, I came across one vendor that really got me excited.  They are called Infusion.com providing Location Intelligence Services.  I was fortunate to have a meeting with Kayla Spiess, their Marketing and Communications Manager, and Tyler Davey the General Manager.  When I saw the demo I’m about to share with you, I was blown away. 

Real Estate Technology is something we know is always changing.  We are constantly trying to adapt to the changes.  Most often I find myself struggling just to keep up with it all.  Last week I wrote a post about Google Maps and Google Earth regarding the missing link to click on the front door of a property and to go inside, or the lack thereof.  Infusion is already ahead of the curve.   Using Microsoft Surface technology, they have taken this idea and incorporated INFUSED ways to use it into today’s Real Estate Market and Industry.

Here’s a Video Preview of Infusions Falcon Eye Application

The Surface Touch Table you see in this video costs around $12,000 dollars and though you might not find one of these in the entry way of your local Real Estate office or Brokerage, this product is available for certain computers meeting specific Hardware and Software requirements.  The future of Real Estate Technology may at some point include the requirement to purchase one of the coffee table type touch screens for your Real Estate Office.

Don’t laugh, they said the fax machine would never make it as a modern day Business tool either.

Real Estate Technology – The Key To Your Success

“Technology will NEVER replace real estate professionals, but real estate professionals WITH technology will.”  I’ve heard and read this line so many times, but is it true?  Technology and the Real Estate Industry have become so inter-connected and dependent upon each other lately.  Just look where we’ve come from in the last 10-15 years.  I remember when Fax machines and ATM’s were headline news.

So What Is Real Estate Technology?  I Guess that depends on who you ask…

What Technology and tools do you consider a necessity to do business effectively in 2009?  Is there a right or wrong answer?!  My observation is this, many people in the Industry already have some of the technology tools they need to be successful, they just might not be using them to their full potential. 

Having a laptop, a cell phone, fax machine, scanner, digital camera, a GPS and more may seem like the tech tools you’ll need, but just owning them might not be enough.  Do you already have all these items?  Are you using them to their fullest?  What else could you be doing?  It’s all about how you use Real Estate technology that will determine how effectively you can and will do business today and in the future.

Any of these look or sound familar?  

  • You own a laptop, but you’re only checking email and the MLS for listings, otherwise it’s closed.
  • Your cell phone works for making and receiving calls, the rest of the time it’s in your pocket or purse.
  • Your fax machine has been out of paper for the last 3 mos. you only noticed today because it rang?
  • You own a scanner, but the convenient horizontal surface allows you to stack up folders and bills?
  • Your digital-camera hasn’t been out of it’s case in the last 5-10 days…you think…
  • GPS – Why would anyone ever need or use this in the Real Estate Industry?

Many of us already own these tools, but aren’t using them fully to develop and help grow business.

If you owned a VCR (old school technology) this is a classic example.  Most people used less than 25% of the features on the VCR.  It’s not much different with some of the newest and latest tools that are available today.

So in what unique ways are you using technology in your Business?  What more can you do to maximize the tools you already have?  What technology do you really need?  Which tools will become obsolete or be replaced?  Technology is ruled by two types of people: those who manage what they do not understand, and those who understand what they do not manage.  Want options?  Needing more ideas?  Stay tuned…

RENetBlog – Real Estate Technology & Tools for 2009

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity Albert Einstein

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic Arthur C. Clarke

Technology makes it possible for people to gain control over everything, except over technology John Tudor

Technology is like a fish. The longer it stays on the shelf, the less desirable it becomes Andrew Heller

If new technology rolls over you, & you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the roadStewart Brand

640K ought to be enough for anybody”  Bill Gates

Evaluating and Changing the way you use Technology is the key to your success  Active Brad

 

Come learn more about Real Estate Technology and the Tools that are available:

Next Stop: OABR  Join me: REBarCamp Seattle  Come to: RETechSouth  ActiveBlog: ActiveRainTeam

Join The ActiveRain Real Estate Technology Group

WEB 2.0 – Top 100 Applications and Sites 2008

Here are the TOP 100 WEB applications according to C|NET and Webware.  One year ago, I created a post of the TOP 100 links I had discovered being a member of ActiveRain.  Webware has done all the work for me this year, so I have to give them ALL the kudos for their research and efforts. 
The links here will take you to C|NET and the Webware details for each site so you can see if any of these applications will work for you or your business.  The TOP 100 Web 2.0 applications were selected by 1.9 million Webware readers and Internet users across the World.  Check them out, how many do you use?

                         (Credit: C|NET Networks & Webware)

In my Opinion, I think they forgot two….

  and  

We’ll be on this list next year!

For the Record, ActiveRain did rank in the Top 10 Seattle Start-up Index Ratings – Sept. 2008 by TechVibes.

REMINDERS:
The 1st “LIVE” R.A.I.N Radio “Talk Show” is TODAY with Guest Rich Jacobson
Social Media and Marketing WebinarsStart Tomorrow
Got ActiveRain Questions, ActiveRain Has AnswersNext Week with ActiveRain Staff

5 Ways To Subscribe To Blogs

Active Rain has many fantastic Blogs and Writers.  They have also provided you with some useful tools to help you keep track and follow some of your favorite Bloggers and posts.  Here are 5 ways you can “Subscribe” or “Track” your Favs.  I will also cover how to “ADD” the subscribe link many of you have used to “Subscribe” to my Blog.

  1. The first way to subscribe to another members Blog is very simple.  As you navigate through Active Rain and stumble upon posts and writers that have “value-added” content, or subject matter that you are particularly fond of, you can “Subscribe” to their Blog by scrolling to the top of your screen and clicking on the  above their Active Rain Photo.  This does not notify you when they post a new article to their Blog, it simply adds them to your “Dashboard.”  To see your dashboard, and all your Blog Subscriptions, click the link on your tool bar at the top of your screen that says “Blogs.”  Your Dashboard will give you two columns of Blog posts.  The left column will be all the posts on AR sorted by the most recent, and the right column will be all your “Blog Subscriptions”, CLICK HERE to see who you’ve subscribed to already.

  2. The second way to subscribe is something you might want to consider for your Blog.  This way will allow readers to subscribe to your Blog, but instead of relying on the “Dashboard View”, visitors and readers can be notified by email when you post something new to your Blog.  For this method, I use a product called FEEDBLITZ.   Visitors just add their email address and click on “Subscribe” and that’s it.  When you post, they will be notified by email.  You will need to go to their site and register to get the “Subscribe Widget” you see below my photo.  (Click on Preview to see a sample of the email that goes out to subscribers)
     
    Preview Sample Email to Subscribers

  3. The third way to subscribe is to create an RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication) of your favorite Blogs and Bloggers.  There are many ways to do this, I will show you the simplest one.  An RSS feed brings all the information to you instead of you going to look for it. 
    • Google has a FREE Reader you should check out, this will allow you to start adding subscriptions or you can just take the tour to understand it more thoroughly. 
    • Using their Keyword Search Feature will get you any Blog, Topic, or person you are looking for.
       
    • Once your search is complete, just click on the “Subscribe” links that you want and you’re done.  Now you can use the Google Reader to keep up with the writers and Blogs that matter most.  It’s like having your own personal on-line newspaper.  I really recommend checking out the Google Reader.

  4. The fourth way to subscribe is really simple, a bit old fashioned, but it does work.  You can always add your Favorite Blogs as a Bookmark to your Browser.  I don’t use this Feature within Active Rain, however I do use it on many of the “Outside Blogs” some even written by fellow Active Rain members.  You will find that some of your favorite Authors and Bloggers here also run other Blogs outside of Active Rain.  Many of them I have tagged as “Favorites” in my browser.  Don’t laugh, people still use this method to keep track of their favorite sites and Blogs.

  5. The fifth way to subscribe is a bit more complicated, and is one that I have been asked about many times.  I add the “Subscribe” and “Add Associate” buttons to the bottom of ALL my posts just in case other members or readers may not know or be aware of the other 4 ways to subscribe.  How do you do this?  Here’s what I do:

    Below is a quick sample of something you could create or use for this part of the tutorial:


  • Select a graphic you wish to use as a “Subscribe” button or icon.  You can even make your own if you’re feeling creative and have the application to do it.  (I use the one provided by Active Rain)
  • To use the Active Rain “Subscribe” icon, right click your mouse over the icon, and select the “Save Image As…” option.  Give the file a name like “Subscribe.jpg” and save it to your desktop or a place you can find it later.   (That’s the graphic or image you’ll need to upload in just a minute…)  You can use the one above too…
  • Now, you’ll need to get the link to your “Subscribe” button that’s above your photo.  To do that, just right click on the “Subscribe Button” above your picture, right click your mouse over the button, and select the option “Copy Link Location…”  Make sure you are not already “Subscribed” to your own Blog.  The button MUST READ “Subscribe To Blog.”  If it reads “Unsubscribe” DO NOT copy the link, Unsubscribe first, then copy your link. 
  • Lastly, place the icon (or any graphic you choose) on your post, and link the graphic or “Subscribe Button” to your Agent Id link as shown below. 
  • The only thing that will be different is your agent id number.  Mine is 22617, just replace mine with yours and you’re good to go. 
  • To find your Agent ID: Go to your “profile page”, right click mouse on “your picture“, select the ” properties” option, and a box will open showing a long URL that appears like this:

    FINDING YOUR AGENT ID USING FLOCK:

    FINDING YOUR AGENT ID USING FIREFOX:


FINDING YOUR AGENT ID USING INTERNET EXPLORER:

Now you have all the information you’ll need to setup a “Subscribe Button” on your post.  To make sure you are able to take this process to it’s completion, I just want to reiterate the instructions for adding the graphic and creating the proper link to your graphic so that you don’t accidentally set it up so that members are clicking on your “Subscribe” and actually subscribing to mine.  So, please read these instructions very carefully:

 

 

If you are not sure how to “ADD” a link to a graphic, I’ll explain it for you here:

  1. Place your mouse or cursor where you want the image to appear
  2. Click on the insert graphic icon   from the tool bar at the top of your page.
  3. Select the  icon under the general tab ( it’s just to the right of “Image URL” )
  4. Click on “Browse” and find your “Subscribe” graphic or Icon of choice
  5. Click on “Upload Photo” and you’ll see your “Subscribe” Icon appear
  6. Click “Insert” to place your “Subscribe Graphic” anywhere on your post or page

Now you have your graphic on the page, and it’s ready to link.  To create a link to your “Subscribe” Icon, here’s how you do it:

  1. Click one time on the icon you wish to create the link to 
  2. Next, Click on the   icon from the tool bar at the top of your page
  3. Place the URL (see below) you copied from your “Subscribe Button” into the “Link URL” box

    The link should look something like this, but with YOUR agent ID number:
    http://activerain.com/action/blogs_admin/subscribe?subscribed_agent_id=22617

    *** VERY IMPORTANT ***
    (All you need to do is replace my agent id 22617, with yours for the link to work)

  4. Next, enter a title into the “Title” box, for example: SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG etc.
    (FYI: this only appears on when the users mouse hovers over the icon or graphic)

  5. Now click “Insert” and you are done! 

I told you it was a bit more complicated.  But I also knew you could do it!

Keep in mind that you will have to go through this process every time you do a new post.  If you want to have the  “Subscribe” option included on your post, this is the only way, and you’ll have to add it to each post.  I hope this post helps you understand some of the ways you can “Subscribe” to others and setup additional opportunities for others to “Subscribe” to you.  If you’re not quite sure about any of this at all, that’s OK too, just let me know….I’ll help you out.  I’m not just a member, I’m a SUBSCRIBER!!  🙂

Content Copyright Protected © 2008Brad Andersohn       Subscribe to Brad Andersohns Blog      Add Brad Andersohn as an Associate       The Rest of My Blog

 

The Climb to the Bottom, or the Fall to the Top!

 Well, I knew that title would get your attention!!  LOL!  The 100K Post.  Today, I pass through into a new dimension of Bloggers commonly known as the "Active Rain Silver Star Hall of Fame!"  Thanks Neal Bloom and AR for creating and supporting a group that allows those of us who finally hit 100,000 points to stop, look up, take a breath, and realize what the heck we have just done!!  I will say, I never thought I'd reach this point or points!

Today is not just any ol' 100,000 point day, it is also my Birthday!!  That's right, another year past, and another year to go, and I get to do it all again. 🙂  It all happens so fast, I am not sure at times if I am coming or going, floating or sinking, climbing or falling!  I have heard that the man on the top of the mountain didn't fall there, and that the boy in the sand didn't climb there?!?  What really matters the most, is what has happens along the way.  The destination is always important, but the journey is what's most crucial. 

When I first joined Active Rainback on Feb. 29th, 2007, I have to be honest, I had no idea where I was going with my Blog!  Honestly, I was just the Escrow Guy, I had no voice, I couldn't write, and I still only type with four fingers.  I wasn't even sure what a Blog was or why in heaven anyone would want one!! 

Since then, the voice I have found is "my own".  It was in there all along, I was just afraid to share it with others, and feared failure!  I mean come on, actually write and post articles on the Internet and expose myself to the world?  Are you kidding?  Well, I have learned so much in the last six months.  Blogging is an effective way to build your Business, plain and simple.  Active Rain is the "BEST" resource for support and for gaining knowledge and experience.  The search engines (google.com)love AR Blogs, and seem to be pushing me up the lists all the time.  You get out of your Blog what you put into it.  And lastly, I have never met as many wonderful people in a single place in all my life!!!


Today, I celebrate so much more than just a Birthday and some points.
  I celebrate the true meaning of LIFE!!  Having a wonderful family, and the best friends on the planet!  My house, the cars, the toys and the money are all great, but the relationships I have been blessed with over the years are what have been the absolute greatest value to me.  For over 20 years, my company has put up with me, and provided the food on my familys' table.  My clients and friends have taught me the value of "Loyalty" with their unconditional support, and Active Rain has created a place for all of us to share, build, grow and celebrate our life experiences.

To all my friends and clients I have established over the years, this post is really dedicated to YOU!!!  All I have learned, all I have grown, and All I have accomplished in my life is thanks to YOU!   So raise your glass, hold it high in the air, and join me in a toast to "LIFE", a unique, unpredictable and unforgettable journey with those who we love, and will respect until the end of time!  The climb to the bottom really is better than the fall to the top!   It's not all about the journey to the center of 100,000 points that's important, it's the 100,000 memories and moments of your "LIFE" that really count!  So make them count!  Live, Laugh, (you have to click on this one), and Love Life… with No Regrets!!  B-) 

All Content Copyright Protected © 2007The Escrow Guy                          Subscribe To Brad's Blog   Add Brad as an Associate

A Rare Photo… a life lesson!

I have always wanted to capture a photo of a hummingbird in flight, but it is almost impossible.  If you’re a photographer, you know what I mean.  I went into the backyard this afternoon to help my son do the yard-work, and we noticed that the bougainvillea tree needed some trimming. 

As I got closer to the thorny limbs, I noticed a hummingbird sitting on the branch not two feet away from me.  Getting a shot like this was like capturing lightning on film.  Definately a rare photo opportunity.

I slowly backed away, ran into the house, grabbed my Panasonic with the Leica lens, and managed to return before the bird had received clearance from flight control.  This time, he let me come within a foot to capture this shot just before he flew away.  These birds are FAST! In two seconds, he/she was gone!!  I took 40 shots in burst mode and got a couple really good ones from different angles. 

I know this has nothing to do with anything, other than sometimes, it’s just being in the right place, at the right time.  Isn’t life the same way? 

Sometimes we are in the right place at the right time, but sometimes, we just miss it!  I am guilty!

For me, today was a lesson in life.  I have never been able, or quick enough to get a photo of the hundreds of hummingbirds I have seen in my lifetime, yet I have always wanted to.  It’s true, good things do come to those who wait.  Are you reading between the lines here?  What good things are waiting to happen for you.  Don’t give up, they may be just around the corner!!  Don’t miss your Kodak Moment!  🙂

Solano County Realtors – Join The Newbies Group!

 Brad Andersohn Blog 101 Class

 

Yesterday was our first class on BLOGGING for the Solano Association of Realtors members.  As the Technology Committee Chair, together with Mike Mueller from Patagonia Finance, we introduced BLOGGING and Active Rain to around 40 Realtors. Each Realtor paid $5.00 to attend the class. The money collected was donated to the "Teachers Wish List", a local charity that raises funds for local schools.

The Real Estate Professionals in this group just wanted to know — What is a BLOG? 

They were not dissappointed, we covered:

  • Definition and Benefits of Blogging  
  • 5 reasons to BLOG for your (Solano County) Real Estate Business 
  • 10 things to not do when BLOGGING your clients in Solano County
  • 101 things to BLOG about – that will increase your Real Estate Referrals
  • Content is "KING" 
  • Finding Quality Real Estate Professionals on Active Rain
  • Technology Tools to invest in

We will be having follow-up training to teach each of the new Active Rain members in the Vallejo, Benicia and Solano County Areas. Future classes will include how to navigate, utilize Active Rain for BLOGGING, networking, building referrals, and understanding search engine optimization (SEO).

I am very grateful to Active Rain for all their support and guidance with these Real Estate Tools. The members are great, the support with this new technology is unbelievable, the networking is priceless, and the benefits are awesome.  All this and it's…FREE! Since I joined the Active Rain Network 3 weeks ago, I have achieved the following;

If you're new to Active Rain, don't do like I did, and miss joining the Newbie Group.  I'll save you alot of time…go there right now!!

How To Install and Customize Widgets

How To Install and Customize Widgets on Your Blogs, Posts, and Sites.

In a previous post about the power and value of Widgets and Gadgets, I promised to provide a training class walking you through the most important steps in creating, selecting, installing, and customizing these little gizmo’s into your Blogs and Websites.  While the plaster and paint are still drying, I’d like to invite you to be our first guests at the PRE-Grand Opening of the new ZILLOW® ACADEMY.

This class is only one hour, but will teach you everything you’ll need to know about using widgets and gadgets selectively and effectively.  We’ll share what works and what doesn’t, things to watch out for like pop up ads, java-scripts (which many don’t work on ActiveRain) broken widgets, and stuff that will crash your Blog or site.  I’ll also share which widgets can bring more value to your readers and add traffic to your site. 

“Can a co-branded widget on your site or Blog really generate leads or clients?” YES, I’ll show you why and how.

In exchange for this FREE training and information, all I’d ask is that you’d help me get the word out.  It’s such short notice, it would be great if you could Reblog this post, or use the like button below to help me promote it.  I’m not asking for any money, donations, or bonus points, only an hour of your time to show you some things about the almighty “Widget” that can make a huge difference in your Blogging and Social Media endeavors.

If you’re unable to attend, we’ll be hosting these classes on a regular basis. You’re welcome to join us anytime for future classes and trainings.  The Zillow® Academy Calendar will be out shortly, once the virtual desks are in.  We’ll also record many of the classes and webinars (with speakers permission and approval) and host them for later review at your convenience.  I’m excited to get this launched and looking forward to YOUR continued growth and success as a re”Z”ult of these efforts.



REZERVE YOUR “VIRTUAL” ZEAT