Tag Archives: Tools

The Ultimate Tool Box

 How does your tool box look these days? A good tool box, and the
tools in it, are crucial to getting any job done right!

What tools do you need for yourself?  How about your buyers and
sellers?  Is your toolbox available online?  What new tools are

This is my ULTIMATE ONLINE TOOL BOX. It is for YOU to use. If
you’re a Realtor, Lender, Buyer, Seller, Broker, Builder or Investor,
there are tools in this box for you!|


About Us:

Strength and Stability
The Corporation
What’s Available
The Homeowners Club

Why First American Title?

The OnlineTool Box:

Buyers, Sellers and Consumers:


Real Estate Tips & Information:

Lenders & Mortgage Brokers:

Forms for Ordering Products and Services:

Read Customer Surveys from YOU and YOUR CLIENTS:

Brad’s Clients Testimonials:


You can also call us for details on any of these tools, products and services. It is my pleasure to network you to the First American office in your location. Each office may offer other tools and services that will be beneficial to you and your Real Estate needs.  Thanks in advance for selecting First American Title, we know you have a choice and we appreciate your continued support and loyalty!

Who Cares About Your Local Real Estate Market

Nobody cares about your local Real estate market like you do! Lets also not forget about the others who own, rent, buy, sell, borrow, work, play, eat, sleep, and are considering living there too?  When a home becomes available for sale on your street in YourCity, YS. aren’t you often more interested in the sales price than you are actually buying your neighbors house? Maybe, maybe not?

Providing local real estate information in your area is a great addition to the variety of content your blog or website should deliver.  According to the views below, there’s many that like viewing market reports.

Making Real Estate Market information available to your hyper-local readers and visitors is very valuable.

Have you considered using some of these market-share stats, graphs and reports on your newsletters, email campaigns, and blog posts etc?  Here’s some great information and tools you can use to add to your content that may generate you more traffic, local consumer interest, and hopefully some additional business as the local expert.

Here’s just a few links using San Francisco as an example: It’s all free for you to use.

Here’s an example of a market graph you can embed into your site that updates on its own.

US Median Sale Price vs Areas of Your Choice


Check out some of the graphs, charts, data, and information you can easily find and use to provide additional value to your site and visitors.  Most are download-able and easy to share via your favorite social media sites too.  There are also many different widgets and webtools available that will make it easy to get and give “live” real-time information and updates you can publish on your site or blog. The SFBayAreaBlog is an example I setup you can demo.

Just wanted to share this with you in case you’re in search of more clients in 2011. Enjoy~

Photo Credit – Courtesy of wmchu


Top 10 Cool Tools to Share

When I joined Zillow about 6-7 weeks ago, many friends and associates here asked me to keep them posted about my new position over at Zillow.  So far, it’s been an incredible blast and the time has simply flown by.  I’m really enjoying the privilege of getting to be in both places, Zillow and here on ActiveRain.  So what’s been going on and what have I been doing?

In my recent adventures and explorations of Zillow.com, I’ve come across some really cool tools (10 to be exact) that some of you may not even know exist.  I didn’t.  I’m sure I’m missing quite a few others, but I wanted to at least update you and mention these.  In my sincere and honest opinion, these are some of the most exciting and easy to use, and will deliver the most value.

Here you go, take a moment to look into these, I think you’ll find them to be really cool tools.

1. Zestimates

What is a Zestimate? I remember when the Zestimate was launched many years ago. Since then, many questions have been asked. Is a Zestimate an appraisal? My Zestimate is too low or too high, what gives?  How does Zillow come up with a Zestimate?  How accurate is the Zestimate overall? Here’s the answer to all these questions and more.  Once you view and understand the Zestimate and how to use and discuss it with your clients and prospects, you’ll see why I added it here.

2. Zillow Advice and Discussions

Whether you get or give “Pro-to-Pro” advice or local “Consumer Direct” advice, Zillow advice is one of the best places you can spend some time on the site. Got a question? How about contributing to a discussion or starting a discussion of your own?  All Zillow asks is that you follow the Good Neighbor Policy when engaging with other real estate professionals and consumers.

3. Real Estate and Mortgage Widgets

This is one of the more exciting tools since I’m a real widget and gadget kinda guy.  Using some of these widgets and incorporating them into your sites and blogs can increase your traffic, bring more value to your readers, and provide you with co-branding on the Zillow site.  There’s quite a few Real Estate and Mortgage widgets, take a look and see which ones will be right for your website or Blog.

4. Premier Agent

The Premier Agent membership on Zillow is exactly that. PREMIER.  Now that I’ve had some time to really investigate the program, evaluate the process, and witness first hand the results that members are experiencing, I stand behind the program 110%.  How can putting willing and able buyers agents in front of thousands millions of contacts that are looking at Real Estate and Loans ever be a bad thing?

Basically, Zillow’s Premier Agent Program connects buyers and sellers to agents. Flat out, bottom line!

5. Industry Directory

The Zillow Directory is the place for every face in the industry.  If you are not a member of Zillow and not in the Directory, it could be the single most grave mistake you’d ever make in real estate.  It takes 30 seconds to join, it’s easier than checking your email, and it is absolutely free. If you haven’t joined the directory, GO HERE TO JOIN. Then come back after…

6. Zillow API data

Zillow API is a powerful tool that allows you an endless amount of possible data providing opportunities.  Here’s one of my recent posts about API.  It empowers both the provider and the receiver with a great deal of value and on many levels.  Explore what you can do with any API, then think of the potential of what accessing and delivering Zillow API data might do for your business.

7. Zillow Academy

Zillow Academy is ALL ABOUT real estate training and having a learning and support campus available to the industry.  To be honest, this is where I have been spending a great deal of my time, but don’t tell Sara or Spencer that.  Seriously, they have helped and supported me in my efforts to put this all together.  It’s starting to come along nicely. It’s going to become one of the finest learning centers on the web.

8. The Zillow Profile

Like any site or network out on the web, (at least any worth their salt), you should need to have a decent profile setup.  That includes right here on ActiveRain. (hint hint)  Profiles on any site should always be evolving and changing, just like you do with the times.  Take advantage of the tools and options that come with many of these free opportunities and especially, make sure your Zillow profile has “Got It Goin On!

Mine needs work too but it’s not a shadow-face. lol Seriously, with no profile there’s a lot to be missed…YOU!

9. Mortgage Market Place

What are today’s rates? Can I qualify for a loan? My area is not like yours, that loan isn’t available…is it?  Wonder if we can afford that house or not?  Come check out the Mortgage Marketplace, it’s kinda like a farmers market.  You can walk around and check out all the fruits, vegetables and goodies that will feed the needs of your specific appetite.  Plus you can get help.

There’s nothing you won’t find and if there is, let me know and I’ll make sure it gets to the right ears.

10. The Zillow Blog

Did you know that Nicole Kidman… well, maybe I should just let you read for yourself.  Where do they come up with this stuff?  I have to admit that Diane Tuman is one of my favorite bloggers over there.  The stuff she comes up with and with Whitney and Lauren’s contributions, there’s never a boring or dull moment on the “Z” Blog.  You’ll get the insides and the outside scoops when you RSS feed the Zillow Blog.

That’s it for now. If you have any questions or comments, just ask or call me anytime.  I’ll report and update you on more later but until then, have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.  I look forward to seeing many of you at the Real Estate Marketing Summit and Town Hall meeting in San Diego at the end of the month. 🙂

SEO Tools – You Should Know about SEO

SEO? There are Groups, Blogs, Website Graders, those who claim they know it all, and those who confess they know nothing whatsoever about it.  Both in and out of the community, many have benefited greatly from the SEO that comes from Google, Yahoo, MSN etc.

What about those who haven’t a clue about SEO, what it is, how it works, why they need it, and who the heck cares?  This site, SEOBook has some fantastic information and tools for any beginning Blogger new to SEO.  All of you experienced Bloggers may already know this stuff, but for some, SEO is still difficult to get their arms site around.

I hope this will help those who want to know more about SEO, how it works, the technical nuances, and how to benefit from just learning more about it.  Check out these links, video tutorials, Blogs, FAQ’s, and tools. SEO is not the most important thing in your on-line business, or is it?  That’s for you to decide.
It’s time you know, about SEO.

Once you’ve checked these out, I’m sure you’ll have a much better grasp and understanding of SEO, and be able to maximize the potential of your sites by using the FREE tools and information that’s available online.  You should come away with some good ideas on how to better YOUR SEO either on your Blogs or websites.

Don’t let acronyms like SEO scare you away, embrace them, understand them, use them and you’ll love them.  Why leave it to the imagination? Learn all you can about Search Engine Optimization.  🙂

More SEO Resources: GoogleBlog,   Google Webmaster CentralGoogle Help CenterSEO Noobs

Top 50 Google Tools for Business

The Top 50 Google Tools for Business

This compilation is for all of you out there who use Google for searching and SEO, but may not be aware of all the other tools and services that Google has to offer for your business.  My inbox used to get so many questions about many of the links and tools below, it seemed like a good idea to bring them all into a single location for your review and use.

I know you’ll find some of this information helpful or useful to you and your Business.

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

  1. Google Alerts – Get email notifications from any keyword or phrases used on the web.
  2. Google Buzz – Start and share conversations about the things you find interesting.
  3. Google Blog  – The Official Google Blog.
  4. Google Books – Google has a ground-breaking agreement with authors and publishers.
  5. Google Business – All of Google’s Online Business solutions for small and large Business.
  6. Google Checkout – Find it online, purchase it with Google’s Checkout tool.
  7. Google Chrome – The fastest and cleanest Web Browser for PC’s and MAC’s.
  8. Google Custom Search – Create your own custom search engine for your Website/Blog.
  9. Google Desktop – Take control of PC or MAC Desktops, find anything faster and easier.
  10. Google Dictionary – Don’t knock it till you try it, watch out Webster.
  11. Google Directory – The Web organized by Topic and placed into Categories.
  12. Google Earth – Explore and share the World in 3D. Add your photos and Videos.
  13. Google Finance – Track and Edit your Portfolio, Charts, and Graphs.
  14. Google 411 – Dial Directory Services and Information from any phone for FREE.
  15. Google Health – Organize all your medical records and store them online.
  16. Google Images – The Ultimate Image search on the Internet.
  17. Google Maps – The best way to map out directions and share with others.
  18. Google News – All the news you’ll ever need and find in one location.
  19. Google Patents – Every US Patent is search-able with the full text.
  20. Google Product Search – Find any product in one location instead of searching sites.
  21. Google Scholar – Looking for a specific paper or Scholarly articles, find them fast.
  22. Google Toolbar – Allows you to add search, share, and contribute to your fav browser.
  23. Google Trends – For those who want to know details about search engine trends.
  24. Google Videos – Used for searching only Video and Vlogs on the Internet.
  25. Google Web Search – Still the #1 search engine tool with the #1 advanced features.
  26. Google Web Search Features – The best search tool for movies, music, books, etc.
  27. Google Code – This is a developer tools, used for APIs and other resources.
  28. Google Labs – One of the best Online Tech Playgrounds on the Web.
  29. Google Blogger – Create your own Blogspot Blog, it’s easy and free.
  30. Google Calendar – Setup and use a Global Calendar that you can share with others.
  31. Google Docs – Create spreadsheets, presentations, documents, and more.
  32. Google Groups – Use Groups to connect with others and share ideas and discussions.
  33. Google Knol – Write a Knol and Share what you know with others. Learn too.
  34. Google Mail – Google mail has so many great features for email, and it’s FREE.
  35. Google’s Orkut – It’s a Google Social Network, stay connected with others.
  36. Google Picasa – Upload and store, find, and share your photos and images.
  37. Google Picnik – The newest online Photo and Graphics editing addition to Google.
    (moved features to Google+ and Picasa) Check out Ribbet.com – Picnik’s Twin
  38. Google Reader – Delivers everything you want to know from the web back to you.
  39. Google Sites – Create your own websites and group wikis for private or public use.
  40. Google SketchUp – Allows you to Design, Build, and Create 3D models and images.
  41. Google Talk –  Talk to friends, send IM’s, communicate with others via computer.
  42. Google Translate – Helps you and visitors to view any site in any language.
  43. Google’s YouTube – The second most searched site in the World. Youtube.com.
  44. Google Mobile – Take Google on the Road, & don’t leave home without your phone.
  45. Google Maps for mobile – Just as good as GPS, view maps, directions, get un-lost.
  46. Google Search for mobile – Search the web from your phone anytime from anyplace.
  47. Google Pack – Get the entire Google Pack for your PC or MAC.
  48. Google Voice – The best way to manage phones and services FREE. (invite only)
  49. Google Wave – The future of email and real time collaboration. (invite only)
  50. Google Wonder WheelA Wonderful Wheel of relevant search terms.
  51. Google Images – Peek ahead at image results with new related search previews.
  52. Google Play – Your Music online, Top books, Music, Apps and more
  53. Google Plus – Google+ is an amalgamation of several services we already use.
  54. Google Wallet – a smart, virtual wallet that stores your payment cards & info.
  55. Google Keyword Tools – Create effective “Keyword” content & SEO Campaigns.
  56. Google Offers – Get amazing offers at the best places to eat, shop, and play.
  57. Google Latitude – See where your clients, friends, and family are right now.
  58. Google Insights – See what the world is searching for, then you provide it.
  59. Google Code – A new site for Google Developers, programmers, API techs etc.
  60. Googlism – The Church of Google. Love, hate prayer, commandments and more.
  61. Google Apps – Email, Calendar, Docs and more For Your Business.
  62. Google Cloud Print – Print anything, anywhere, on any printer, remotely & FedEX.
  63. Google Now – Information on your mobile device at just the right time.
Take a few minutes to explore what some of these great tools can do for you and your business, then make sure you keep an eye on Google in the future, their development team creates and produces new products at the speed of light.
Did I miss any? Do tell!  What is YOUR favorite NEW Google Tool or Product?
You can visit The Google Graveyard here, and be sure to leave a virtual flower on your most missed tools.

Stay on top of everything Google is DoingGOOGLE

Bookmark and Share

Dodgeball HTML – The Google Code Playground

This is a great site that allows you to sample, test, and Debug HTML code in a variety of formats. Work with multiple API’s and discover the possibilities.  If you’re one that always thought you could get away with having an online presence without learning HTML code, then read no further.

However, if you’re one that’s ready to explore and learn the art of how to use HTML to better your online presence and create a more vibrant and professional website or Blog, then check out the Google Code Playground.

You can’t hurt it, or break it, just practice and learn. It’s one of the better playgrounds out there for adults, and of course the Real Estate Industry Professional.  My recommendation would be to first check out some of the things you can create and do with Video, players, and API using custom HTML codes.

Ok kids, the “Playground” is open, have fun.