City of Atlanta. This photo was taken by a Can...
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I have it on shaky authority that there will be an real estate technology event on May 18th, 2011 in the Atlanta area.  It is rumored to be a collaboration between rebarcamp Atlanta (#rebcATL) and REtechSouth (#retso).  The rumors are that it will be a hands on workshop focusing on implementing technology and social marketing plans like those developed during #retso and #rebcATL.

Like I said, this is an early stage rumor…  There is no word yet on cost, venue, presenters or any other details… but keep an eye peeled here and at rebcAtlanta.com for the latest details and rumors.

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Founding Fathers Twitter Stream...

I guess we could call this Twitter Thursday…

I think that a lot of times we forget that the “Founding Fathers” were real people.  they were also hanging out on the edge of technology for their time.

Thomas Jefferson could have REALLY used a Kindle.  The guy was a reading machine.  Not to mention that he was a genius…

George Washington was a gifted leader and he wasn’t afraid to employ battlefield technology as he found it.  He recognized that the training that his soldiers could get from Baron von Steuben was beyond what he could provide… and the battle style of Francis Marion could add power to his army.

What can one say about Ben Franklin?  He was a technology freak!  Printing was probably what he was most known for, but his Pony Express concept rocked.  Letters could be posted and replied to in the same day.  The modern post office doesn’t touch what he was doing between Boston and Philadelphia in 1776…  Ofc ourse, there are numerous inventions and technologies he employed.  He would be an iPad guy…

All of them were into communications, and I would bet that they would be sporting iPhones and Androids if they were alive today.

As I study our founding fathers, I get more and more impressed with them.

We’ll skip over the inaccuracies in the tweets (Washington didn’t actually wear a wig, apparently), and focus on the guys.

Can you see the founders of this country sitting around a table in a pub, knocking back a few beers and coming up with the ideas that would eventually form the basis of this country?

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Screen shot of estate agency software program ...
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I was at a real estate conference last week, and one of the things the presenter said REALLY struck a chord with me.

Ten years ago, WE used to tell our clients which houses we were going to look at that day.  Now, THEY come in and tell us which houses we are going to see.

Obviously, this is a giant change in the way real estate agents do business.  Since my entry into the real estate business, it has always been the way I’ve done business.

In the “Old School” world of real estate, agents were the gatekeepers.  We controlled the access to the information.  We had the listing information, and it wasn’t available to the public.  Some agents still wish that the old order ruled the day.

Technology has turned the tables… and it is for the better.  Buyers have never had as many choices, nor as much access to information.  That is something to be applauded.

Feel free to tell me which houses interest YOU…  I’ll be happy to make suggestions, but they are just that, suggestions.

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Camaro racer just off the start at SIR, drag s...
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I hear a lot about Social Media Strategy or Technology Tactics… but there is something that seems to be missing from many of these conversations.  Rather than framing the discussion in terms of the end result, it gets formed around how to use a tool.

First we need a GOAL…

The goal is the missing ingredient.  In fact, not only is it the missing ingredient, but it is the most important part.  Since I am a car guy, let me illustrate it like this…

  • The goal is to win races.  We decide that we want to win a drag race…  GOAL
  • In order to win the drag race, we will need a very high power to weight ratio…  STRATEGY
  • To accomplish this, we have two paths we may need to take…
    • Path One is to increase the power…  TACTIC A
    • Path Two is to decrease weight… TACTIC B
  • Of course now there are a lot of steps involved in accomplishing our tactical goals.
Cakes
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As you can see, in this example, you could deploy the tactics without having a goal, but it might be difficult to know exactly which tactics would be best for achieving the goal.  You might even be able to use the strategy, but that strategy is similar for almost any kind of racing… so again, without the goal, the details would be hard to work out.

Another example would be baking a cake.  The goal is to have a cake to eat when you are done.  The strategy is to combine the right ingredients to make a cake… in the right order to make a cake.  The tactics are how you employ the tools of cake making and how you utilize the ingredients.

Social media and technology aren’t much different.  Within a few minutes I could come up with 100 of social  media sites and maybe thousands of technologies.  And we deal with vendors all of the time that want us to use their latest and greatest.  I know that my inbox overflows with offers to use free this or paid that…

Fantasia gift shop @ Contemporary Resort
Image by lane.bailey via Flickr

But too many of us don’t have the FIRST step completed.  We don’t know where we want to go.  And one of the most common examples of that would be…  “My goal is to make money.”  Really?  Sorry, but that isn’t a goal.  A goal might be to have 50% of the transactions in your niche, or maybe to be the dominant agent in a particular area.

The strategies to achieve that may involve direct mail, newsletters, websites or a myriad of other encompassing options.

The tactics could be to create a hyper-local community blog platform or employing mobile marketing to build open house attendance.

From there, you can decide which specific platforms and/or technologies would best serve the larger needs.

The point is, before you can decide how to get somewhere, you need to know where you want to arrive.

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@NCMusicFactory was a great Venue for REBCCLT
Image by BeeRealty via Flickr

Not kinda… but fully on.

1 October, 2010

The venue is set to be the Gwinnett Braves Stadium… but that could change.  It will run from about 9:00am until around 5:00pm… a full day of real estate technology and social media training, learning and sharing.  Check the website.

If you’ve never been to a rebarcamp…

They are really cool events.  They are billed as ‘the unconference’ because so much runs counter to the standard conference experience.  At a normal conference, there are a bunch of break-out sessions where we all get to listen to someone tell us about a cool new product or service… usually that they offer… and how it can help our business.  Don’t get me wrong… I love going to conferences and find them very valuable.

During a rebarcamp, the break-outs are geared more towards group discussion.  I’ve found that almost every CAN have something to add to the conversation.  We all seem to have parts of the puzzle… but few have the whole box.  Some participants have incredible experiences and can answer some of the questions.  Others have their experiences in different areas.  But, one of the most valuable things to have is a question… they drive the whole agenda.

Did I mention that it is FREE?

Of course, there is still a price for free…  For attendees, that price is participation.  Dive in, meet people, share, make friends… participate.  It is amazingly rewarding.

The other cost is the cost borne by the sponsors… many of whom we are still searching.  We have a few of our sponsors signed up, but we will need a lot more before all is said and done.  Check out the site for more info on sponsoring…  We have a level of sponsorship for almost anyone!  From $100 up to $2000… you can make this a reality.

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BarCamp Orlando

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I am proud to say that I attended the very first REbarcamp, which was a real estate industry specific technology “unconference”.  Basically, the idea behind barcamp is that the conferees get together and create an agenda and then host the sessions.  It is an amazing peer-to-peer discussion.

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