Mobile Hotspot On The Go With Cradlepoint

By: Brooke Jansen

In the world of luxury real estate marketing, having instant access to the data you need, when you need it, can determine your success in a transaction. This means readily having access to an Internet connection, and oftentimes the ability to connect multiple devices to the network simultaneously.

Cradepoint’s line of cellular routers/Wi-Fi access points to create a “hotspot on the go” while traveling. In a matter of minutes, I can quickly connect multiple devices to the Internet to do the work I need to move a transaction forward.

I find Cradlepoint solutions especially valuable in that they are not tied to a particular cellular carrier. This is especially helpful when traveling internationally. Rather than incurring high international roaming rates with your domestic carrier, you can easily drop in a pre-paid or rechargeable local SIM into your aircard and be connected less expensively.

Watch the video to learn more.

Learn About The REALTORS Property Resource (RPR)

By: Brooke Jansen

As the 2010 Education Chair for the National Association of REALTORS Young Professionals Network (YPN), I host a monthly webinar featuring industry leaders. This month, Mary Frame, President of REALTORS Property Resource (RPR), discussed what they are developing and what it offers.

What is RPR? It is a single source, national database of real estate property information that will give real estate professionals a wealth of information to better serve their clients and customers. It will include public records, MLS-provided information, transfer tax, zoning, schools, and other relevant information.

As a luxury real estate professional, you will be able to benefit from the powerful analytics being built into the system so that you can educate your clients on current trends in the market.

Advanced DocuSign — The Fastest Way To Get A Signature Gets Even Faster

By: Brooke Jansen

I have been a huge fan of DocuSign for quite some time. Our clients can be traveling the world and we get signatures on contracts swiftly — oftentimes within minutes — and this can provide a competitive advantage in certain situations. The only issue is that setting up the signature process can be somewhat time consuming, especially if there are multiple parties to a transaction or if several addendums need to be signed.

Fortunately our friends at DocuSign recognized this challenge and came up with two new solutions — Templates and Intelligent Document Recognition. Using these new features, I was able to reduce the time for setting up a contract for signature from 20 minutes to 2 minutes. It is game changing.

Templates allow you to take frequently used documents, such as a real estate purchase agreement, and pre-define all of the locations on the agreement where the participants need to take action. You specify the “role” of the person signing a particular section of the document (such as Buyer 1, Buyer 2, Buyer’s Agent, Seller 1, Seller 2, etc.) and then drag and drop the “electronic sticky tabs” on to the agreement for the actions that need to be completed such as “sign”, “initial”, “optional initial,” or “date.”

Intelligent Document Recognition (IDR) simplies the process further. You can tell the system to automatically recognize a certain document as a “real estate purchase contract,” for example, by looking for certain attributes in the document. These attributes could be the title of the document or some other unique identifier. To set it up, you start the IDR tool and draw a box around the sections of the document that identify what it is. Once you have completely set up the template and IDR, you can upload it to DocuSign and it is ready for use.

How does this all work in practice? I may be write an offer that includes three components – a Residential Purchase Agreement, a Wood Destorying Pest Addendum, and a Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory. These documents can accomodate up to two buyers, and there is a space for the buyer’s agent to sign.

First, I set up my templates for three different roles — Buyer 1, Buyer 1, and Buyer’s Agent. I set up all of the appropriate places to sign/date/initial. Because the California forms have nice titles on them to help identify what they are, I used the IDR Tool to draw a box around the titles so that the system automatically recognizes the document type.

To prepare the offer for signature, I log into DocuSign and upload the individual documents that make up the offer. As I upload each document, IDR detects it and asks me a question such as “Do you want to apply the California Residential Purchase agreement template?” Next, I specify the names/emails for the different parties to the transaction and press “send”. What if I only have one buyer but the template is set up for two buyers? No problem. During the send process, just click “delete” on Buyer 2 and everything associated with that role will be automatically removed from the document. How cool is that?

It is a little more expensive to use these new features. You will need a DocuSign plan that supports DocuSign Professional, Templates, and IDR. They have a plan that starts at $35/month which should be more than sufficient for most real estate professionals.

Now Offering The Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) Course Online

By: Brooke Jansen

I am pleased to announce that we have partnered with The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing to offer their Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist™(CLHMS) course online. It is truly the gold standard. Take your real estate business to the next level by tapping into the desirable luxury home market segment. You don’t have to live the same lifestyle as affluent home buyers and sellers, but you do need special competencies and marketing savvy to succeed in this special and profitable niche. This fast paced course taught by Laurie Moore-Moore, founder of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, will jump start your entry into the upper-tier market or take your already successful luxury real estate practice to a new level of success. This course fulfills all of the training requirements and is the first step toward earning the international Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist™ designation. Upon course completion you’ll receive a free year of membership in The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing plus a free copy of Laurie’s book, “Rich Buyer, Rich Seller: The Real Estate Agents’ Updated Guide to Marketing Luxury Homes. The course is $495.

Stop Spam Once And For All With Postini

By: Brooke Jansen

Spam is such a nuisance and dealing with it was taking time away from productive, business-generating activities. I needed an industrial-strength solution to stop it once and for all.

That solution is Postini. For $12 per year (per mailbox that I want to have protected), their Message Security product puts an end to all junk mail. It works by filtering out all messaging threats including spam and viruses before they each your mailbox.

Set up is a little more complicated than other solutions as you need the ability to modify your mail server records on the Internet (the technical term is MX records in DNS) to route all incoming mail for your domain name through the Postini server first. [I offer consulting services to assist anyone that would like help setting this service up; contact me for details.] For example, I use Exchange Hosting at Intermedia (read this article for more information on this). I went into the Domain Manager, added the four MX records per the instructions provided by Postini, and emailed Intermedia to delete the MX record pointing to their server. I should note that when you change mail server records, it can take a few days for them to be copied all throughout the Internet. Postini does offer several testing utilities which will verify that you set everything up correctly.

You can then set up your mail accounts and customize your settings to control how aggressive the spam blocking is, list your safe and blocked senders, and more. There is a lot of power and flexibility in the product. Within a few days of use, there was no more spam in my Inbox or Junk Mail folders in Outlook.

Messages that are blocked are stored in a Quarantine file that you can access through the web. You can elect to receive a daily email summary of messages that are quarantined, or you can access them directly through the web interface. If there is a message that you want to allow to be delivered, you can click on it and it will be delivered to your inbox.