2016 Recap & 2017 Tip

It’s now 2017 and so much happened in 2016.  Most of the people that read this blog have attended one of my classes and I wanted to take some time to say “Thank YOU”.  I have enjoyed traveling the country and meeting so many new people.  I taught 108 classes in 54 1/2 days and spent 39 days traveling with 14 days away at functions or on the road.  In case you are wondering, that is 107.5 days (29% of the year) on the road traveling and training.  I have now trained in 33 states, only 18 to go.  The 51st one is DC, I counted that as a separate location even though it is not a “state”, but it’s not in a state, so 51 it is!

I’m looking forward to a new year with more new friends to meet and some great places to visit.  While I’m on the subject, if anyone knows offices in the states I have not trained in and would like to help me reach my 2017 year end goal of training in all 50 states.  This list of places I am looking for contacts to reach out to is here: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Utah (I will be there next week), Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.  Thank you in advance for helping by emailing or texting me with any leads.

This is a tech blog, so I can’t go without giving you a tech tip!!  Since it is the year end and soon it will be tax time now might be a good time to give you want of my favorite tracking apps for my real estate and training business.  MileIQ and a link to a referral is here: https://www.mileiq.com/invite/IIPRG.  You may not know this, but years ago for an entire year I wrote emails (should have done it as a blog!) every week on “Apps” and every four weeks I did a “Four for Fun”.  Of course I explained how it works and what it does so this is like going back to that.  Here goes!

MileIQ, it’s Free to download, but only gives you 40 free drives each month.  It is absolutely worth it to spend the $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year for this!

What does it do?  It tracks everywhere you drive.  Yes it runs in the background, but doesn’t take up too much battery or data.  It will show you a map of where you started and where you ended.  Starting mark is green and ending is red.  It’s as easy as “swiping”.  Swipe right for “business” and left for “personal”.  If you swipe slowly in either direction, you can select from custom categories in either the business or personal side.  A couple of cool things is that you can “name” a location so that you remember were you are going.  I name my listings so that I know when I’m going to a listing or showing houses.  You can also select “auto classify” when it pops up so that you don’t have keep answering the same question.  It is super smart and when you are done it shows you a “star” in an award type badge that tells you that month is complete.  It can send you email reports of either a month or year end which makes doing your taxes a breeze!!  Another option is adding multiple vehicles and adding the odometer for each vehicle as well.  I have some screen shots to show you how it works.

App Store showing the logo on the app and the “Auto-Classify” feature.

mileiq-app-storefrequant-drives

Business items, and categories.  Notice the “potential” at the top right and naming the locations to any name that you want. (Swipe right)

office-to-guarantybusiness-categories

Personal drives can be categorized differently as well. (Swipe left)

school-to-officepersonal-categories

Monthly summary shows the amount of personal vs business drives and the year end totals show the graph of the milage driven.  You will notice that Jan is really short because I didn’t decide to use the “paid version” until February.  The nice thing is that it did remember the drives for a month, but not all the way back.  This is another reason why I’m telling you about this now.

monthly-summaryyearly-summary

I can be reached at CarolynTechPertise@gmail.com, by phone or text at 918-951-9020 or visit my real estate website at http://www.SearchTulsaHouses.com.  For technology training or consulting assistance visit http://www.iCarolyn.com.

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Shortcut Your iOS Device

I was recently at Family Reunion, which is a conference for Keller Williams agents and staff to network and LEARN!!  This year I was asked to serve on a panel to share some tips and tricks.  One of the tricks I mentioned was how to create an iOS Keyboard Shortcut.  Several have asked for some directions on how to do this, so here we go.

iOS ShortcutsGo into your “Settings” and scroll down to “General” then “Keyboard”.  Once you are in the “Keyboard” area scroll down to “Shortcuts” and then click on the “+” at the top right.  The “phrase” at the top is what you want the keyboard to type for you for example your name and company (Carolyn Thompson, Keller Williams Realty Advantage).  The second item says “shortcut” and this is where you put the letters and/or numbers you want to type to make it insert (cdtkw) and don’t forget to click “save” at the top right.

iOS Shortcuts 2The cool part is that when you create the shortcut on your phone it will also translate on your MAC as an example, it added the shortcut above when I typed those letters and I had to “undo”.  You can use this for many things.  I have the shortcut above and several others.  What about a shortcut for requesting a showing or sending a list of lenders, sharing your mobile app or any phrase that you repeat on a regular basis.  Don’t make it a single word or you will end up with creating a shortcut that will replace words you are actually trying to type.

iOS Shortcuts 3How many shortcuts and phrases can you create?  What are your ideas?  I hope these iOS Keyboard Shortcuts can help you!

I can be reached at Carolyn@icarolyn.com, by phone or text at 918-951-9020 or visit my website at http://www.SearchTulsaHouses.com.  For technology training or consulting assistance visit http://www.iCarolyn.com.

Task Mastery

Many agents and admin overlook the power of the “task lists” in dotloop.  Everyone has a list of items that need to be done to list a house or close a transaction, even if it is only currently in your head.  Now is the time to make those lists work for you!

First sign into your dotloop account.  There are two ways to create a task list and I recommend creating it in a loop because you can rearrange the order of the tasks, where currently in the templates section, you can not.  Create a loop called “Task List Loop” or use a sample loop you already have.  At the bottom of the loop, click “Add Task” and a new list will be started.  Start typing the items you want on your list.  Drag and drop them to the order you want them.  I also suggest that you keep all of your task lists in the same loop incase you accidentally delete it, you have a place you can load it from again.  Task Lists Options

Rename the task list to what it is, for example: “My Listing Checklist” or “My Contract Checklist”, etc.  To do this, click on the down arrow next to the folder name and select “rename”.  This is also where you will see the option to “Create Template”.  Once you have clicked on the “Create Template”, it will ask you to name the new template and create template.

The most unused portion of this feature is that you can add live links to the task lists and when you do it becomes a live link that the client can click on and go to your website or other webpage you have linked to.  The most common use for this would be using your website as a reference with a page that has the local utility companies or local inspectors listed so they can easily access the information.  This also creates SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your website (if you are running the link to your website).  Task List Options

Think of having a task list for your client to complete items for a transaction!  You can also “share” or “hide” the task lists from clients.  The admins for your office also have the option to “lock” the task list from the agents.  This is used for compliance because let’s face it, agents sometimes think they have completed something correctly, and the office thinks differently.  🙂  The task lists are directly connected to the loop percentage so if you have 4 tasks and you complete 2 of them, you have 2 left which gives you a percentage of completion of 50%.

Task %

As a quick reminder, “Urgent Tasks” are automatically added to a loop when there is a from that requires your signature or initials.  They are also automatically checked when you sign or initial where needed and document name is a “link” that takes you into the document if you click on the name.

Once the task lists are created and you want to load them into a new loop, click on the “Load Template” on the bottom right of the loop and select the template decided for that loop.  Reuse them as many times as you want because you are now a task master!

I can be reached at Carolyn@icarolyn.com, by phone or text at 918-951-9020 or visit my website at http://www.SearchTulsaHouses.com.  For technology training or consulting assistance visit http://www.iCarolyn.com.

Paperless REALTOR®

My normal posts and articles are about tips and tricks and a lot of how-to’s.  This is great and many people follow my blog for that reason, however sometimes it’s good to take another perspective.  I typically right about things based on questions that I get from people about how to do things and this is no exception.  When I tell people that “I am a paperless REALTOR®”, they look at me a little funny with skepticism in their eyes so I felt it was time to explain what that really means.

Carolyn iPadFirst, I have to tell you that becoming a paperless agent was a choice that had to be made.  I’m sure many agents still have the very first file they ever closed XX years ago and I am no exception!  I still have in my garage the first real estate transaction I ever closed in 1998, which my family is not overly thrilled about.  They look at me and say “Do you really need that?” or “When was the last time you used that?”  I get it and so I had to move forward and in my case that was “paperless”.  You see if I have the paper, I will want to keep it, store it and not throw it away and THAT is not an option any more!

Here is how it works from a listing side where I represent the seller.  I may give the seller a printed listing presentation, if they want one to keep but mine is always on my iPad.  When it comes time to list the house, I send all of the documents through dotloop, provided they have an email address.  I will be perfectly honest, I don’t work as well with clients that do not have email, but I can.  The client can sign, print and view the documents for 7 years online.  If they request me to print things, I will!  When they receive offers, that also comes via dotloop and is presented to the client with full explanation.  This does not mean I send them an email and say “here you go”, but I TALK to my clients and explain what I sent and walk them through each part of a document.

Buyer sides of the transaction tend to accumulate more paper than the seller’s side.  This is because you are showing them listings and looking at homes.  I have cut that out as well.  I always meet with a new buyer and present them with a “Buyer Packet” of information, yes in paper format in a binder.  Once we meet and I review this within about an hour and a half, I tell them “this is all the paper you will receive from me unless you request more.”  Most people are fine with that and the ones that do want paper, I print it for them.  I have a buyer sign an agreement with a pen, also known as “wet sign” and then I scan the copies of hand written items and email them to myself.  I also end the appointment with “I will send you a digital version (via dotloop) of the same documents you have already signed so you get an opportunity to experience e-signing and online documents.”  Most clients think it is cool and can’t wait to try it.  Even when we are looking at homes, I print my MLS sheets to PDF and load them on my iPad via dropbox.  I can still write on, highlight and organize them in any way I want.  The difference is I don’t have lots of useless papers later, it’s a simple “delete” to get rid of them.

Any papers I am given like a termite report at an inspection or a copy of the receipt of earnest money, I simply scan into the computer and load it into my dotloop file as a PDF.  The ONLY paper I keep are checks because until they accept wired funds for earnest money, I will have to have at least 1 thing.  I keep them in a safe place (with my iPad which also features a GPS for tracking).  The originals of some things get given to others like the closing company or the client.  If no one needs the originals, they are shredded.  Even the people that I work with regularly, like my title/closing officer knows I don’t want paper.  She has stopped making copies for me at closing and just scans and emails them to me!  I love it, less mess and fuss.

DotLoop - Light Blue Tagline White SpaceNow when you hear me say, “I’m a paperless REALTOR®”, know that I mean every word of that.  Don’t drown in your paperwork, it’s time to convert to PeopleWork in the digital age.  Dotloop is the major tool I use in order to make that happen in my business.  Look for more tips next time and until then, try going paperless, it’s can be a freeing experience!

I can be reached at Carolynt@kw.com, by phone or text at 918-951-9020 or visit my website at http://www.SearchTulsaHouses.com.  For technology training or consulting assistance visit http://www.iCarolyn.com.

myTransaction DotLoop Layouts for PDFs

One of the more recent updates in myTransactions/DotLoop are the option for “Layouts”. I’m sure you are wondering where and what is she talking about. If you have no idea what a “loop” or DotLoop is, watch this video:  This article is more for those of you that have already created a loop and are using the system, or at least a little familiar with it. Ok, so when you have a loop created, you have the option to add live documents or PDF’s. When you load a PDF into the DotLoop system it doesn’t know what the form is, just that it is a PDF.

After you have loaded the document you have the option to “edit” the form. You will see the standard options for layering on the features of: Signatures, Initials, Text or Checkboxes. The new option is the “Layout” button in the middle of the menu bar at the top of the document. The “Layouts” are added by your brokerage (in a later version the agent will be able to create Layouts). Select one that applies to your form and the fields you need will appear.Layout Options

For example, if you have a property disclosure for an offer you are about to write where a seller has already completed it and now you need to send it to the buyer. With a template created in the system for a standard disclosure for buyer’s signatures, you will click on the “layout” button and select the appropriate layout and apply. Once added you may have to adjust the boxes slightly if the scan is not exactly in the same place as the original, but it will at least put it close to where you need it. This is a great time saving idea. You might need to ask your office to create layouts for different forms. This option applies to not just 1 page forms, but with multiple pages. To help your staff, you might want to send an example form that you need a layout for.

In case you are wondering the reason they started this at the broker level is so the main layouts that multiple agents will use can be added at a broker level and subsequently reduce the number of individual duplicate layouts. It makes since to not bog down the system and when the agent level is released everyone will be able to create their own layouts.

I can be reached at Carolynt@kw.com, by phone or text at 918-951-9020 or visit my website at www.SearchTulsaHouses.com.

Customizing myMarketing Campaigns

You have a myMarketing Campaign created and you are now on the Campaign Home page. The summary of the myMarketing Campaigns along with the “Actions” button which looks like a gear are displayed here.  Click on the gear and the options that appear are: Pause, Manage Delivery Options, Add/Remove Contacts, Rename Campaign and Delete Campaign.  Most of these are self explanatory, but the one you may not recognize is the “Manage Delivery Options”.  It’s the best button of all because that is where the magic happens!!

Options on the Campaign Home Screen

Options on the Campaign Home Screen

Manage Delivery Options is where you go to change: Campaign name, update deliver order, change to all direct mail, change to all email the order of the campaign or save deliver options.  Each campaign piece can have the following edits: order of the piece, deliver format, email subject and schedule day(s) after contact is added or previous element.  The best options are on the right, the 3 picture icons on the right side.  The X will delete the element completely after asking you to confirm.  The magnifying glass will show you a preview of the campaign piece.  The pencil allows you to edit the pictures, words and basic over all look of each element.

Here is the good stuff! Click on the pencil and it opens the editing option.  If you do not have silverlight on your computer, it will tell you to install it.  It’s ok, this is a required install and safe for your computer.  The fonts will load and then you will need to click on the “Start Editing”.  On the left you will see a list of all of the elements and by putting your curser on the titles it shows a line and box around the element on the right.  With a curser over the picture, text or graphic it will also show you the same box and line to the title of that element.  When you click on the element it displays the editing options at the top of the screen.  If you have selected an image, it will allow you to replace, crop, mirror, link or delete the image.  The “link” option is great to use if you are sending emails because once linked to a website, your clients can get to any website you want!  Another missed option is the “Add” (green plus) which gives you the option to add an image, text box, bing map, link to video, rectangle, circle or line.  What about adding a map to an email of an open house you are holding open and then link that map to the web page that gives details of the property you are holding open?

Editing a Campaign Element

So now you have your myMarketing Campaign element the way you want it, don’t forget to “Save” or “Save As”.  If you skip this step it will revert back to the original format when you exit.  Once you save, it will ask you if you want to continue editing or exit the editor.  If you keep editing don’t forget to save again. The next question if you select exit is “Are you sure you want to exit?”, saying yes will take you back to the campaign home page.

Now you have all the tools you need to Customize your myMarketing Campaign so happy marketing!

Quick Tip: Anywhere you see a yellow question mark, hold your curser over it and a box will show describing what that function does.

I can be reached at Carolynt@kw.com, by phone or text at 918-951-9020 or visit my website at www.SearchTulsaHouses.com.

Creating myMarketing Campaigns

Marketing is an important piece of your business.  What, you didn’t know you were in the marketing business? Well, consider all of the things that you have to market in order to keep your business going: Your Skills, Your Listings, Your Website, Your Company and of course You!  One of the most important pieces of your business is LEAD GENERATION!  Marketing is a part of your lead generation process, but NOT a total replacement.  Ok, so let’s get to the customization of myMarketing!myMarketing Campaigns

Let’s talk about the Campaigns because they are pre-built systems in place that do some of the marketing for you!  Sign into your myKW.KW.com and click on the + next to the myMarketing then click on the “Manage and Create Campaigns”.  Then at the top left you will see an option for “Build a New Campaign” and click on it.  You will see a list of types of campaigns.  If you do not have “pro Market Leader” they will will have some titles with the word “pro” next to it.  Today we are going to focus on strictly the eEdge basic side of myMarketing.  The three main sections are Market my Business: Buyers, Sellers, and Sphere.  The other option you will see when you click on each one of these is there are two of each campaign.  One is for individual agents and the other with the same name says “team” next to it which means the wording is geared toward comments like “we” instead of “I” and “ours” instead of “my”.  You get the idea.

Options when selecting a Campaign

Options when selecting a Campaign

First we are going to talk about a 8×8 (either Buyer or Seller).  In case you are wondering an 8×8 stands for making 8 touches in 8 weeks.  For this example I’m clicking on “8×8 Seller: Here to Help You Sell”.  Once you have selected the campaign you will see 3 boxes that say “Email”, “Multi-Chanel” and “Direct Mail”.  Inside each box shows the pieces listed as emails, direct mail and activities.  Next to the list of pieces is the “Cost $ per contact”.  Email is free and direct mail costs money to print and postage to mail, so depending on your option will have a different expense.  Before you click on one of them, you might want to preview the pieces, so click on “Campaign Elements” at the bottom of the box.  Once you do, the words will turn red and display a snap shot of the pieces along with the title, scheduled date and delivery format.  Click on one to display a sample of what it will look like larger with your marketing information on it. (Marketing information comes from your set-up section under myMarketing and Manage eEdge Website.)  At the top click on the red “Next Step”.

Adding and Removing Contacts in a Campaign

Adding and Removing Contacts in a Campaign

Now you have to select who you want to send it to.  If you are going to completely customize it and not send it right away, you might want to just put yourself on it and then go back and add your contacts.  Select the name(s) you want to add to this campaign and click on the “Add”.  It will open a box that will tell you how many contacts you have selected and the cost both per contact and total cost.  Click on the box that says “I have previewed all elements and approve them to be sent to selected contacts” and then click “+ Add Contacts to Campaign”.  You will then see the contacts you selected on the right side and it will say “Active” next to their name.  Now at the top click on “Save Campaign”.  If you selected a campaign that costs money and you do not have billing set up, it will pop up a message and then ask you if you want to set it up now or cancel.  It will not add your contacts and put your campaign in “Inactive, Add Contacts” status.

Options on the Campaign Home Screen

Options on the Campaign Home Screen

Your campaign is now set up and ready to go.  The next post will contain details of editing and enhancing your campaign, so check back.

I can be reached at Carolynt@kw.com, by phone or text at 918-951-9020 or visit my website at www.SearchTulsaHouses.com.