softRealty.com Product Demo Video

August 19, 2010

This video was produced using a combination of Adobe After Effects and Camtasia Studio.

Acrylic Painting Process

August 13, 2010

Start with a Sketch

I typically start my painting by sketching out the values with pencil first. This helps me figure out the color values. Many people use a projector to get the details just right and save time but I have not made the investment yet… so it’s all hand drawn for now.

Sketch Painting

Work in the Background

I usually paint background elements before the foreground. In this case I painted the brick area and started working on the plants behind the subjects.I also applied some paint to the door and the back walls. I try and use tints and shades of main hues for all my paintings. I find this helps with color consistency. Basically, if I have blue in the painting, I will just add white or black to that blue if I want a lighter or darker value.

Background Painting

Work in the Foreground

Once I have a good feel for the background values, I begin working in the foreground.In this case, I am showing how I have started working on the groom’s tux. I used tints of black to start with and then straight black for creases in the fabric and shadows.

Foureground Painting

Final Product

Once I have finished the painting I apply a heavy coat of varnish to protect the painting and provide a strong shine when seen on the wall.

Final Wedding Painting

Wedding

August 13, 2010

Inman Connect NYC 2010 – Recap

January 20, 2010

Inman Connect NYC 2010 Recap

Inman Connect was held in the great sate of New York this year. The conference started on Wednesday morning and wrapped up on Friday around noon. The conference consisted of Workshops, Keynotes, Panels, Sponsored Intensives, Innovation Tracks and much more.

We had the great honor of featuring our CEO, David Carroll, as a speaker on the topic of “How to Make Leads and Influence People”. David did a phenomenal job alongside Mitch Ribak  and Paul Zweben (both prominent brokers with different approaches to Capturing Leads). We were also presenting in Startup Alley as one of the 14 exhibitors to showcase their new technology.

“Outside the Sessions”

As we grow as a company and create relationships with an array of agents, brokers and technology companies, we have a lot of interesting conversations “Outside the Sessions”.  The following list showcases the people we talked to at Inman Connect NYC 2010 and explains a little about why we like these folks.

Ann Baldinucci with NabeWise Media

Ann was one of the 6 entrepreneurs that participated in Start-up Shoot-Out where the crowd gets to vote on the entrepreneur that they like best based on their elevator pitch. She has great energy and a real passion for her company. NabeWise helps consumers find the perfect neighborhood through a consumer facing portal that let’s them filter by price, character, people and things to do.

Dan Woolley with W&R Studios

Dan is the Co-Founder of W&R studios, who originally brought us Dwellicious.com. They have a new product called Cloud CMA which provides very robust reports using MLS data as well as top websites.

Derek Overbey with Roost

Derek is the Director of Social Media at Roost. Roost allows consumers to search for homes from a consumer facing portal and are then directed to a real estate broker’s website where they can continue their search or connect with an agent.

Garron Selliken with M Realty

Garron is the Principal Broker with M Realty. Garron has combined his brokerage with a web development company to bring the best of both worlds to his consumers.

Jeff Corbett with 7DS Associates

Jeff is a Partner with 7DS Associates. 7DS provides consulting areas of business including operations, marketing, and technology. They have done a study of  Net Promoter Score in the real estate and mortgage industries which ranks customer loyalty to a brand, company, product or service

Matt Fagioli with Diamond Dwellings

Matt is the Founder of Diamond Dwellings as well as REtech South. REtech is the premier technology conference in the southeast. The focus at REtech South  is social media, new and existing technology as well as facing the unique challenges of our current real estate market.

Reggie Nicolay with RPR

Reggie is the Director of Social Media at Realtors Property Resource (RPR). With so much buzz about RPR, we wanted to chat with Reggie and ask him “what is RPR?”. There are tons of details about RPR but the major  idea is that realtors will have an extremely accurate resource to access when looking up property data for their clients.

Tony Lazzari with Ryan Hill Realty

Tony is a forward thinking real estate agent from the Naper Hill, Illinois area. He shared with us his thoughts on Inman and why he attends.

Check out our blog on sofRealty.com to see videos of “Outside the Sessions”.

Inman Connect NYC 2010 – Initial Expectations

January 8, 2010

softRealty.com will be attending Inman Connect NYC 2010 (ICNY) as a sponsor in Startup Alley. Our founder and CEO David Carroll will also be featured as a speaker on the topic of Lead Capture. This will be our second time attending Inman Connect (we were fortunate enough to be able to attend San Fran last year).

I think the fact that attendance is up in a down economy verifies that agents and brokers are looking to technology to carry them through these tough times.

Here are a few things that stand out to me on the conference schedule:

-

Internet Marketing Workshop (Wednesday)

Keynote Address by Vanessa Fox: Home Buyers are turning to Google first…

I will be interested to see how agents feel about Google Base and see if this topic comes up or if Vanessa will solely focus on SEO and the benefits of optimization.

Sam Sebastian, of Google, will also be on hand Thursday to speak directly to this topic.

-

Startup Alley (Wednesday)

The energy in Startup Alley was really strong in San Fran and after looking at the list of folks for NYC, something tells me it will be even better this year.

I am particularly excited to check out Stik.com and agent’s reactions to what they are doing. As popular as facebook has become in such a short time, it will be interesting to see how  agents can use their personal relationships to gain an even bigger footprint in that social space using tools like Stik.

With all the familiar faces on Startup Alley, it will be nice to see how technology is progressing within each business. We met entrepreneurs last year who had bar napkins and I will be curious to see if they are back with apps this time around.

Sidenote: United Lane has moved out of Startup Alley and has a booth nearby. I noticed them for the first time in San Fran and as I walked by their booth I proclaimed “That looks like Sketchup on crack!!!”. They got a kick out of that.

-
Consumer Empowerment (Thursday)

Max Ventilla, of Aardvark, will address the conference about how buyers and sellers will use the social Web and advanced data models to make decisions. Very interesting topic.

Sidenote: I have been using their app now for about 3 months or so and I have mixed feelings about the usefulness. There are clearly some advantage to being able to connect to people in niche areas of interest but with so many other venues that exist already, I will be interested to see how they set themselves apart even further moving forward. BTW: I like the fun titles they use (Max Ventilla. Zoo Director). We do something very similar (David Carroll, Founder Dude).
-
Tech Trend for 2010
Sam Grobart, of the New York Times, will most likely clue us in on what to look for in the coming year as far as gadgetry goes. My guess is that he will focus on the “wireless future”.
-
RPR (Realtor Property Resource)

I have far too many questions about what the RPR could mean to the industry…
Brian Boero wrote a great post back in November that sheds some great light on the topic. I am hoping that ICNY will do a good job of explaining how the 900  MLSs will be effected…
-
How to Make Leads and Influence People (Thursday)
Our fearless leader @softrealtydude will be on this panel. Need I say more.
-
Wrap Up
That about wraps it up. We will most likely be shooting tons of video and talking to great people. Hopefully, we should be able to post that content during the conference but maybe not until right after…;)
From all of us at softRealty: See you in NYC!

Print Graphics – softRealty.com

October 21, 2009

Here are some of the latest print graphics I have been working on for softRealty.com. With so many new and exciting products and opportunities coming out at the same time, I felt it was necessary to distinguish all the products and their merits on separate sheets but also show how they work together as well.

Here is a graphic layout showing a very basic diagram of how the products work together:

Product Overview

Product Overview

Here are a series of layouts showing the different products and describing how they can benefit an agent:

Property Search

Property Search

Contact Manager

Contact Manager

Lead Capture Redefined

Lead Capture Redefined

This layout is showing one of our latest products, Real Estate Websites:

Real Estate Websites

Real Estate Websites

This layout shows the different MLS markets that we serve currently (growing rapidly though):

MLS Markets we Serve

MLS Markets we Serve

This final layout shows how the different features of the products work together:

Product Descriptions

Product Descriptions

The corporate website for softRealty.com will be undergoing some cosmetic surgery over the next few months and I will post with those changes as soon as we have them implemented. We will also be launching http://www.AgentElement.com very soon and I will post some thoughts on how that comes together when it is done.

How Can Real Estate Agents Improve Their Web Presence

September 1, 2009

Okay, there are about a million ways that a real estate agent can improve their web presence but I am going to focus on 3 major points.

#1 – Make Your Web Site Stand Out

Website

First of all, if you don’t have a website, get one. You may want to take some time and come up with a website name that fits your style. Go to www.godaddy.com and search for available names. Here is also some great information available about specializing in a target  market. Your website should be clean and easy to navigate. I have visited so many agent’s websites that are WAY too busy.

I can promise you this: Cramming your site with content is not the answer to closing more business. Check out this post for more web ideas.

Your website reflects your ability to deliver professional service. If you are not inspired by your own website, I can guarantee that the people visiting your site won’t be either. Check out this post I wrote on Active Rain titled “Is your website showing up in flip flops and socks…”

#2 – Start Blogging…Now

Blog

Do not just blog for the sake of blogging. There are many reasons why you should blog, but the main reason you should blog is to get involved in your community. Blogging makes you get involved. The more you know about your community, the better equipped you are to answer questions about your community. That makes you a better sales person. How cool would it be if you searched on Google for RE agents in your city and you came up first, and not because you paid for it, because you were so active in the community that Google had no choice but to place you atop the coveted list?

There are also many benefits that occur as a result of blogging. When you blog on a regular basis you are putting fresh content on your site. Google loves it when you do that.

#3 – Research Technology and Use It

Technology

Everyone and their mother is talking about social media so I won’t linger on the topic for too long, but tools like (yes these are tools) Facebook and Twitter when used correctly can drastically improve your web presence. Here are some other tools that you can use to make your website and web presence ‘mo better:

-Check out Benn Rosales’ recent post on Agent Genius for some new, great tools

-iPromote.com is a great advertising platform for your listings

-Technorati.com allows you to search blogs and also post your own blogs – great for linking back to increase traffic

I hope these tips have been helpful. Please let me know if you have other ideas on how to improve web presence.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

softRealty.com to Launch Websites for Agents

August 31, 2009

The most exciting aspect of working for softRealty.com has been helping agents to become more successful by giving them the tools to connect with their website visitors. Much to my chagrin, I have discovered that many agents are unable to use our products because….wait for it……they don’t have a website  (GASP)!

This is disturbing to me for a variety of reasons:

  1. Over 80% of home buyers start their search on the internet, which means if you don’t have a website, those home buyers won’t find you
  2. In 1984, there were 1000 internet devices… in 1992 there were 1,000,000… and in 2008 there were 1,000,000,000 (BTW, this will continue to grow)
  3. Having a personal website sets you apart from other agents and helps you establish your brand

With all that being said, I can understand why many agents would fear jumping into the unknown that is the “interweb”. Creating a professional looking website can cost thousands of those little green rectangular pieces of paper that are so scarce these days. Also, in a day and age when it is so critical to keep fresh content on your page, it can be an ominous task to even attempt to understand how to update your site on a regular basis.

Here is the good news:

The technology exists today for agents to be able to manage and update their very own website without memorizing a lick of code. Not only that, the process is easy and dare I say…fun.

Look at these screen shots:

Agent Website Sample 1

Agent Website Sample 1

Agent Website Sample 2

Agent Website Sample 2

Not to sound like an infomercial, but how much would you expect to pay for a 3 page website with a built in blog and cutting edge property search?

What if I told you you would pay as little as $10 a month…   I know it’s ridiculous.

We are not officially offering this to the public yet, but if you are interested please contact our support staff to get setup. You can email us at: connected@softrealty.com

I think this is a fantastic tool that can help agents with a multi-faceted approach to improving their web presence.

I hope this has been helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.

Real Estate Connect :: San Fran :: Inman

August 9, 2009

Inman Real Estate Connect is officially in the books (#icsf – Twitter hash tag for the conference) and I am excited to see the number of people that participated in this event,  even in these trying times.

We stayed at the Westin on Greary St. in San Francisco and the conference was a few blocks away at The Palace. I spent the majority of the first day explaining our product offerings to agents, brokers, and companies that are interested in what we do. We spent the next 3 days networking and doing our best to get the word out about Lead Capture Redefined. Here are some pictures from the event:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Forced Registration Will Ultimately Hurt Your Business

July 7, 2009

For a long time the standard in the RE industry has been to force website visitors to give their personal information in order to utilize features on an agent or broker site. And this actually was a really good  idea… back in 1992. It is 2009 and users have different expectations about their internet experience. With search products like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and countless others, the average internet user expects to be able to utilize all of the features they want without having to give up their coveted information. Their expectations don’t change just because they are searching for properties on your site.

I collaborated with David Carroll, Founder and CEO of softRealty.com, to create this eBook:

The Forced Registration Barrier

Click on the image to view


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.