How to share contacts in Outlook 2007

Had a quick question on how to share contacts in Outlook.

How to share contacts in outlook 2007

How to create a Fake Tilt Shift photo effect

Photo compliments of Rawhead.

Photo compliments of Rawhead.

Some time ago, I came across some pictures on flickr that were pretty cool miniatures.  The photos were of real life scenes only to be made to look like miniature cities or people.  Of course you could just run around and take a bunch of pictures of model railroad stations that avid train hobbyist have created.  This effect lets your imagination run wild. It’s called Tilt Shift photography.  Normally done with an expensive lens, but can be mimicked with Photoshop or other digital manipulation software.

I got lost in the Flickr group that is dedicated to this effect.  I am no where near the quality that some of these artist/photographers possess.   Anyways, here are some of the photos that I created and at the bottom of this post is the video on how I create the fake tilt shift photos.

Harpers Ferry Train Station

Mini Harpers Ferry Fall Train Station

WVU Football Miniatures.

WVU Uconn 003_edited-2

How to Fake Tilt Shift Tutorial on Photoshop

Hope it makes sense to you. If not, you know how to reach me.

No one can open my Office 2007 files

You know you are sitting around knocking out some documents on Word.  It’s the end of the day and you finish up, save them and then email them off to the world or at least people that need them.  You jump in the car and head home.  Turn up the radio and roll down the windows…free at last!!!  That’s when the phone rings…”Bob, that file you sent me…I can’t open it and I need it now!!!“  Damn it! Back to the office.

We are just going through an upgrade to Office 2007 and not everyone is fortunate to have the made the transition or purchased the upgrade for their home computers yet.  Microsoft did not make Office 2007 backwards compatible. What?  They make the default settings on Word 2007 so that anyone with an older version of Word cannot open the files.  That has become very annoying.  So, I have created a little video for you using Jing (great free product) I need to work on my casting voice, but you will get the point I hope.  This fix not only works for Word but also Excel.  If you make these changes on Word and Excel, you could be at Happy Hour by now.

clip4

Changing Save Defaults for Word 2007

Have a great weekend.

Where do you spend your marketing money?

I found this on RISmedia and thought it would be good to forward on to you and have you start thinking about your web presence. One quick note about using “Real Estate” as a keyword, this is a most definitely a key search term but everyone is trying to achieve high rankings on their sites.  Some people pay big dollars for that search term.  But you have to ask yourself, do buyers and sellers REALLY search for “My town Real Estate” or is that just an ego search term for us in the industry?  If you go for the smaller more local issues that surround your market, you will have a better chance at reaching out to the public.  Sometimes it’s not just about “Real Estate” when building relationships with buyers and sellers.  This is called the Long Tail.  You start going for the smaller marketing terms in your area but you stand out as the expert in that area.  I think we call it a Niche market.  I can bet you, no I guarantee you that buyers and sellers are looking for more specific answers about the “real estate” in the area; shopping, schools, events, lifestyles, and the buying and selling process.  They are looking for a lifestyle that matches theirs, not just “real estate.”  I would think that knowing the area is more important that knowing that the house has 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths.  Yes the house is critical, but what they get out of the area is very important.

Ask Dave Ringold, an agent in my office, what just five sentences and one picture did this weekend.  Or better yet, just search “Fire on Bennett road Mt Airy“ It’s not real estate but he just got his name out in front of plenty (200+ hits) concerned people in the area.  It’s just that simple. I have been hounding him forever to start a blog of his own, but he used our office blog as a starting point.

Can you guarantee your current market plan will get your name in front of that many people that quick?  Also ask him how much it cost him while you are at it?  Will he get direct business from it?  Not directly, but it did put his name out in front of plenty of readers (concerned about his market area.)   Isn’t that marketing?  Why do you put your faces on Shopping Carts, postcards, newspaper ads?

Everyone is looking for a silver bullet in this market, that silver bullet is WORK.  Marketing campaigns take time and effort, but mostly consistently and they don’t have to be expensive. Every “Real Estate Expert marketer” tells you that as they sell you the latest and greatest product for hundreds of dollars.  And everyone buys into it out of desperation. Stop spending useless money on get rich quick scams!  They tell you that because they want you to consistently buy their product and keep them rich for the long term.  Phone calls are FREE, most of the internet training that I can offer you is FREE, and emails are FREE.  Note cards and holiday cards are inexpensive.  Newspaper ads are expensive and ineffective.  Dave Stevens sent out a YouTube video last night that made me think of this one.  A vision of Students Today. (Mike Wesch has plenty of thought provoking experiments with his students called Digital Ethnography and check out his other videos as they are just as intriguing.) This is our future homeowner and they are graduating soon.

  • 85+% of the buyers/sellers start on the internet
  • 3% actually find their home in the newspaper or print.

Where do you spend most of your marketing money?  If you are successful at old traditional marketing like print and park benches, just imagine how successful you will be by going after the 85%?

Just food for thought…I don’t want you to change your ways or anything.  : )

We have our Business Planning Meeting on January 28, 2008.  I plan on doing a piece on free marketing. Contact me if you would like to be in attendance.

Have a great day.

Bob

New Feature on MATRIX MLS – Banners

I just noticed a new feature on MRIS.  (Metropolitan Regional Information Systems)  I’m not sure how long this upgrade has been there, but I find it a nice addition.  You have the ability to add a customized header and footer to your emailed property list.  This adds some eye candy to the page.  Before there was only a blue bar across the top and it said compliments of Billy Bob Real Estate agent.

Matrix MLS goes upgrade

All you have to do is log in to your Matrix MLS and click on “My Matrix” and on the far right will be a tab labeled “Settings.”

MRIS Matrix MLS Menu Bar

You will see the area in which you make the changes for the Headings/Footers.  Select the background that appeals to you, update your contact information that you want displayed and you are all done.

Anytime you send listings to clients, manually or automatic, your page will have your contact information at the top embedded in the new graphic.

You can click on the images for a full size view.

Have a great day.