Sunday, March 30, 2008

A New Tool for Building Single Property Websites

Have you heard of Sprout?

It is a different way to build widgets on your real estate website that can include a single property website. But by utilizing Sprout a real estate agent can make their Single Property Website dynamic and portable.

Once you are on the site they guide you to building flash based widgets. You can use their templates or build your own by dragging and dropping different elements. Once you have built then you publish to your site or blog. After that you manage. After working with it for a while you begin to get the hang of it. But it is really a neat tool for real estate agents because it can be used for:

  • A video introduction of your services or your company
  • Your latest blog posts
  • Your Trulia Voices Answers
  • Promoting a Single Property
    • Adding a Map of the property
    • Virtual Tour or video walk-through of the property
    • Links to the listing (MLS, company website, etc.)

It is still in the beta stages, but it is a different way of looking at promoting your listings.

Roxanne Tidmore, NAR Certified REPA

Become a Neighborhood Expert. Try TruliVoices.

Real estate agents realize how important making connections with potential clients are. And after the agent makes that connection, it needs to be nurtured to bring that potential client along to the point where they become a client. One way to do that is to begin to establish yourself as a neighborhood expert.

Now you may say, that you do not know where to start; you have writer's block. Here is a simple solution. Try out

Just by signing up for a free profile and setting yourself up to receive email alerts for your targeted area, you can build your expertise and your online referral network! Here's how.

  1. Sign up for a free profile
  2. Make sure you check to receive email alerts targeted to your niche/market area.
  3. When you answer the question, include a link to your website or blog.

By doing these three simple steps, you will:
  1. Raise your Trulia stats.
  2. Narrow a potential clients search for an agent in their area.
  3. This will improve your Google searches, because it your SEO is increased.

And if you do not have time, a real estate virtual assistant can help with this task. They can also not only set you up on Trulia, but other online networks.

It does take some time. But realize the goal is to help buyers or sellers understand the processes that they are going through. They really appreciate this, and in turn are more likely to include you in their search for real estate agents. They want an agent that has their interests in mind.

Roxanne Tidmore, NAR Certified REPA

Friday, March 7, 2008

Real Estate Virtual Assistants Can Help Agents Balance the REO Workload.

As a real estate agent, you know that the more BPO’s you accept, the more money you make and the higher your rating will become with the banks that offer BPO’s. But as an agent your time is valuable and the time you may want to devote to BPO’s is being spent in listing, marketing and transaction management. So if you are really interested in expanding your business into the realm of BPO’s, how can you do this?

Partner with a real estate virtual assistant to obtain more BPO’s and perfect your REO Marketing.

Did you know you can set up your system to allow the real estate virtual assistant to accept as many incoming BPO orders as you want? You do not have to be in the office to accept them. Also your REVA can pull the comps and tax records for you if you do not have the time.

Let's face it, the BPO forms do take time but if you can correctly leverage the skills of a real estate virtual assistant and your time, you will be able to offer these services.

What about the REO Marketing portion? How can a real estate virtual assistant help? Below is a list of some of the duties that can be taken off of your plate.

  • Schedule property repairs
  • Take care of turning on and off the utilities
  • Order trash services
  • Take care of lawn services
  • Order pre-inspections
  • Vendor monitoring
  • Accounts payable and receivables

Marketing activities can be delegated such as:

  • Uploading images to MLS, updating property information
  • Distribution of flyers to agents, and buyers
  • Scheduling open houses and maintaining showing schedules
  • Completing your monthly marketing report
  • Feedback reports.

And much more!!

If you think that BPO/REO Services is something that you are really interested in, but did not think you had the time to do, why don’t you discuss your options with a real estate virtual assistant.

Roxanne Tidmore, NAR Certified REPA

Questions about BPO's?? What A Real Estate Virtual Assistant Can Do?

With the surge of foreclosures, more real estate agents are incorporating REO services into their business. As they accumulate more, they are realizing that they need help to complete the BPO forms and the REO Listings.

I have been contacted by several agents over the past months that need this assistance.

But some are not sure how an online real estate assistant can help them. It is important to be able to delineate the tasks that the agent is able to do and those that the assistant can do.

For example, some agents contact me and state that they want me to give them a list of institutions that they can work with and how to obtain more BPO's from the institutions. Some even want me to help with the valuation of the REO property. It is important to know that it is the responsibility of the agent to search, apply and develop a relationship with REO institutions. And also to take care of duties such as valuation of the property. Knowing this can help the work process flow more smoothly when an agent is working with a real estate virtual assistant.

One important point to remember is that the real estate assistant is there to help once the agent has obtained the BPO and/or the REO Listing. The assistant can capture, fill out and obtain comps for the BPO Form. The assistant can also help with the administrative duties for the property preservation, REO Listing and even the REO Reimbursements.

These are just a few experiences that I have had and thought I would share them to help agents who are searching for BPO/REO services.

If anyone has any other experiences or suggestions, please feel free to share them!

Roxanne Tidmore, NAR Certified REPA

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Real estate agents realize that in order to have a lot of business, you must network. You have to build and nurture relationships in order keep contacts/leads familiar with you so they are more likely to buy your services or connect you to a referral.

One way to do this is BlogTalkRadio. It is a free service and a great way to connect with current, future and past clients. Real estate agents can use this to medium to educate home buyers. Agents can also use this medium to establish themselves an expert on a particular neighborhood or aspect of real estate. BlogTalkRadio allows you to instantly connect with your audience. The more shows you have, the more your will be established as an expert in your particular area.

How can a Elite REVA help a real estate agent with this aspect of social networking?

If a real estate agent does not feel comfortable setting up the logistics for this, a real estate virtual assistant can help with the following:

  1. Contact BlogTalkRadio to schedule your show.
  2. Research the subject material and give the real estate agent information in anticipation of questions that may be asked on the show.
  3. Help recruit guest speakers for specials shows such Loan Officers for First Time Home Buyers.
  4. Set up reminders by customized alerts via email or phone of upcoming shows
  5. Help you build promotional marketing by copying and pasting flash player and buttons to your blog or website.
  6. Distributing this as an internet marketing piece in the following formats: MP3, RSS subscription or iTunes after your show.
  7. Create a customizable profile for you with video, a blog, and links to other sites or other widgets.

You will be able to create a FREE branded network. Elite REVA can also help you with marketing statistics by finding out who listened or downloaded your show.

When you think about it, today’s buyers are more interested in instant results. If you are able to reach out to them via this medium that is a plus to your marketing. Even if they are not able to listen to the broadcast, your Elite REVA assistant can help you add it to your website, blog or have it as an RSS feed.

Roxanne Tidmore, NAR Certified REPA

How a Real Estate Agent Can Build an Online Sphere of Influence?

A real estate agent knows how important building their sphere of influence is. But how can you do it online? It does take time and effort to build your social presence online. But if you can start small and concentrate on one area, then it will not be as time consuming. And it will become an enjoyable task rather than a task that you do not relish. One way is to use social media marketing to establish a community on your website, blog or other sites, such as FaceBook or LinkedIn.

A real estate agent should decide what the target audience they want to concentrate on is. They should organize their topics to discuss each week and be alert to any topics that they online community may be inquire about.

A real estate virtual assistant can help you begin a community and help you maintain it. At Elite REVA we can set up your profile, link you to any relevant communities and help you create a unique community where you communicate with current, past and future clients. The REVA can keep you up to date with any inquiries that your group members may have. The real estate agent can encourage community members to add them as a friend to the member’s network. Slowly but surely the real estate agent is building is “Sphere of Influence” but online. You can create a group for your particular neighborhood that you are working in. As you begin to communicate online, you will build a trusted rapport with your community. Your real estate virtual assistant can help you write fresh material by researching and finding out new trends in the industry.

If you don’t want to set up your own community, your REVA can set up a profile for you at Trulia, LinkedIn or Zillow. There you gain a lot of exposure by answering questions that consumers pose. On some sites, such as Trulia, you build points according to the quality of responses that you give to consumers.

There are many ways to use social networking to build your online sphere of influence, but building an online community in one way. And your real estate assistant can help you by taking care of those administrative foundational tasks that are essential in building your online community presence.

Roxanne Tidmore, NAR Certified REPA

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Become a Neighborhood Expert via Blogging

I am not an expert in blogging, but I want to learn how to improve content and subject matter. True there are so many blogs, a real estate agent may have to think long and hard about what type of content to come up with on a weekly or even daily basis.

One approach to take is to strive to become a neighborhood expert. I know of two agents who have increased sales because they have taken a different approach to marketing. Most of their efforts to bring in new clients are centered around the Internet. It can be a sort of neighborhood place to meet and share ideas or just learn more about your particular area. You can update it with recent photos of the area, community news and happenings, future events, and other areas of interests. Below is a list of a few areas that you as a real estate agent can blog about. And if you don’t have the time, seek out the help of a real estate virtual assistant. They can do a lot of research for you that will give you good material to write about.

And depending on where you live you can emphasize certain subjects which will be naturally more popular than others.

  • Your Local Area’s Real Estate News
  • Your Local Area’s History
  • Local Area’s Community Events
  • Where Can I find the cheapest gas?
  • Businesses
  • Attractions and Sites
  • Classic Dining Areas
  • New Homes Under Construction
  • Education (College, Schools, etc.)
  • What’s New for Downtown?
  • What the ‘burbs have to offer
  • New Businesses
  • What are the Marketing Conditions?
  • Local Chamber of Commerce
  • Buyers
  • Sellers
  • Local Culture
  • Historic Preservation
  • Home Repair and Remodel
  • Active Listings

There are so many more subjects that you can come up with that will help establish you as a neighborhood expert. Your REVA can help you with SEO and other techniques that will help you receive more exposure over the Internet.

Blogging does not have to be tedious. It can be a tool to establish your neighborhood expertise. Neighborhoods are constantly changing and so you would always have something to write about. And potential clients are more likely to choose a real estate agent who is not only an expert but is genuinely interested in their neighborhood.

Roxanne Tidmore, NAR Certified REPA

Real Estate Marketing in 2008 To Generation X

Real estate agents are realizing that they need to have a different mindset when it comes to marketing strategies in 2008. Since the growth of the Internet, more and more consumers are using the Internet to search for homes. And they would like answers quickly.

One question for the real estate agent should be what are the changing demographics of today’s buyers and sellers? According to Inman News, Bernice Ross (01/18/08), the median age of buyers is 39. Another demographic statistic is that more single female buyers are becoming homeowners.

Real estate agents have to realize that this generation of buyers is more tech savvy and their lives are very busy. The buyers and sellers want answers faster. They want to be able to find the information quickly. They come from different ethnic backgrounds. All of these factors and more have to be taken into consideration when planning a successful marketing strategy.

For instance, if you are marketing to a group of single female buyers, have you considered hosting a workshop that will teach pointers on buying a home? You can collaborate with local organizations such as churches, or the local chamber of commerce. I know of one real estate agent who did this and the turn out was very high!

But how can a real estate virtual assistant help you implement these strategies?

1. Research. The REVA can research the target areas you are looking to market to. For example if you decide to market to single women, the real estate virtual assistant can find out why more are deciding to buy homes. Such as a sense of ownership or investment appreciation. This way you can tailor your marketing to answer that question. The REVA can find out what they are looking for when searching for a home. Again, then you will be able to tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.

2. Communication. The real estate virtual assistant can contact organizations within your community that you might team up with to present workshops for potential home buyers or home sellers.

a. The REVA can also make appointments with professionals such as attorneys or financial planners that will be willing partner with you for the workshop.

3. Administrative tasks. The real estate virtual assistant will be able to help you create presentation materials for the workshops. Such as PowerPoint presentations, flyers, handouts, printouts, etc. If you prefer to go through a vendor for these services, the REVA will be able to coordinate all of the logistics for this phase.

These are a few of the ways that real estate virtual assistants can help a real estate agent with marketing in 2008. I would be interested to hear of others that have helped them be successful in their marketing efforts!

Roxanne Tidmore, NAR Certified REPA

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Real Pro Systems Offers a Unique Tool for Social Media Marketing

As a real estate virtual assistant, I offer Social Media Marketing to my clients. But recently there was a tool that was introduced to me that I think is a great tool for SMM.

Real Pro Systems is offers Village Maker web sties. The websites have the purpose of building the agents referral business. The agent can invite referrals from friends to past and present clients. And the agent is subtly building his business. Those who are invited are encouraged to post photos, community news or other information that they desire. It is designed to be safe and fun. And the agent in turn will post photos, relevant real estate news, community news and personal information to help nurture relationships with those in the Village.

It really helps the agent to become much more personable to those in their sphere. And that really is what the agent’s goal is. The real estate agent knows that a person is more likely to choose an agent who they are familiar with rather than one who they are not.

I would encourage you to sign up for the free training and video that Real Pro Systems offers. It really is a great asset to add to the Social Media Marketing aspect of your business.

Roxanne Tidmore, NAR Certified REPA

REO’s- A Real Estate Virtual Assistant Can Lend a Hand

Some real estate agents have decided to learn more about the REOs as the housing slump continues.

Some go into it expecting to make quick money. But it does require a lot of work, such as cleaning up houses, scheduling repairs, covering utility bills and other duties.

A recent article in REALTOR® Magazine stated that “Bank real-estate-owned (REO) staffers want to work with real estate pros who know their markets and know what banks expect of them, said Rupi Rupwani, a director of the Connecticut MLS and owner of Rupwani Associates, a real estate company in Naugatuck, Conn. Banks being flooded with REOs won’t be patient if you approach them and don’t know the basics of what they expect, he said.”

The real estate agent also has to be persistent in keeping up with the large amount of paperwork. If the agent decides to do this type of work, one has to take in the pros and cons in terms of the time involved and the income generated.

If the real estate agent will have a lot of REO’s it will advantageous to have a real estate virtual assistant help them. The REVA can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend on the paperwork. A real estate virtual assistant can also help the agent in the following ways:

* Pulling the Comps for the subject property

* Filling out and completing the BPO forms

* MLS Searches

* Feedback Reports

* Coordinate all activities with vendors

* Order inspections

* Help with Monthly Marketing Reports

* Maintain and monitor your account activities using QuickBooks or Excel

* And more!

REO’s can be profitable. And if your REO business continues to grow, it would be advantageous to have the help of a real estate virtual assistant to help grow this part of your business.

Roxanne Tidmore, NAR Certified REPA

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Online Transaction Management - RELAY or Transaction Point?

Online Transaction management is a technology that is of great value to a broker or agent having several transactions. It reduces the amount stress related to the transaction and the time from contract to close. There are many features such as email notification of deadlines, document uploading, service ordering, and more.

It is important to choose the right software to perform your online transaction. So which software should you choose? Some software will offer you the benefits that you need for your transactions and the price range which you are comfortable with. I would like to discuss two programs and a few of the features that they offer.

Relay and Transaction Point both have some great features to offer. Both programs offer the feature of uploading your checklist/task list associated with each transaction. Each has the feature of due date alerts. You can receive emails daily that will keep you informed of the important tasks that need to be completed for that specific transaction. You can upload the specific documents that are associated with each transaction.

The broker or agent can choose who should see the progress of the transaction from listing to close.

One neat feature in Transaction Point is that you can send letters (customized or template) from the program itself. These can be welcome letters, reminder letters, touch point letters or whatever you choose to send. It gives you the merge fields and also converts it to a Word document. And you can save your own customized letters as future templates.

This is a great feature to have when dealing with multiple closings. There are some other benefits that both programs offer.

Relay offers integration with Zip Forms, while Transaction Point offer integration with Zip Forms and Agent Office.

Relay offers a 2 - 3 screen shot of your task lists while Transaction Point offers a one screen shot. You have the header and footer located on the screen while scrolling through the one page of task list - no matter how long it is.

Did you know that you can access TransactionPoint through the Listings and Sales module of AgentOffice?

For those using AgentOffice that is a great tool to have a seamless integration, so you will not have to switch from one program to the next.

So whether you choose RELAY or TransactionPoint, both programs are a wonderful help to a broker or agent looking to simplify the OTM process!

Roxanne Tidmore, NAR Certified REPA

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Real Estate Video Hosting Alternatives to Youtube

Real estate agents realize that it is harder to sell a house today using traditional methods. They have to become more creative in their listing and marketing abilities. A real estate virtual assistant can help you accomplish this. Creative Real estate agents have been turning to YouTube to host their video listings. But there are other alternatives to hosting your video listings. They are free and easy to use.

The video hosting sites not only give the property listing more exposure but it will excite the seller to see their home on the internet in a different media format. It is becoming more and more an effective way to sell homes.

Listed below are some alternatives to www.YouTube and some of the main features to each site.


  • Free Hosting
  • Great Audience Reach and built-in syndication to AOL Video, Yahoo! Video, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, MSN Video, Google Video, Blinkx, iTunes and the Apple TV, Blogger, and much more.
  • Promotional Opportunities for your video and the tools to help you promote it.
  • Supports every video format under the sun, from Flash 8 (much higher quality than most Flash video) to Quicktime (for the all-important iTunes) to DivX and 3gp and cell phones.

  • Free Hosting/Submission
  • Content is syndicated
  • Formats Accepted include: XVID, DAT, 3GP, ASF, AVI, DV, GVI, FLV, MOV, MP4, MPEG, MPG, QT, or WMV. (Sorry, no RAM, RM, or SWF.) *Files must be no larger than 500MB in size

  • Email Links or post to another website
  • Automated links (and link updates) post directly to many popular websites, including: MySpace!, Facebook, Blogger, TypePad, WordPress, Digg and
  • Remixing
  • Easy Feature-Rich Editing
  • Instant Publishing


  • This is a video website that works great with your real estate blogs. So this would be really terrific to advertise listings.
  • It has a video plug in feature that makes it easy to create a video that you can share with your target audience and they can submit video responses if they desire. It is more of an interactive tool for your blog. It really works great with WordPress.
  • They have a feature that allows you to directly upload video directly from your blog
  • Money Earning potentials
  • Easy managing of your video library

Happy Video Hosting!

Roxanne Tidmore, NAR Certified REPA

Real Estate Listing Pages Should Be a Rich Experience

Real estate listing pages should capture the interest of your intended target audience. They should be rich with content and use different media.

A real estate virtual assistant can help an agent accomplish this. Listed below are three quick points to consider.

  1. Add a page from your blog. This will help it to be indexable by the search engines.
  2. Add some media, such as, www.YouTube, or Add audio such as a podcast about the listing. The real estate agent's goal is to hold the interest of viewer and for them to stay on the site for as long as possible.
  3. Try to stay away from acronyms or abbreviations. Some viewers may not be aware of all of the meanings and that will take away from their experience that you want to create for them.
The real estate agent should have the goal of making that critical first impression in the first few seconds of a website visit. And to make the visit as impressionable as possible.

Hopefully you have a few ideas from this list. I would like to hear from others, to see what tips they have used and what has worked for them!

Have a Prosperous 2008!!

Roxanne Tidmore, NAR Certified REPA