Recap: YPN Tools & Tech Forum


On March 5, the OREA Young Professionals Network hosted a Tools and Technology Forum during the 2013 OREA Leadership Conference. With more than 400 people in attendance, we had a lively crowd for our panel discussion and presentations. There was so much great information, you may have missed some of it. So here’s a quick recap of each segment, and links to the apps that were shared.

The event began with a quick overview by Jeremy Fisher from Teranet, about new services being offered through their GeoWarehouse service.

John Ross Parks gave a quick tutorial on how to make quick videos to help make your listings shine. The software John used, Videolicious, is so easy to use, he was able to make a video while doing his presentation.

Torontoism blogger and REALTOR® Richard Silver moderated a panel on blogging featuring Melanie Piche, Dave Chomitz and Jamie Sarner. The panel discussed different styles of blogging, from video and photo, to personal and editorial content.

The panel gave some great insights into what makes a great blog and how a blog can take away the need to do cold calls and door knocking. The panel agreed that the ROI of blogging is not always about getting new leads, although both Melanie and Dave agreed that they have gained many new clients that way. A blog, especially a good one, means potential clients can get to know who you are before they ever meet you in person.

Brad Sage, of Sage Real Estate, talked about the idea of Lifestyle Marketing and how photos and video geared at selling the lifestyle that went with a property, instead of just what was on the MLS sheet, could mean the difference between getting or not getting the asking price. You can check out more about Lifestyle Marketing on the blog post Brad wrote for us last summer.

Brendan Powell, from the BREL team was up next, talking about how to be a paperless agent. He pointed out that REALTORS® use a lot of paper, and when we are already getting things digitally, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to then take it back to paper. This “jumping the tracks” habit can be stopped through using some great apps.

Still emailing documents from one computer to another? Try using Dropbox to digitally store your files. Taking notes with a pen and paper? Use your smart phone or tablet with Evernote and then your notes are easily accessible from anywhere that you have Internet.

If you often work with clients from out of town, Brendan recommended Hello Sign and PDF Expert that can help you to get contracts back and forth without ever having to use a fax machine. Finally if you’re hosting an open house, try out Open Home Pro to help you manage listings and create visitor lists and automatic follow-up.

Melanie Piche concluded the Forum with an overview at the day in the life of a mobile agent. She took the audience through a day in her life and the apps she uses to help manage her business, create leads and generally make life a bit easier.

Looking for time management software to juggle listings, client databases, closures and more? Melanie recommended Podio. Struggling to keep up with all your different social media platforms? Check out Hootsuite which will not only manage multiple accounts and platforms, you can also schedule automatic updates and direct messages.

Instead of just emailing a listing to a client, you can create easy and beautiful presentations using apps like Prezi and Haiku Deck. If your clients have lots of questions about the neighbourhood, check out Yelp , School Locator and AroundMe to view local amenities.

If they really like the house, but aren’t sure if they can afford it, pull out the Numbers app to help them calculate mortgage rates and down payment, and when you’re down you can quickly email it to them. When it comes to Home Inspections, Melanie recommended using Happy Inspector. It allows you to take notes and photos during your inspection and creates an easy to email report.

Thank you again to everyone who attended and tweeted along with us during the event!

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