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"Alice Held Interview 2002"

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Alice Held Photo
4/5/02 Interview with Alice Held

RE/MAX Excalibur
P.O. Box 6244
Scottsdale, AZ 85261

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Most Helpful Cyberspace Tools

  1. Held's key travel equipment includes a multi-function cell phone and a travel laptop loaded with her database and software; the laptop makes checking listings convenient while out working with clients.
  2. Other equipment for the road is a PDA [personal digital assistant], portable printer (Cannon makes a 2.5 lb. one) and a digital camera.
  3. Her home office includes a flat-bed scanner and a color copier, although she uses Expresscopy for multi-color copies; her Visioneer sheet scanner scans documents to be sent by email/fax or stored on hard drive/CD.
  4. She uses tools to automate processes and free herself to work personally with clients; all the travel equipment fits on her person and in one small briefcase.
Operational Tips

  1. Held uses GoldMine for her database; she had the software tailored to how she does business (e.g., saving email to client files to track a complete history).
  2. Automation opens a new dimension for doing real estate that is less tense than the old routines and more fun; consumers are tech-savvy and relate to high-tech techniques.
  3. Buyers appreciate being given photos of potential homes saved to a disk on the spot; Held has her contact and personal information on the CD.
  4. The digital camera can be used to do neighborhood tours. Held assigned an intern the task of creating these on business card CDs (a great WOW factor).
  5. More extensive, customized information can be put together on a CD for particular clients.
Held's Buyer's Guide

  1. Held's web site has made her more of a buyer's agent; although she accepts listings from clients and referrals, she doesn't prospect for them.
  2. She has created a Buyer's Guide aimed at out-of-state clients that is available to them on mini-CD, on her web site and in print; the guide outlines the steps it takes to get to the buyer's dream home.
  3. The guide is loaded with practical content, but the graphics and information also emphasize fun, for example, a lexicon of Southwest terms.
Consumer Expectations

  1. The buzzword 'high-tech/high-touch' is appropriate; clients expect to be treated well during the transaction, and beyond; devise a follow-up plan of regular contact to keep a warm relationship alive.
  2. Suggested elements include: a thank you within 48 hours and a series of phone calls, immediately, in one month and three months to inquire about questions or problems, and in another three months to say hello.
  3. Send quarterly gifts such as spring seeds or a tax-tip booklet; send a monthly newsletter, posted on the web site and delivered by email.
Tips for an Effective Web Site

  1. Combine good professional advice with your own instincts, let your site reflect you so that consumers can relate to you as a person; good examples of sites that radiate personality are Held's and Judy McCutchin's.
  2. Direct your web site to the consumers you are trying to attract; answer their immediate question, what's in it for them?
  3. The web site should have a lot of content about you and your community; provide links to further information about the area and your favorite links for a personal touch.
  4. Virtual tours have come to be expected by consumers; types include slide-show style (e.g.,, video movement (e.g., iPIX) and Flash.
  5. A fun-feature on Held's site is a free, 'eMailaCard' option for the consumer to use ( also offers this service to all visitors); this kind of feature draws people back to the site.
  6. Promote your web site on all your printed literature, your email and any other marketing piece, Held even has her url on her car.
The Value of Newsletters

  1. Held sends a combination: the Society's Real Estate Cyber Tips (a free service for Society members), eNeighborhood's HomeLog and others from RealtyTimes and InmanNews, each has a different focus.
  2. Prepared-for-you newsletters allow you to give the consumer information without your having to spend time putting the material together.

  1. Copyright violations involving material on the Internet are widespread; many people erroneously assume that anything online is public; be careful not to infringe on other people's proprietary content, and be watchful that no one is lifting your own content.
  2. Internet copyright violations amount to a triple theft: 1) of intellectual property, 2) of the time and legal expense to resolve the issue and 3) of the business lost to the thief.
  3. Counter legal measures to employ include sending violators a 'cease and desist' letter and protecting proprietary graphics and content with a digital watermark.
  4. Good sites on copyright issues include: Digimarc (digital watermarking),GigaLaw and (legal issues).
Parting Advice for Novices

  1. Get a web site, even if it's a template site; the Society personal site for members is a good, diverse resource; and are other sources.
  2. The search engine Spider Food will tell you the perfect keywords and meta tags.
Contact Information for Alice Held:

(v) 877-266-3229
(f) 480-767-2800

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Recommended tools: Cannon portable printer; Visioneer sheet scanner; GoldMine software

Color printing resource:

Site with personality:

Virtual tour resources:


Newsletter resources:

Copyright information:


The World Clock:


Template sites: