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"Agent Tools for Internet Excellence"


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Greg Gorman Photo
4/7/00 Interview with Greg Gorman

Downing-Frye Realty Inc
3411 Tamiami Trail N
Naples, FL 34103
Biography

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Impact of the Internet on Doing Business

  1. The Internet makes it easier and faster to reach a greater number of people dynamically.
  2. Information about your services and about properties can be disseminated readily; the Internet can also be a source of new clients.
  3. An impersonal impression on your web site and in your email messages can be prevented by adding color, dynamic information and animation.
  4. Because embellished messages may not be received properly, before you send one, check a message you received from the contact to be sure it is formatted in Rich Text (not Plain Text)-which indicates the capability to receive color, animations and attachments.
  5. As a way around having two separate email lists for formatting, some contact software programs such as Outlook 98 allow you to select Plain Text or Rich Text for each contact.
Getting the Most from Your Contact Manager

  1. A number of contact managers, such as Online Agent, Agent 2000 and Top Producer, can accomplish the same objectives if you use them to advantage; use the Tutorial that comes with the software.
  2. Gorman uses Online Agent personally, but he also recommends Top Producer and Pat Zaby's PREP Suite [see January Alert # 2002].
Establishing a Web Site

  1. Whether you decide to use custom design or a cookie-cutter template depends partly on your budget; if you need to keep cost down, look for a good template.
  2. A good source for web site templates is PersonalBrand.com; the template approach works best if you have a lot of listings to include.
  3. If you want to build your own site, seek the help of a professional web designer and manager; the cost range for a custom-designed site is $1,500 to start, to about $3,000 for a very dynamic site; a very good template site costs about $500.
  4. If you use a template, choose one designed for a real estate site; also select software that is specific to the real estate industry.
Multiple Sites

  1. Having more than one web site is an advantage-multiple sites expose you to a greater variety of people; Gorman finds that many new clients who came through a web site did not know about his other two sites.
  2. Gorman's primary site is one he designed with a web site manager, but he also has a template-driven site with PersonalBrand.com that basically contains listing information plus an enhanced site at Realtor.com; search engines are handled differently for the various sites.
  3. Cross-link your web sites as much as possible.
Online Property Tours

  1. Using property tours online is a major advantage and will be critical for doing business in the future; Gorman posts photos of the property itself and of the surrounding community and amenities.
  2. If a prospect has access to the Internet, Gorman requires that the prospect screen a property first via Gorman's web site before going to visit physically.
  3. Before referring a prospect to a website property tour, Gorman always captures the prospect's phone number and then calls back to check if the property was appropriate; this procedure builds rapport.
  4. Because of the ease of the software, Gorman prefers to use the multimedia product PhotoShare, which comes with a wizard to walk you through every step; you can build a panarama from separate photos and copy a finished multimedia tour to a diskette, email it or write it directly to your web site.
Secrets for a Successful Web Site

  1. Keep your site content rich and focused on the community you represent and the properties you list; promote yourself in the background.
  2. To connect prospects to the community, present information such as school reports, climate, population trends and employment.
  3. Include surveys and questionnaires to be returned to you by email; set up an auto-responder to reply with an immediate promise that more information will be forthcoming.
  4. Delegate web site design and management tasks that would take you away from making your living in real estate; seek techie help through your local high school or recruit from your office supplier.
Ways to Promote Yourself

  1. Provide a monthly newsletter to your contact database, preferably by email or posting on your web site to eliminate mailing expense; utilizing a packaged letter-such as the Society's E-Letter, which you can personalize-saves you time.
  2. Writing a column for your local paper [using the E-Letter] also gives you good public exposure.
Maximizing Email

  1. Gorman uses email instead of other communication tools as much as possible; he prefers Outlook 98 for email software; the latest version of Online Agent works in consort with Outlook, allowing you to send contact letters by email automatically.
  2. Capture email addresses for every contact, if possible, and categorize the contact in the database as Prospect, Friend, Past Client, Vendor, etc.
  3. AOL and CompuServe are good "training wheels" for the Internet, but to do business, you need an ISP that allows you to send Rich Text.
  4. Have your own email address apart from a franchise address-preferably at your own domain name; receiving email at your domain name keeps any change in franchise association or ISP from disrupting your email.
  5. To search availability and to register a domain name, go to NetworkSolutions.com.
Useful Web Sites and Tools

  1. For real estate info: RECYBER.COM; Florida Living Network or the site for your own local real estate organization.
  2. For technology tips: Allen F. Hainge Seminars' site.
  3. Voice communication tool: Dragon Naturally Speaking (dictation software that adapts to your voice).
Advice for Novice Realtors

  1. Keep your focus on the basics of good real estate practice; don't be afraid of technology and use it to enhance the basics.
  2. Establish a content-rich web site; use links on your site but check them every week to be sure they remain operational.
Contact Information for Greg Gorman:

(v) 941-596-9115
(f) 941-596-9120
(e) greg@gregorman.com
(w)www.greggorman.com


Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

RE contact software: Online Agent; Agent 2000; Top Producer; PREP Suite 2000
Other software: Outlook 98 (email); Dragon Naturally Speaking (voice recognition)

Website templates
Virtual tours
Domain name headquarters
For real estate info
For technology tips