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"Judy McCutchin Interview 2002"


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Judy McCutchin Photo
8/2/02 Interview with Judy McCutchin

Re/Max Premier
15150 Preston Rd., Suite 110
Dallas, TX 75248
Biography

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Working from the Internet

  1. McCutchin started her web site in 1994; it was so successful in generating leads that she and her three assistants could not handle them manually.
  2. They streamlined their work by systematizing and web-enabling every step that they follow; the technology in the office can be operated simply, none of the office staff are tech wizards.
  3. The system allows McCutchin to do more business and to spend more time with clients; her activities are limited to doing listing appointments, taking buyers to properties or negotiating contracts; everything else is taken care of by the support staff and technology.
  4. The support team consists of the closing coordinator/office manager, the listing coordinator and the marketing coordinator (who works from a remote location).
Getting Set Up

  1. Technology is about saving time, making money and connecting with people; McCutchin defined what needed to happen for her business to run smoothly and communicated that information to the programmers who set up her office systems.
  2. The web site was a labor of love, McCutchin tried to make it a personal expression.
  3. Tech tools that facilitate working remotely are high-speed Internet connections and instant messaging (several online services are useful); actually, all team members, even those in the same office, work virtually to maintain contact with one another.
Integrated Operations

  1. Back-office routines include leads management, contact management, a checklist and more; these functions are integrated with the web site so that when a consumer submits information on the web site, the office systems are triggered to respond.
  2. Automatic functions begin with the creation of a contact record and the sending of an appropriate autoresponse; even personalized relocation packages are available online for the consumer to print out.
  3. On the web site, consumers can tick off the information that they wish to be sent; choices include "Chester's" newsletter and notification of new listings.
  4. Chester P. Chatsworth, McCutchin's Great Dane, appears as the host character on her web site; Chester is an important feature in branding all her advertising.
Useful Online Services

  1. GoToMy PC is a powerful tool that allows you access to your home or office computer from any Internet connection, you can pull up your desktop and control your computer; the service can be used to give a virtual assistant in-house access.
  2. Mangomind.com is a virtual hard drive that provides a local copy that synchronizes automatically with the Internet; it is a file-sharing system that appears as a regular drive on your desktop.
  3. MangoMind is a solution for sending files too large to go efficiently by email, just save them to Mangomind for access by others; the service also solves the problem of assuring the most current version of a file, just save all updates to Mangomind.
  4. OnholdWizard.com is a service that lets you create customized recorded messages for your telephone within about 24 hours, using professional voices if you wish; service and marketing messages for 'on hold' listening can be kept fresh without the hassle of using tapes; choose stock scripts or create your own.
  5. ProAutoresponder.com gives you an HTML template to set up a series of campaigns that run as long as five years; voice content is an option that enhances the personal impact of the messages.6. The service is sophisticated enough to adjust to HTML or text-only format for each recipient and has a very low cost per month.
  6. GotVmail.com, is an online PBX system; set up an 800# with multiple menu choices, your organization can appear much larger than it is; if the recipient cannot pick up, the call automatically forwards to the person's email address where a voice message can be left.
Utilizing Virtual Support

  1. A virtual assistant can be located anywhere in the world and still perform most support functions; McCutchin's virtual assistant designs graphics, works on the web site and produces neighborhood newsletters.
  2. Virtual consultants may be useful on a job-by-job basis; e.g., McCutchin has worked with consultants to design logos and to complete a flash project.
  3. A good source for project specialists is Elance; you submit a project description and freelancers bid on the work.
  4. A self-assessment form to help you decide if virtual support is appropriate can be found at Michael Russer's web site, www.russer.com.
  5. Once you determine that you want virtual assistance, go to a site that will help put you in touch with some; good choices are Staffcentrix or IVAA (the latter lists some assistants that specialize in the real estate field).
Keeping Up with What's New

  1. Take advantage of resources aimed at keeping Realtors informed, including the Society's www.REcyber.com; other sources are Michael Russer's and Alan Hainge's sites.
  2. As technology advances, personal interaction with the consumer will still close sales, real estate will always be a high-touch business.
  3. The proportion of business McCutchin gets from the Internet has risen since 1998 from a third to a half; the ratio should climb every year because the Internet is such a natural way for buyers to communicate with agents.
  4. Agents need to be ready to communicate with the growing number of real estate consumers who start their search on the Internet, studies show the proportion is already 75%.
  5. So much that's new will keep developing so fast that real estate will remain fun and exciting into the future; in three years, the topics discussed today will be way out of date.
Contact Information for Judy McCutchin:

(v) 972-931-9903
(f) 972-931-8590
(e) judy@dallashomes.com
(w)www.dallashomes.com


Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Microsoft real estate site
NAR Web site
Realtown.com
Bigfoot