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"Moneymaking Tech Tips!"

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Pat Zaby Photo
6/7/02 Interview with Pat Zaby

Seminars & Systems Inc.
5023 Sea Pines Drive
Dallas, TX 75287

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Perspective on Troubled Companies

  1. The companies that have failed are part of Phase One of the technology revolution; don't conclude that the Internet and the services offered by defunct companies should be disregarded by Realtors.
  2. The problem was not the Internet as a vehicle-the problem was flawed business plans; the business models used in the past must be improved to factor in profit.
  3. There is no doubt that the Internet and the real estate industry are a good fit; the advantages of the Internet include the delivery of unlimited information at contained cost.
Using the Internet for Productivity

  1. The most valuable Internet tool is email because of its incredible power to reach people globally almost immediately with no postage and no printing.
  2. The biggest mistake of real estate pros is to overlook all that email software can do; many agents never master any email functions beyond the very basic.
  3. Commercial practitioners benefit from listservers to mass-distribute information about specific properties or specific needs; for residential promotion, the emphasis shifts more to networking and building a presence.
  4. All real estate pros need to build lists of three groups of people: 1) those who can do business with you; 2) those who can refer people to you; 3) those who can cooperate in doing business with you.
  5. Figure out what information each of those groups is eager to receive and use email to deliver it to them; you will stand out as a source of usable material rather than junk.
  6. The email program Microsoft Outlook 2000 has the advantage of being widely used; it is powerful enough to serve as a contact manager; Eudora Pro and Netscape Communicator are also powerful.
Moneymaking Email Tips

  1. Send a targeted newsletter; before tailoring the content, segment your list carefully by interest.
  2. Save your commonly used forms and letters on your email program for easy use (as "user templates" in Outlook and "stationery" in Eudora); this strategy is more efficient than building numerous, long signature files.
  3. Use merge capability to send a message to your contact list with personalization; fields in the text can be customized as well as in the salutation.
  4. The Society's "Cyber Tips" newsletter service for members allows for customization; the polished newsletter itself can be customized, plus an email template for members to use to link their list to the url can be further personalized.
The Impact of PDAs

  1. Agents are using them widely; SUPRA has encouraged residential agents to use PDAs to access SUPRA lock boxes (MLS data can be posted); most real estate pros are using Palm system PDAs
  2. The PDA is one more device to carry, but it can replace a daytimer or notebook computer for accessing contacts, to do lists and calendars; it can be conveniently synchronized with your PC.
  3. Now PDAs and telephones are being integrated; calculation software on the PDA can also replace a calculator.
Tips for Web Sites

  1. First, build your web site around the consumer's needs-load it with useful information and features; e.g., open directly to the listing page for the consumer's convenience and include multiple photos of properties, tips on buying, and information on the area and on financing.
  2. Second, state clearly why consumers should do business with you-establish your point of difference.
IDX (Internet Data Exchange)

  1. A NAR regulation effective this year requires MLSs to make broker reciprocity available; if a broker chooses to exhibit the MLS listings on the broker site, then the broker has to allow all other brokers participating in reciprocity to see its listings.
  2. This is a period of strategizing with some brokers that have a large market share not participating; the open issue is whether the public will migrate to the non-participating brokers, making the big bigger
  3. Boards and MLS groups around the country are raising the question of agent reciprocity; can individual agents opt-in separately from their broker?
  4. Small offices with only a few agents need broker reciprocity to boost the listings they can show; residential agents have traditionally been open to cooperating with other agents on deals.
  5. Commercial agents have traditionally been more exclusive about listings, but open listings are becoming more common, and the Internet allows an agent to be agile in selling them
Real Estate Trends

  1. People in the industry are thinking of technology as integral to real estate.
  2. Building prospecting systems and reintroducing themselves to past clients are issues on the minds of agents.
Zaby's Real Estate Focus

  1. Zaby has a subscriber base of 42,000 for his email newsletters; the successful rationale has been to give agents ideas for improving their business so that they would buy Zaby's products.
  2. Zaby offers consulting services for $2,500/day plus expenses; pre-visit assessment tools allow him to tailor what is covered to the office situation; the entire office team can benefit from the training session.
  3. Now that he doesn't have a company to run, Zaby is enjoying more time to speak and teach; he is developing products for agents that work in Microsoft Office.
Favorite Sites

  1. is an outstanding search engine; the site has a good image library.
  2. MapQuest has a new tab for aerial photos; these are especially useful for commercial agents.
Outlook for Agents

  1. The number of agents has gone up in the last three years, not down as Zaby predicted; however, the average number of transactions for the more successful agents has also risen.
  2. The lesson is that there are actually more Realtors in the industry than are required to handle the volume of business that exists; the tech-savvy ones have an edge.
Contact Information for Pat Zaby:

(v) 972-407-1337
(f) 972-407-0780

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:
CCIMNet web page
Ted Kraus'Dealmaker
Ray Dixon's Web Estate