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"Using the Internet to Boost Productivity"

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Pat Zaby Photo
12/3/99 Interview with Pat Zaby

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

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Keeping Up with Change in the Real Estate Industry

  1. The cause of rapid change is the Internet; information that once was proprietary to agents is now accessible to the public; Realtors are challenged to add value to the transaction.
  2. Embrace the Internet and learn to use it to your advantage; failure to learn now will result in your falling increasingly behind professionally.
  3. The average buyer is 32 years old and wants the services available on the Internet; staying just a little ahead of your competition will keep you successful.
  4. First learn what technology is capable of doing; recognize that your most powerful tool is email and put it to daily use.
Systems and Software

  1. The PREP Software system consists of four separate programs designed to make Realtors look good in front of their customers.
  2. The presentation program makes word processing and desktop publishing easy for Realtors; all of the programs contain materials that are good to use with buyers and sellers.
  3. The programs can be used to build systems to create more prospects than you can work; work the best yourself and sell the rest to other agents.
  4. Smart action plans can be set up to work certain types of groups automatically, leaving you time to work face-to-face with other prospects.
The PREP Suite

  1. PREP Presentations generates 15 print presentations to be used with buyers and sellers; it also offers materials such as check lists that can be used throughout a transaction.
  2. PREP Productions generates multimedia presentations for display on your laptop; take a quick picture of the house with your digital camera, drop the picture into your computer and go right inside to do a presentation that looks like it took hours to prepare.
  3. Zaby recommends Kodak cameras; the new DC 215 is a megapixel camera with a great wide-angle lens (available on the Internet for $333).
  4. PREP Financial generates a worksheet of calculations to help a buyer or seller make a better decision.
  5. PREP Prospecting is a contact manager that ties everything to the calendar and scheduler; it displays a bar down the left side and editing bars across the top in Microsoft Outlook style.
  6. PREP Prospecting will launch any compliant email program and store email messages in the contact record; it also handles mass-email distributions similar to mass mailings-merge functions personalize the messages.
  7. The new PREP Suite 4.0, shown at the NAR convention, integrates all four programs; although the software is residentially oriented, aspects apply to the commercial side; e.g., the Financial program includes an investment analysis and Presentations has an investment presentation.
Software Comparisons

  1. The PREP Suite is a free-standing battery of software that requires only the addition of an email client; however, it is Microsoft compatible, so you can substitute Microsoft Word for the word processing component.
  2. PREP software has more sales and marketing content than competing software for Realtors; the PREP software can be customized because the system uses a desktop publisher instead of a report generator.
  3. Unlike most other multimedia programs, PREP Productions, written in HTML adjusts to varying screen sizes and accommodates movie clips.
  4. Fancy formatting in HTML cannot dependably be sent by email, although simple Text Only transmissions are reliable; when sending HTML mail, include a note asking the receiver to notify you if the message was not received correctly.
  5. Recommended email programs are Microsoft Outlook, Eudora Pro or Netscape Messenger; many others are still substandard, but within a year most email programs should be HTML enabled.
Email Newsletter

  1. Zaby produces a free newsletter about using the Internet that goes out to 53,000 subscribers; past newsletters are posted at his personal web site.
  2. Each issue focuses on a single idea presented in a straightforward style; the newsletter is targeted at residential Realtors, but the principles apply to the commercial, mortgage and title aspects of the industry.
Zaby's Major Topics from the NAR Convention

  1. The importance of a permanent domain name: your own domain prevents your contacts from losing your email address when you change Internet service providers; you should be the administrator and billing contact for the domain.
  2. Harnessing the full leveraging power of your email system: most Realtors overlook features such as form letters, edit signatures and filtering.
  3. Resource for demographics on every county in the country: Oregon State University web site (information not for presentations).
Personal Internet Favorites

  1. For cross checking identities and phone numbers:
  2. Resources for color maps: MapBlast and ExpediaMap; travel directions are more reliable from global positioning systems.
Outlook for the Industry

Technological efficiencies and outside competition make a reduction in the number of Realtors inevitable, but the survivors - those who understand the Internet and use it to add value to transactions - will thrive. Special Offer: You may purchase any PREP Software products at the convention discount price. Just mention the Real Estate Cyberspace Society.

Contact Information for Pat Zaby:

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

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

PREP Software
County demographics
Color maps