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 SharperAgent- Create High Quality Real Estate Marketing
By: Darin "Sid" Cameron, CRS
Sun, Feb 18th, 2007 7:14 am

One of the best things we found at the Prudential trade show in San Antonio last March was a product called SharperAgent.  Quite often when you buy things at trade shows you fall out of love with them fairly quickly.  Since we're still in love with SharperAgent a year later I thought I would offer a review.

SharperAgent is NOT a software program you run on your computer.  It's an online service for laying out and creating high quality real estate postcards, flyers and other real estate sales and marketing materials.

How it works is you log into their service and select the kind of marketing you want to create.  This includes client newsletters, sphere marketing, buyer's guides and a wide range of materials above and beyond the typical listing postcards and flyers that other services offer.

For each catergory there are dozens of high quality templates to work with.  After selecting your template, you land on a webpage that's akin to using a desktop publishing program.  From here you can upload images, add text and move objects around until you're ready to print or save the file as a PDF for online publishing or to send to a professional printer.

If you're a user of Top Producer 7i, it operates a lot like their online marketing module only the quality, depth of content and overall selection of templates is significantly better.  I also think it's easier to use.

Basically, it's what Top Producer's product should be.

Up until last year we had been using Top Producer's rather limited selection of templates for creating our listing postcards and flyers.  Anything that went beyond listing marketing I've had to create using desktop publishing software like Adobe InDesign.

That's not only a very time consuming task, but it also causes plenty of headaches.  You see only I have the original software on my machine because it's very expensive and not easy to use.  As a result, no one else on our team can't easily edit or update flyers as needed- all changes, no matter how small, have to go through me.

However with these online services anyone can go in and make a minor change and print extra copies.

SharperAgent has a competitor named Imprev.  I've been exposed to them through our Homes.com account and their product is also excellent.

Overall I think the quality of Imprev's templates are nicer than SharperAgent.  However SharperAgent has them beat hands down when it comes to the variety of topics they cover- like buyer's guides, localized marketing that includes postcards naming area parks, "best of" retail postcards (i.e. best area steakhouses, best Chineese restaurants, etc) and other Sphere marketing materials.

Another factor for us selecting SharperAgent over Imprev is that SharperAgent gives you the freedom to layout and design your content anyway you see fit.  If you don't want to include specific text or images that lay on top of their canned templates you just delete the items from the screen.

Imprev, however, "hardcodes" text and images into their templates with fixed sizes and no ability to delete, add or change them.  That's a problem for us because Imprev's postcards and listing flyer templates all require a vertical agent photo in the lower left corner- and we prefer to use a horizontal photo of our team or use our logo in one corner and the franchise logo in the other (both of which are horizontal).

That means Imprev's templates will always have an awkward looking design with a white vertical space and our tiny horizontal image stuck in the center or we just have a big white empty square where it looks like we forgot something.

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Darin "Sid" Cameron spent 15 years working in tech sales which in 1998 relocated him to St. Louis. In 2004 he took over web development tasks for Kimberly's real estate team and later became the full-time Marketing and Operations Director. In 2011, he launched two brokerages, The Realty Store, Inc. and Realty Referral Partners, Inc. Sid holds a real estate broker's license in Missouri, CRS certification and was the first CyberStar in the St. Louis area.
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