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 The Technology We Use
By: Darin "Sid" Cameron, CRS
Tue, Jul 3rd, 2007 8:04 pm

Over the past two days I've been introducing you to our team and business.  So it makes sense today to introduce you to the technology we use.

I've already discussed our most important tool, The Home Buyers Scouting Report (or HBM Scouting Report).  It's a Virtual Office Website, or VOW.  Basically a VOW is a password protected IDX site that gives buyers access to more data than an IDX site would.

All of our marketing is geared to put buyer leads into HBM.  Once a lead is there we can monitor the buyer's activity and behavior and use the system to open communicaitons with them.

Why I like this system is because of the unique partnership you have with a lender partner.  Basically the goal is to communicate with each prospect every week.  However you split that work up with the lender so 50% of the lead follow up is done for you.  Both the agent and lender cross sell each other which works wonderfully.

I am also a big fan of 1-800 number call capture (or IVR).  We live off of our call capture system (which is where Craigslist becomes a cheap and easy way to make the phones ring 40+ times a day).  Once we call them back, we sell through HBM!

Once we have clients, we use the Settlement Room for transaction management and have a Virtual Assistant to manage it.

For nice looking, easy to create print marketing we use Sharper Agent and are now playing with Imprev thanks to their partnership with RE/MAX.

My camera is a Canon SLR and I love my 10-22mm lens for taking listing photos.

One of the things we do for our listings that's unique are CD Home Tours.  I use software called Sellfolio to create them.  I am experimenting with it as a solution for creating single property websites in-house as well.  Fortunately the agents in our market are very slow to adopt new things, so very few people are offering SPS yet (or anything more advanced than a newspaper ad to be honest).

I have historically used Adobe InDesign for creating print documents and GoLive for HTML work, however I am currently learning Adobe Dreamweaver to do future HTML in (now that GoLive is dead).

I started making website videos in April 2005. I've played with every video editing application under the sun but haven't found one I'm in love with yet.

The area I'm lacking in is Contact Management/CRM and we don't have the repeat/referral business I think we should have as a result.

I bought into Top Producer in 2004 and made dozens of attempts to integrate it into our business before giving up on it over a year ago.  Right now I'm in the earliest stages of integrating a networked version of ACT into our business.  It was a painful process early on, but we're finally starting to get results.

From a webmaster standpoint I swear I've used darn near every blog platform there is unsuccessfully.  I have started implementing a content management system into the framework of my primary site named Article Manager by Interactive Tools (which is nice, friendly to use and cheap to buy).  I have also used forum software since 2005 (which I'm struggling to find value in).

Kimberly uses the NiteOwl web service by Commonwealth Title for researching and we are just beginning to use My Home Management Club as a basis for starting concierge/post-sales services.

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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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