“The Nest” If you don’t have one you need one.

 

Written by Michael Fanning

nest 2

Yes it is true, the Nest is a must. I recently installed this little device and it is awesome. The first thing about it was the installation was a breeze. In fact I just sent a photo of my old wiring set up on my old thermostat and Nest send me back an easy step by step instruction PDF on putting in the new Nest.

It was installed and connected to my WiFi in less than one hour. I then loaded the Iphone app and like that I had control of my home heating from anywhere.

This little device is smart. It has motion sensors and it learns your patterns in your house then offers up energy saving settings to optimize your consumption while keeping your home nice and warm. Have you ever left the house and worried if you left the heat on? Wasting energy heating a home that was empty. Not any more. We were away last weekend and it just took tapping the app on my phone to see what my thermostat was set at while we were away. If I needed to change it I could do that too.

I also love the options to see a history of when your system was running and how you map out on the day compared to the weekly average. It is always looking for ways to help you conserve energy and save money.

nest

This device is easy to buy. Just go to www.nest.comand order yours. Installing it is extremely easy, and who doesn’t want to conserve energy and save money doing it?

 

 

Posted on December 17, 2013 at 8:44 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Technology

Keeping your data on your Iphone and Ipad safe if stolen.

As I teach classes on using  Iphones and Ipads I’m always get some pushback when I suggest that everyone set a password on their device. They say it is a hassle and inconvenient.  You know what is more inconvenient? Having a thief get access to all your personal information, not to mention your clanedar, financial, and contact informatin. Here is a recent article from Citeworld on theft of cell phones. How protected is all your information if someone was to steal your devices? Read Article

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Below are some easy things you can do to be safe.

1. make sure you have a passcode on your phone

2. Make sure you have I cloud set up

3. Make sure you have an account with find my Iphone/Ipad

4. Don’t leave your device in the passenger seat of your car or out some place where someone may be tempted to steal it.

You can also set your phone up so Thieves can’t disable find my iphone by following the steps on this blog article. Read Article.

If you have any good phone recovery stories I would love to hear them.

Posted on May 15, 2013 at 7:06 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, Technology | Tagged , ,

Real Estate, Relationships, and the Digital Age.

When I was first introduced to the world of real estate in 1995, less than two percent of real estate agents used computers. It was a world based primarily on interruptive marketing to a farm of unknown individuals. Today, relationship marketing is still very much alive, but now consumers have access to an infinite amount of information and multiple channels of communication. At the same time, real estate agents have greater access and insight into their clients’ lives than ever before. When used correctly, this can be a win-win for both agents and consumers.

“Over the next 10 years, the amount of both real-time and historical information available to a single person will have increased exponentially, as will the ability of a single person to instantaneously touch – and influence – a billion people in the time it takes to read this sentence.” – Intelligent Catalyst Blog
This is a pretty profound statement, but one that is quite believable when you consider how far technology has come in the past decade. What we have today is a generation of consumers who are hyperconnected via multiple channels, exchanging information every second. They now have a voice to the masses to communicate their opinions (good, bad, or otherwise), and information is readily available anywhere via smartphones, laptops, and iPads. This phenomenon is forcing everyone in real estate to shift their thinking about how they build and maintain relationships with consumers.

Many agents are beginning to understand that the mass marketing methods of the past are being replaced by a hyperlocal, customer-centric approach. Some do this by writing a blog on something they are passionate about, building loyal followers (and potential clients) with every post. They are mastering the paperless transaction and understand that knowing how to capture digital signatures can be used as a point of differentiation. They are learning how to repurpose data and content in a way that adds value in the eyes of their clients, and they know how to use these clients’ testimonials to enhance their SEO. Their websites are dynamic resources rich with real time information that simultaneously serve as a hub to their many spokes of social media.

Agents who have made the decision to embrace new technologies understand what hyperconnectivity means to them, their clients, and their business. They’ve seen first-hand how being active on social media can add significant value to their client relationships. These agents post regular updates on Facebook, tweet valuable community information, check in to their favorite spots using foursquare, and keep their LinkedIn accounts up-to-date. They understand that having the tools and hardware that allows them to do all these things is imperative – because their clients are doing it too.

This new world of technology and social media can be intimidating, so it’s important that agents have some level of support in their offices. If you aren’t comfortable being the point person, find someone in your office who can take the lead. Simply having an agent or staff person that agents feel comfortable going to for help is really all it takes. Those early adopters will help your office improve their proficiency while adding to the overall value of your organization.

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, Real Estate Related, Technology | Tagged , , ,

What is all the hub-bub about Pinterest?

Well as of late it seems everyone is buzzing about Pinterest! I’ll admit my board is terrible and the Pinterest bug hasn’t hit me yet. I decided I should do a bit more investigation

What is Pinterest: It’s a social site that enables you to gather and share online images. Where facebook lets you read about individuals, Pinterest lets you see what others are “pinning.” Pinterest lets you create “Boards” where you can pin everything from quotes to vacation pics to home improvement inspirations to fashions your are in love with.

You know the old saying “A picture is worth a 1000 words” well its true. Pinterest is simply a place for you to tell a story about your Passions, Hobbies, dreams, and anything else you can think of by using images to be your voice and then share it out to your friends.

Why should you show and interest? Well there are lots of people using it and the numbers seem to continue to grow.

Here is a link to a recent article on the traffic that Pinterest is getting. As of today the demographic is 97% female. Sorry guys for some reason we aren’t understanding Pinterest just yet.

My take on Pinterest is that it is a very cool idea. It can be fun, but it can also suck you in from what I’m hearing. It’s like anything you chose to do. You have to ask why are you using Pinterest? Is it just for fun, are you trying to attract more eyeballs to your other sites because of the SEO benefits it may bring?

Either way from what I can tell it has legs. People are there engaging with each other daily. It’s like any social site, you try it out and use it for awhile and determine on you own if there is value in the interaction you get from it. Remember that 75% of us are visual when it comes to consume information so this Pinterest might just be on to something. Happy Pinning.

If you have any great things that have come form using Pinterest please share!

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Living, Technology | Tagged , ,

Tools to help the Real Estate agents.

So Today at the Windermere’s 40th anniversary symposium we unveiled a new Ipad application called Touch CMA. This program is very robust and I thought I would just show you some of the screen shots of its functionality.

Cover page of your CMA

Map of comps around your home that has been GEO located.

Draw a circle or outline of the neighborhood you want to search using your finger.

Great Display pages.

A world class CMA presentation tool
An efficient and powerful CMA authoring tool (in the same app!)
A robust feature to construct and send PDF copies to yourself and your client (right from your iPad!)
An automatic generator of trends, graphs, and charts to get the outcome you want
Presenter of marketing materials that support the brokerage, the agent, or the region
Highly usable and simplified user experience that any agent can pick and use from the first minute
A search-by-fingertip function that allows the agent to draw right on the map and find matching listings
A customizable Seller’s Net Proceeds worksheet that clearly demonstrates the use of proceeds from a sale and more!

This is available today on the Ipad app store. To find out more e-mail info@windermeresolutions.com

Posted on January 25, 2012 at 10:11 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, Real Estate Related, Technology | Tagged , , ,

Excellence vs mediocre, your decision.

I recently watch a video from the Inman confernece in New York where Chris Smith was interviewing Phil Libin the CEO of evernote.

There were two things he said that really stuck out to me. The first was that there are some amazing sites out there for searching real estate, however he did not mention any broker’s site but instead mentioned the big non brokers sites. His comment was that they seem to really understand the UI and that the traditional brokers sites seem to still be living in the 1990’s when it comes to search.

What this means to me as a traditional broker is that we have to step up our game and be transparent, give the customer all the info we possible can and then be the most knowledgeable person in the room. There are sites out there today that work great but I’m still amazed at the lack of marketing that an agent will take to get their site out to the masses. We have to take all that great info that we carry around in our brains and get it up and living in the digital world in a very easy and user friendly package.

Phil actually said he was dreading making the contact with an actual realtor. That doesn’t speak well about how we are showing up.

The second thing he said was that with Technology today it is much easier to be excellent and mediocrity is becoming less and less tolerated.

What I take away from this message is that we as the traditional brokers in the room need to look at our tools we use today and ask ourselves if we are showing up and being on top of our game. Are we connected via smart phones, Ipads? Do we have the ability for instant communication and document delivery? Are we micro connected with our customers? If we aren’t then we need to re-learn what the customer is looking for today.

Windermere is very excited to be offering a class at our Windermere symposium next week that will address this need to get your business and relationship building skills up to speed using lots of different types of technology available from tools like evernote and many others.

Posted on January 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, customer services, Real Estate Related, Technology | Tagged , , ,

Relationship, Marketing, Specialist.

Well Jan 25th to the 26th at the Windermere annual Symposium agents will be able to take a two day course that will teach you how to become a Relationship Marketing Specialist in this new world of digital.

Topics will cover
1. What has changed
2. Leveraging Social Marketing for Real Estate
3. What is being Social
4. Get your Blog on
5. Get your Mobile on
6. Developing a social strategy
7. And a lot more!

The instructors for this class will be

Nicole Nicolay

As an industry educator, consultant, and innovator, Nicole Nicolay “@nik_nik” has equipped real estate professionals, brokerages, and title companies with progressive marketing techniques and best practices for generating business. With more than 15 years of teaching experience, Nicole has trained thousands of agents nationwide and speaks regularly at industry leading events including: Inman Connect NYC, REtechSouth, N.A.R. Annual Convention, RE/MAX International Convention, C21 International Convention, Triple Play, BlogWorld & New Media Expo, REBlogWorld, and is currently the emcee for the Agent Reboot National Conference Tour.

Nicole is also co-founder of the popular real estate technology blog, MyTechOpinion.com. She was recently named one of the Top 5 Masters of Social Media and one of Real Estate’s 100 Most Influential Leaders, by Inman News.

Michael Fanning

Sr. Vice President, Client Services
Michael Fanning is responsible for assisting with the growth of the Windermere brand. His responsibilities include expanding the network of Windermere offices and consulting with owners to develop recruitment and longevity programs while incorporating a strong understanding of the technical side of the tools Windermere provides to affiliates. Michael has been instrumental in the growth and education of many of the technology tools offered to Windermere agents today.

Click here to learn more about the Windermere Symposium

Posted on January 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, Education, Interesting stuff, Real Estate Related, Technology | Tagged , , ,

Can I just unplug for a day?

I was laughing the other night as I was sitting behind my drum set at the Tacoma Art Museum getting ready to quickly upload a pic to facebook when our lead singer said, “Hey Mike are you going to sound check or text all night?” It dawned on me that like many of you we forget our purpose. Instead of sitting there enjoying the fact that I’m about ready to spend 2 great hours with some great guys in my band and do something I love, I was worrying about getting a photo pushed out to the cyber world for all to see.

Social Media can suck you in at times. So often at home or at work we find we are in the head down fingers rapidly moving position and we aren’t paying attention to what is right there around us. I know many of you may be surprised that of all people I’m here writing this post.

I am recently married and I have 3 great kids and a amazing wife. I realized that time spent with them, or time spent with my friends is more important than checking into facebook, or posting just one more photo. I’m still a firm believer in Social Media as it does help us to strengthen our relationships and keep quality interaction with those we care about, but there is also a time when we need to take a deep breath and unplug.

Funny last weekend I decided to leave my phone at home for a day and not post, or check in, or look at e-mail. The world didn’t end, my friend list did not fall in numbers, and anything that happened that day was still just waiting there for me the next day.

So basically this post is to say to you, “hey it’s ok to unplug and give it a rest from time to time.” Guess what it will still be there when you get back I promise :).

Posted on October 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Living, Technology | Tagged , , ,

Blogging does matter.

As Windermere gets ready to launch their new agent.com websites that are based on a wordpress platform it will be a huge opportunity for many of you to think about having a blog. I for one truly believe in blogging. That said there will be many of you that may not think that blogging adds any value to your business. I recently saw this video and Seth hits the nail on the head as to why blogging is important, whether you get many viewers or a small amount of viewers. (It’s important) I really hope you make the most of your windermere.com website and think about using the blogging option.

Posted on August 3, 2011 at 8:07 am
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, Real Estate Related, Technology, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , ,

Be Smart when using a QR code.

So there seems to be a big buzz these days about QR codes. I’m seeing them pop up all over the place. The idea behind the QR code is great but I’m finding that Realtors aren’t really thinking about the content behind the code.

Let me give you a few examples.

So  you have a website that you love. You just found out that you can now put a QR code on your news letter that you mail out monthly. Great this is going to be so cool!

Ask yourself this question when you scan a QR code. “What device am I using?”  Yep, you got it your using a hand held smart phone in most cases.

So has that great site of yours been mobile optimized? What will your site look like on my Droid when I snap a shot of the QR code? What will the experience be for me? Will I be able to read all your great info?  Will I be able to see great high res pics of the homes you have listed?

Many times web pages look great on a computer screen but transfer them to a mobile device and they look horrible. Many companies today are making sure that they are building mobile optimized solutions so the experience the customer has when they find your QR code will be the best experience on the device they use to view your site.

Here is a good article that talks about some of the points I make in this post. Popular! But are they effective?

BTW Mark has done a good job making sure his site has been mobile optimized.

Posted on June 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, Technology, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , ,