On the hunt for new real estate marketing tools!

The great folks at Inman News have asked me to put together a 15 minute presentation at SF Connect this year… and I’m downright excited about it.   The title of my presentation:  50 Technologies To Help You Survive the Downturn.

I’ve got some huge shoes to fill in that both Jamie Glenn of Trulia and Brian Boero of 1000watt have given versions of this presentation at recent Connect Events… and their presentations were top notch.

The Plan?

I’ve been given 15 minutes to talk about 50 technologies… Let’s break down into what that means in terms of the amount of time I have to explain each technology. Fifteen minutes is 900 seconds. Given the fact that I at least have to introduce myself and let my audience know I’m available for speaking gigs, I’ve already blow 30 seconds right there… Combined with the fact that I’ll need at least two 10-second water breaks, I’m down to 850 seconds or 17 seconds per technology!   I’m known for speaking fast, but the pressure is really going to be on!  😉

I Need Your Help!

Real estate agents: Do you have a favorite tool or technology that has become indispensable at making your business operations more efficient?   My preference is online tools, but I’ve have to find 50 of them, so I’m honestly not very picky at the moment!

Real estate tech providers: Do you have a tool you think is worthy of being featured at SF Connect?    Let me know, but make sure I can “sell” it 17 seconds or less!  I make no promises, but again, I’ve got to find 50 tools in less than 50 days, so I’d appreciate any help you can give!

My Bag of Tricks

Here’s an outline of the previous presentation.

Jamie Glenn:

  • Listing Sites (12 sites)
  • Social Media (9 sites)
  • Multimedia (15 sites)
  • Communication (7 sites)
  • Blogging (9)

Total: 52 sites!  Plus, his last slide through in 9 “bonus” resources!

Brian Boero:

  • Things that will help you work smarter and cut costs (10 actions)
  • Things that let you engage customers and prospects in new ways (8 actions)
  • Things that will help you grow your professional network (3 actions)
  • Blogs you should read (and watch) (7 actions)
  • Market smarter – and cheaper (6 actions)
  • New advertising opportunities (5 actions)
  • Technologies that help you leverage your knowledge (3 actions)
  • Things that shrink space and time (3 actions)
  • Technologies that help you meet the neighbors (4 actions)

Total: 49 actions.   Although much to his credit, each-and-every “action” included at least one technology tool and many of them included multiple tools!!!

I have both presentations in front of me, and I can tell you that they both did an excellent job of providing a wealth of information in only 15 minutes!

My Presentation

Lucky for me, I still have over a month!   Unlucky for me, I just typed out all the notes I’ve taken to date and I have only 33 technologies listed that are appropriate for the title: “50 Technologies To Help You Survive the Downturn.”

Here’s an outline of how I grouped the various tools, concepts, websites so far (but note, I’m positive the final outline will be MUCH different):

  • Online Marketing Basics
  • Publishing Tools
  • CRMs
  • Inspiration
  • Analytics
  • Listing Syndication
  • Listing Tools
  • Connecting with Consumers
  • Connecting with Professionals
  • Video Podcasts
  • Communications
  • Identity Management

However, rather than bias you’all by starting with my list of sites I would include (or listing out the websites from the the previous presentations), I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear some of the tools, techniques and technologies that you think would be worthy of being included in this list!

45 responses

  1. Bring the Blog (http://www.bringtheblog.com) could be a worthy inclusion. It’s the “Associated Press for Weblogs”, helping real estate and mortgage professionals fill their pages each day with relevant and timely content.

    Disclaimer: I am the company founder and principal owner

  2. Dustin,

    That sounds like a great opportunity and I bet you can cover each in 16 seconds if you really had to 🙂 Some technologies that my brother and I use on a regular bases for our work:

    1. Get Response – automatic e-mail follow-up. Not our standard procedure but good.
    2. Top Producer – I know you like them and we continue to use them for our CRM software.
    3. Website Platforms – We really like two when it comes down to it and we know you have used both (Diverse Solutions & Top Producer)
    4. TextMyMLS – This is a great new marketing tool we have been testing with great results. People can text from their phone and get information on their phone. More information at http://www.TextMyMLS.com. The owner is a great guy (Randy) and you can also speak with Christian Stefferud who is the CA rep we deal with and he is at http://mastermymarketing.blogspot.com/.

    Those are few that we use and thought they might add to some discussion for you and for your work.

  3. I think that Retaggr (http://www.retaggr.com) represents the ultimate web 2.0 business card. It could fit into your “Online Marketing Basics”, “Connecting with Consumers” or “Connecting with Professionals” categories.

    I just posted a write-up on this new company and why this is a “must have” for real estate agents on my blog at http://www.LARealEstateBlog.com. Instead of repeating myself, I’ll invite you to check it out!

  4. Hi Dustin,
    I’m obviously quite biased, but Ubertor would be an excellent addition to your list. 🙂

    I would also suggest Google Adwords and the Flip Video Camera including Vimeo, YouTube and Viddler.

    Thanks and I hope all is well.

  5. thanks everyone for the suggestions! I’ve also been getting a few more on both email and friendfeed! In particular, on FriendFeed, Brad Coy added http://box.net/ http://highrisehq.com/ http://www.picnik.com/ to the mix.

  6. Jon: I just signed up for retaggr yesterday and was impressed with some of their features… However, from a marketing point of view, I think the one thing that is going to limit their growth is that like MyBlogLog, website owners have to activate/install the service for it to be viable… and there isn’t the obvious, quick benefit to website owners that MBL gives. Nonetheless, it is a really interesting service!

  7. Dustin,
    I must be having a few issues as I left a comment twice that didn’t take. Anyway My brother and I really like
    http://www.TextMyMLS.com. They are a text to phone service that has tested well for us and others. Great service (Randy the owner) and the CA rep is Christian Stefferud.

  8. Joe: Your comments were eaten by the Akismet monster, but I just released them! So was Brad Coy’s comment (#1)… which takes the sting out of my last comment! 😉

  9. […] On the hunt for new real estate marketing tools! […]

  10. Hey Dustin,

    We (ZIPVO) will also be at Inman Connect – wow it’s coming fast!

    Just wanted to recommend our site, http://www.zipvo.com, for inclusion in your presentation. We allow agents to enhance, broadcast and share themselves and their listings through videos, PhotoVideos, blogs, news and profiles for free.

    – James

  11. Thanks James for reaching out! You’re definitely in an interesting space!

  12. Dustin,

    Thanks for that. I was sure that I was going crazy with the comment not showing up.


  13. Dustin,

    Not sure if you had a chance to check out the Interview that you did with my brother and I over at our blog. The post and interview can be found at:


    We are also going to be having Mark Landowski of BeatYouThere.com on shortly as well.

    We are also looking forward to getting a few more interviews lined up so if anyone has a website, product, etc and is willing to get asked a few questions we can set something up.

  14. Software (not sure if that counts)

    BlogJet – makes posting to multiple WP blogs easy

    SnagIt – the *best* screen shot/image capture tool on the planet.

    Paint.net – open source photo editing tool. Very powerful (Gimp is good too)

    NVU – open source HTML editor

    Just about anything by CoffeeCup (FTP, HTML

    Online “tools”
    Point2 NLS – syndicate listings to multiple sites with relative ease


    Social networking: You know the standards, Twitter, Twhirl, Flickr, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pownse, etc.

    FriendFeed has rapidly become indispensable

    The best reputation mgmt tool out there is still Google Alerts

  15. Not sure if this is already in your presentation, but Trulia’s Publishers Platform is an amazing way to have the power of their search right on your website.


    We’ve set it up on our site under the search tab:


    You can also display stats & trends for individual cities:


  16. Joseph: I did see the interview… I had every intention to blog about it, but things have been more than a little nuts lately! 🙂 Thanks again!

  17. Jay and Ben: All really good stuff! Thanks! Just as I’d hoped, I’m getting all kinds of great ideas today!

  18. Maybe furnished 3D floor plans for $10 each?

    Easy to explain in 17 seconds at least 😉

    Or a 3D model in Google Earth for $20, e.g.

  19. it might be a good idea if you get a pitch from the creators so that you will have a concise pitch – this will take out the guess work for you since you will be up against the clock. 17 seconds is long enough but how will the listeners be able to remember 50.

    I cant make it since I will be away, kinda sucks!

  20. Google Docs – So you can get to your documents from anywhere.

    Diverse Solutions dsSearchAgent – Mapping MLS IDX Solution that works with any website or blog. Makes your website useful.

    Apple iPhone – Stay conneected where ever you are. Just wait for all the 3rd part applications to start rolling in.

    docstoc.com – Free document repository

    A Toyota Prius – 48 MPG – Save some money so you can stay in business.

  21. All great stuff Justin! I especially like the addition of a Prius!

  22. For hardware, the Fujitsu ScanSnap is a must-have. It scans dual-sided documents in a single pass into pdf format, and does it quickly.

    SnagIt has already been mentioned here, but be sure to upgrade to the newest version to take advantage of the added features.

    Top Producer must be used correctly to be included here, not just as a database system. The automated lead follow-up system works well, and it can be linked to the Diverse Solutions IDX.

  23. Thanks so much Linda!

    I really like the idea of including great multi-media devices… and the whole CRM issue definitely needs to be addressed. So much to cover! 😉

  24. Then there is the single most powerful tool of all…. WordPress.

  25. Huh. Apparently I was still logged into WP.com from this morning’s blogging seminar. Hence the “jaygt” as my name in the comment above.

    Ironic in that I was lauding WP….

    But annoying that it just keeps you logged in and jams your WP username into any WP.com blog you comment on.

    None the less, without WordPress, I’d be starving. Canadian buyers help too, but they really aren’t a “technology tool”.

  26. Dustin,

    You can still blog about the interview, we don’t mind 🙂


  27. Google apps for sure.

    I think Tumblr is also a great tool for brokers/agents to use as an inner office microblogging platform or personal blog platform for those who want to keep a blog that’s much more pain free than WP.


    I have been doing this for a while, but I think Maxsell is doing a much better job. 😉


  28. 1. snagit (http://www.techsmith.com/screen-capture.asp)
    Just brilliant screen capture tool, so easy and yet powerful. If you start using it, you will use it 20 times a day…
    (saw that Jay also recommended it)

    2. Google Docs
    instead of post it notes, scrabble your thoughts in a doc and you will have it when you need it, regardless where you log on

    3. Google reader, rocks

    4. a hosted Content Mgt Service for your site

    5. a ‘simple, but straightforward’ YouTube video to introduce yourself on the site

  29. The only tool that lets you track “offline” advertising, the Sellsius Link.


    (Disclosure: I am the principal)

    These are all free (except where indicated):

    Grandcentral.com (one telephone number for life)
    jott.com (voice to email/text message. Now gets feeds)
    propertyshark.com (where available. Makes Z look like a guppy) (not all free)
    ereal anlayzer http://tinyurl.com/4fl98r (investor tool)
    faststonecapture (THE best screenshot tool)
    meebo (online chat)
    zamzar.com (online file conversion. love this)
    tweetbeep (twitter alerts– set to your market keywords)
    meetup.com (F2F social networking via the net. Meet the fleshy avatars and see what a 🙂 looks like)
    HomeGain (Buyer Link & Source4Sellers tools) (not free but works)
    GOOG 411 (free 411)
    dimdim.com (online conferences. share desktop)
    yourli.st (email reminder service)
    oovoo (video conferencing)
    drop.io (private sharing of files, doc, pics, video. Great)

    I’m tired of typing. If you’re stuck for 50 call me, I’ve got lots more.

  30. Thanks again everyone! I’m inundated with great ideas and loving it! 😉

  31. PlugMyListing.com can cover many of these needs (syndication, listing tools) and more. I am the Director of Technology so any questions you have I can easily answer.

    Other tools:
    -Mozilla Firefox (IE tab to work with IE pages)
    -Mozilla Thunderbird/Lightning Plugin with Google Calendar plugin
    -Open Office for office suite
    -Google Android
    -Google Maps API
    -Linux? 🙂

  32. Thanks Kurtis!

    I’m definitely going to dive a bit more into sydication tech for agents over the next few weeks… and I’m positive I’ll reach out to you at that point!

  33. Here’s a radical idea: Use technology to make things more simple (iPod, iPhone, Google), instead of more complex (any RE search tool that requires you to view a tutorial to figure it out).

    We build IDX sites that are powered by Google Enterprise search technology. Our visitors can search for real estate the same way we know that at least 60% of them search for everything else — by googling it.

    Brian just mentioned us on 1000WattBlog last week:


    and you can find out more at :


  34. Dustin, maybe «How to» videos and guides will be useful too
    And Russian “SkilloPedia” for example

  35. […] 19, 2008 by Dustin As I mentioned last week, I’m putting together a list of resources for agents for a presentation at RE Connect…  and at the end of the process, I’ll end up with a list of the top 50 marketing tools […]

  36. […] 22, 2008 by Dustin As part of my hunt for new marketing tools for agents, I’d love to take on a relevant topic similar to how we took on tracking and analytics for […]

  37. RateSpeed Dustin!!


  38. Jeff: Gotcha!

  39. Okay, since you’re taking input from us those of us hawking stuff(!), let’s go with video slideshows with English voiceover on about 80% of the listings on your site. That’s 80% of ALL of the listings, not just your own (or your broker’s) … and that’s based on an approximate percentage of those that have three or more photos.

    The typical website has fewer than 1% of the listings with virtual tours, mainly because so few agents actually do them, and few brokers have more than 5% or 10% of any given market.

    Since the videos are completely computer-generated (using existing photos and textual data from MLSes) and the scripting is fully IDX compatible, they can also be used as a virtual tour on the MLS (unbranded) and, because they’re in an actual video format, they can be pushed to YouTube, etc., and boost your website ratings.

    And face it: if you have a speaking video virtual tour on almost EVERY listing on your site, don’t you think people are going to come back just for the “cool?”

    Here is the first site under development (ignore the fact that they’re saving space by not putting listing photos there): http://psjr3.beta.richweb.com (main website is psjr.com if anyone’s moving to Virginia!).

    To see vids on YT, check the channels PruRichmond01 thru -05 (only their listings).

    Yatahey! from the “vendor class” …!

  40. Dustin:

    Joining in with some of the other biased contributors I recommend a company I founded called http://www.inboxfx.com. We provide custom email stationery with live links back to your website and it works from any MLS so you can send branded property listings. Works with a Blackberry or any other handheld devices. Makes your email look professional and it stands out in the inbox.

    Mike Blaney

  41. Interesting Mike! Thanks for the tip. 🙂

  42. I saw this post and thought it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t chime in with an excellent tool that I have been utilizing for the past several months. They offer a Web 2.0 marketing platform for agents and brokers; all in one place. Including: Dedicated Listing Websites, Syndication to Classified Sites, Online flyers, Branded to You. Fully loaded WordPress blogs for Real Estate, Networking and referral marketing Market research through polls and much much more… http://www.realivent.com I highly recommend Realivent because I completely rebuilt my real estate business using their platform. You can see part of what they did for me at http://www.MyLifestyleRealtor.com

    Mike Rozell ~ Renton Realtor

  43. Mike,

    Realivent is a great company. We have had great feedback from agents who have used them and they are nice guys as well. I really like their affordability.


  44. […] week ago Dustin Luther put out a call for ideas on tools to help real estate professionals in a market downturn. I couldn’t resist giving him a list of some of my favorite free tools. Luther then used that […]

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