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As I mentioned yesterday, I love to share cool apps, software programs, and websites that make my life easier – especially when they are free.  Well, I found another one today that I also must share with you.  I’ve just downloaded it, and I’ve been playing with it some.  So far, so cool!

The app is called eSign, and it is by LandTech.  This app upgrade allows users to take a photo (scan) of existing documents to automatically create a PDF to sign.  As if that wasn’t cool enough, when you view a PDF within your Safari browser or any application that is displaying a PDF, you have the option to send the document to eSign for signatures.  The app has a built-in emailer so you can email your signed documents anywhere and anytime.  With this app you can eliminate the fax, print, and scan processes like you have to do when getting signatures on paper.

I can see so many uses for this application for Realtors.  Now you can write a contract, snap photos of each page of the contract, and email the attachment to the listing agent right there on the spot.  How cool will you look to your clients when you do that?  Here’s another application for eSign… After taking your next listing, you can snap photos of the listing agreement, email copies to your new client and to your office for your assistant or secretary to enter the listing in MLS for you so the property is on the market without delay.

I’m telling you this app is just too cool!  If you are excited about this useful new app, then go to the Apple App Store to download your free copy of it today.  Come back here after using it and tell me your thoughts.

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SEO for Real EstateI surf the internet A LOT as part of my job as a social media virtual assistant.  I have multiple Google Alerts set up to assist with keeping me up to date on many of the new technologies, changes in “old” technologies, or to inform me of technologies that are just new to me.

Every so often I will make a new discovery that I feel I must share with you; and, last week, I made one of those discoveries.  If you know anything about search engine optimization then you know how important it is to your website’s ranking on Google, and the website I discovered helps to automate the backlinking process for you.  The website is called Social Monkee, and as I mentioned the service that site offers is completely free.  Since I just discovered and started using the site I’m no expert with it, but here’s how it works.

First go to the Social Monkee website by clicking here, and register for your free account.  By the way, in the interest of full disclosure – because that’s my style, if you click on the link above and register I will get credit towards an account upgrade.  Now the real reason for this post is that this site is awesome, not because I want an account upgrade.  If you feel like this site is too cool to live without then click the link above and share some love with the one who shared this site with you.  If you don’t want to share the love, sign up for an account with them anyway by going directly to their site.

Next, install Social Monkee’s Firefox plugin.  Then when you are on the page you want to promote, click on the monkey’s head in your Firefox Add On bar.  The Social Monkee Firefox plugin will prepopulate the fields needed to enter backlinks for you.  Check to make sure the information is correct, choose a category, preview, and then click submit.  That is it!!

So, what did you just do that I am so excited about?  You just created 25 UNIQUE do follow backlinks to your page.  Social Monkee allows you to create 25 backlinks to your site each and every day for free.  Of course, Social Monkee does have a paid plan that allows you to submit up to 100 unique backlinks each day for 3 different URL’s for a total of 300 daily backlinks.  The cost of that plan is a one time fee of $47, but I truly believe 90% of the Realtors out there can make due with the free plan.

Social Monkee will post those backlinks slowly over time so Google doesn’t think you are trying to manipulate their system, and these backlinks will be listed in a report for your viewing pleasure after the job is done in a few days.

So, give Social Monkee a try today and start working your way to page 1 of Google.  If you’ve used Social Monkee before and have some great tips to add, then please do so below.  If you are just tickled pink that I shared this cool new site with you, then please leave that comment below as well.  Don’t forget to enter a link to your URL in your comment so that you can get some Google juice since you are here anyway.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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Facebook sure is a noisy place, but what is scary is that Facebook filters a great deal of that noise before it ever gets to us.  I have noticed before that some of my posts don’t make it to my news feed, and I was always curious why that was.  Well, Facebook has recently announced that my observations are correct.  Well, they didn’t mention me specifically (which I’m sure was a mere oversight), but what they did say is that their algorithm filters out, on average, 84% of what is put on Facebook.  84%???  So, on average 16% of an individual’s friends, or a company’s fans, will see a post from that company or individual.  That is amazing considering my news feed looks like a stock ticker after about 12 Red Bulls.

Facebook’s Vice President of Product, Chris Cox says that 16% is the average “across all posts from all profiles, and all pages of all different audience sizes and all different networks.”  Part of me wants to shake VP Cox’s hand and part of me wants to thump him on the nose.  I want to have my cake and eat it too.  I want all of my messages heard but I don’t want to be bombarded with the other 84% of content that is being filtered.

So, what do we, as smart marketers, do?  No, we don’t dump Facebook altogether for Google+.  We give our fans and friends more of what they want.  Facebook doesn’t filter 84% of the posts you make.  They filter 84% of the posts you could have received.  The algorithm focuses on delivering to its users what Facebook thinks they will be most interested in.  Don’t be a part of the noise, be a part of the sweet music.  Give very valuable content to your fans and friends, and see if you can break the Facebook average.

What are your thoughts about Big Brother… er, Facebook’s censorship?  Please leave your comments below.

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I’ve written a great deal about Facebook’s new Timeline over the past couple of weeks because, like it or not, your real estate fan page will become aTimeline effective 3/30/12.  I want you to be ready when the new Timeline is forced upon us, and as I’ve mentioned before there are some good changes and bad changes coming with the Timeline mandate.  Your fan page should be an integral part of your overall marketing plan, and if you are going to market using Facebook, then you may as well market effectively after all.

One of the biggest changes coming with the Timeline, as I have mentioned before, is the location of the new Timeline Apps section of Facebook.  Here’s where the links to the apps section of your old fanpage is located…

The new apps section on your Timeline is located right underneath your cover photo as shown below…

This change gives your apps a position on some prime Facebook real estate.  Because of this a couple of benefits of the new apps section should be noted when building your Facebook fan page.

1. Larger Apps Space – The new Timeline apps give you 810 pixels of width to get your message across to your fans compared to 520 pixels allowed in the current iFrames.  This is additional space you can use to collect emails, show your videos, or show your listings.  Be sure you have a clear purpose for the additional territory and stick to it.  The last thing you need to happen is for the message of that tab to get lost by cramming too many secondary messages into it.

2. Thumbnails – As you can see above, you can now use 111 pixel X 74 pixel thumbnails (photos or images) to draw traffic to your tabs.  There is an amazing opportunity to create a strong call to action for your fans by including text in the graphic.  Add something like “See My Listings” to the icon to let prospects know what great information you have hidden behind that thumbnail.

With these new changes, Facebook is requiring brands/ businesses to engage with their fans more so than in the past.  Use this requirement to your benefit by taking advantage of the two big apps changes above and get a jump on other Realtors in your market.

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