Must Have Real Estate Tools from Google: Voice and Picture Searches, Reputation Management, and Photo Editing
20 March 2012
MCE Trainer | Social Media Manager | Your Go-to Geek
1. Search using your voice or by taking a picture. Using Google Chrome as your web browser and a computer with a built in or attached microphone you can speak a search rather than type it. Or if you are on a mobile device you can go to m.google.com using the web browser on your phone. Google also offers a mobile search apps for iPhone, BlackBerry, and Nokia S60 V3 phones. This can be a handy tool when you are out with clients and need to find a Starbucks. Simply by speaking “Starbucks in Cedar Park” you would get a list of all the Starbucks locations in Cedar Park as if you had typed those same words in the Google search box.
Alternatively you can take a picture to do a Google search. On your mobile device you would go to http://www.google.com/mobile/goggles and then take a picture of something to Google it. This works best with landmarks, artwork, wine, logos, and books. Someday you will be able to use Google Goggles to take pictures of your blind date to do a Google search on them. Creepy!
2. Google alerts – Stay up to date as new things are posted to the web about areas you work. You can create an alert for any words or phrases but this is a great way to keep up with an area that you farm or to monitor your own online reputation. Each time something new posts to the internet with the keywords that you specify, you will receive an email. Don’t misunderstand; you don’t get an email every time your word or phrase is Googled but rather when something new posts online with those words. For instance I have an alert set up for “Nicole Boynton” and if someone posted a blog or wrote an article online and my name was included, I would get a Google Alert telling me there was a new Google search result for that term. This is a great way to monitor whether people are saying good or bad things about you online. If you concentrate on selling in a certain part of town or neighborhood you should set up an alert for that area so you are always informed of events and happenings. One last idea is to create Google Alerts for the address or MLS# of your listings in case they are fraudulently posted to Craigslist or another site without your knowledge. You definitely want to know before your seller does!
3. Picasa photo editor – In real estate you deal with a lot of photos. There are a million different editing software programs with varying levels of difficulty to learn and various price points to purchase. Picasa is a free photo editing software from Google that is very straightforward to use. You can crop, straighten, remove red eye, and retouch. Make sure you never alter a photo in a way that violates TREC Online Rules of Advertising or NAR Code of Ethics.
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What Google tools do you use? Tell us in the comments below or share with us on Facebook!