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The 5 Most Common Questions Agents Ask When They Call Tech Support
Do you remember the last time you reached out for tech support? Did you need help setting up your email to forward to another account? Or was your printer acting up, refusing to print? Tech Helpline, real estate's No. 1 tech support service, now serves more than 700,000 Realtors in North America. And the most common questions real estate agents ask when they call Tech Helpline focus on these five areas: email, printers, software/applications, other technology hardware, and operating systems. Let's look at the most frequent tech challenges agents experience and then turn to Tech Helpline to fix: 1. Email Agents know that most email programs, like Gmail and Outlook, give you the ability to set up rules to manage your email. However, creating an email rule, such as having an email route automatically to a specific folder or triggering an automated reply, can be tricky. Most email programs also offer the ability to add a signature. Yet, setting up your custom signature with an image or logo takes some skill, as does modifying a signature someone else set up for you. Another challenge agents have with email is making sure certain emails forward automatically to another email address. Setting up a Microsoft Exchange email account and resolving email synching issues can be particularly challenging to a tech novice. Fortunately, for every one of these issues, Tech Helpline can help. 2. Printer Another common tech problem is simply getting one's printer to print. Issues can be related to connectivity, particularly with Bluetooth-enabled printers. Getting an error message and not knowing how to resolve it can also slow down an agent's workflow. Using a multifunction printer with built-in scanners is great until it won't scan. Finally, installing a new printer or an old printer on a new computer can have its challenges, including what to do when you learn you are missing a printer driver. The good news is that tech Helpline's team is ready to help you resolve any of your printer issues. 3. Software/Applications As a modern real estate agent, you are probably using more technology today than ever before. That also means you are likely to use more types of software, but you are also looking for some help more often. Software that agents call into Tech Helpline for assistance in navigating includes QuickBooks, Zoom, Dropbox, and One Drive. The other software that commonly generates pleas for help is Adobe Flash. Agents should be pleased to hear that newer technology has primarily replaced Adobe Flash, and Adobe no longer supports Adobe Flash Player. But Tech Helpline's team can help agents resolve a wide range of software issues, including those related to Adobe Flash. 4. Problems with other hardware While agents and brokers often reach out to Tech Helpline to resolve laptop and desktop computer issues, this team of highly-experienced tech analysts supports a wide range of other hardware technology. For example, the use of Zoom and other video conference call tools escalated challenges with audio issues. Fortunately, Tech Helpline can assist in making sure you can hear others, and they can hear you on your video conference calls. Tech analysts also are willing to provide guidance on what other hardware you should consider when shopping for headphones, which type of microphone works best for your needs, and as well as external webcams that prove to be easy to connect and reliable. Another common challenge agents call tech support to get assistance with are hard drive related problems. For example, if your computer ever crashes, Tech Helpline's experts are ready to help you recover your lost files. And if your monitor starts glitching out, before you order a new one, reach out to Tech Helpline for troubleshooting steps to see if you can save the monitor that's not working right. 5. Operating Systems Has your computer ever updated its operating system, and when you turn it on, it's not the same layout as the day before? Do you feel lost? Or suddenly, a program you have been using won't open? Calls to Tech Helpline about OS or operating system challenges are common. Windows updates often make the phones ring at Tech Helpline, but the good news is you can reach out to get personal assistance to get you back on track. And it's not just computer operating systems that the tech analysts can support. So, for example, if you have an app on your iPhone or Android phone that keeps on crashing, they can help. Spring tech cleaning is another service Tech Helpline provides – and you don't have to wait until spring! If your phone is cluttered with apps you don't use, and you want to quickly clean up your screen, reaching out to Tech Helpline is all you need to do. Finally, one of the scariest tech experiences you can have is when you get a computer error that freezes your computer – or worse, when your laptop or desktop won't reboot. When this happens, thankfully, Tech Helpline is ready to help you, just like other calls they've fielded from agents and brokers to get you back up and running. Tech Helpline's Orlando, Florida-based technology advisors have 350+ years of combined IT experience. If your MLS or association does not offer Tech Helpline as a member benefit, encourage your leadership to check out TechHelpline.com to make sure that you can call, click or chat live to get access to the best tech support for real estate pros. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Why Tech Support is a Vital Service for Real Estate Agents
Have you ever tried to turn on your laptop, but nothing happens? Or go to print out a copy of a Purchase & Sale Agreement, yet nothing comes out of the printer? Ever find yourself trying to connect to Wi-Fi, but no matter how many times you try, it won't connect? How about getting a new phone or tablet and setting everything up? How long did it take to get it all to work? If you are a real estate agent in today's technologically dependent world, you understand that having tech support is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have. A resource like Tech Helpline has become an irreplaceable lifeline, especially since you can't walk down the hall to ask a colleague to help you solve a tech challenge anymore. Technology is everywhere Today, just about every facet of a real estate transaction, from first inquiry and follow-up meetings to contracts and closing, involves technology somehow. The pandemic forced a lot of real estate agents to go digital or sit on the sidelines. Technology became a lifeline that turned what could have been a real estate downturn into a real estate boom. Over the last 18 months, the popularity of going paperless with transaction management tools hit new highs. The creation of digital CMAs also became required technology. Realtors probably created and sent more PDFs electronically during the first 12 months of the pandemic than they did in the last half-decade. The use of technology has become a daily mainstay in the lives of just about every active agent and broker. The importance of tech The National Association of Realtors recently released a technology survey. Agents were asked to think back on the last 12 months to select the tech tools they found were the most valuable. The top five were: eSignature (78 percent) Local MLS apps/technology (54 percent) Social media (53 percent) Lockboxes (48 percent) Video conferencing (39 percent) Agents and brokers were also asked what they thought the top tech tools would be over the next 12 months. The top five were: eSignature (73 percent) Social media (53 percent) Local MLS apps/technology (47 percent) Customer relationship management (44 percent) Lockboxes (43 percent) Finally, they were asked what emerging technologies will have the most impact on their businesses over the next two years. The top five were: Drones (37 percent) Cyber security (34 percent) 5G (31 percent) Virtual reality (30 percent) Artificial intelligence (27 percent) The NAR survey demonstrates that technology will become even more pervasive in the daily lives of agents and brokers in the months and years ahead. Technology benefits Technology also delivered some silver linings. Zoom replaced face-to-face meetings and, despite its shortcomings, is far more effective for meetings than a client conference call. Seeing one's body language and facial expressions are invaluable when building trust. And tech training experienced one of its biggest boons as agents needed to accelerate their tech knowledge to stay productive. One indicator: Florida Realtors, the largest state Realtor association, had more of its 200,000+ members attend more technology classes during the pandemic than ever before. Agents clamored for more advanced courses to hone their skills. Just ask a colleague to understand the value tech support can have to keep agents focused on their business. It can be maddening to be distracted or delayed by a technology glitch. BJ Allen, Principal Broker and a member of Oregon REALTORS®, knows the value of tech support when tech things go sideways. She shared, "Today, I had a major issue with my printer and producing errors. I also had no scanner. I took a chance and called [Tech Helpline]." Allen said that tech analyst Robert M. jumped into action and "in less than 15 minutes time, Robert solved BOTH problems." Just as important, she noted, "He was very patient with me and very thorough with his explanations." Sally Harasz was equally appreciative of the assistance Tech Helpline provides. A member of the Florida Realtors®, she lost 22 GB of files. Tech analyst Adrian came to the rescue, and she noted, "he methodically looked through various computer systems and functions and restored all the documents. I am now back up running and in business!" Every day, Tech Helpline helps agents like BJ, Sally, and many others get back in business when their technology does not cooperate. If you are one of more than 700,000 Realtors who have access to Tech Helpline as a member benefit, you know you can reach a tech analyst by phone, email, or chat. If you don't have access to Tech Helpline for free as a member benefit, make sure your MLS, Association, or brokerage goes to TechHelpline.com to learn more. And if you have a tech success story to share, make sure you use the hashtag #TechHelplineHelpedMe when you post on Facebook! Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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5 Places to Find Tech Support
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Why You Should Call Tech Support First, Not Last
Before cars had GPS navigation systems, people got lost a lot more often. Researchers explained that men were predisposed only to stop and ask for directions as a last resort response when lost. The same type of reaction is true today for many of us when a technology glitch occurs. We often try to first fix the problem ourselves instead of immediately reaching out for help. The problem often becomes what we think will take a couple of minutes to correct ends up taking a lot more time than we ever imagined. Ten minutes of troubleshooting can quickly turn into 30 minutes or more before we give in and seek assistance. The best practice? Go ahead and pick up a phone and call, chat or email tech support – first, not last. That's what Don Rathbun, a Realtor Emeritus with Florida Realtors, did when faced with a tech problem. He reached out to Tech Helpline, which for him is a member benefit. That means his call to Tech Helpline was free, but the help he received was priceless. "From the start," Rathbun shared, "[Alex] understood [the] problem. He was extremely patient and went above and beyond to make the necessary adjustments so that I would not have the problem in the future." He also thanked Tech Helpline for "having people like Alex available to help us." For Sally Harasz, a Florida Realtor member from Ponte Vedra, getting professional help was the only option. She explained that Tech Helpline analyst Adrian "was a huge help to me today, and I am most grateful." "I gave him the challenge of finding and restoring 22 GB of files, and he methodically looked through various computer systems and functions and restored all the documents. I am now back up and running and in business," Harasz said. Agents rely on technology now more than ever During the pandemic, real estate became more dependent on technology than ever before. The 2021 Technology Survey from the National Association of Realtors documented the impact. Some 78% of all respondents said that eSignature was their single most valuable technology in the last 12 months. Local MLS apps/technology was second (54%), and nearly tied for second was social media (53%). With 90% of respondents using Facebook in their real estate business, it's clear that agents rely on technology to remain connected to their clients. More technology tools coming While tech tools for transaction management, CRMs, lockboxes, video calls, and showing software integrated deeply in the day-to-day workflow for nearly every agent, the chance of an agent that needed help has also increased dramatically. For example, in 2020, Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity provided more support and training for more Realtors than ever in a single year. More technology is coming, so the need to have reliable and accessible tech support isn't going away. The Technology Survey also found that in the next 12 months, respondents say that the five technology tools they will use in their business will be eSignatures (73 percent), social media (53 percent), local MLS apps/technology (47 percent), customer relationship management or CRM (44 percent), and lockboxes (43 percent). Looking 24 months ahead, respondents believed that drones (37 percent), cybersecurity (34 percent), 5G (31 percent), and virtual reality (30 percent) would be the most impactful emerging technologies to their businesses. Adopting and adapting to new technology always can be a struggle, as Diana M. Gardner, President of the Albermarle Association of Realtors in North Carolina, noted. Call for help first, not last For agents like Greg Gosselin, a member of the 2020 NAR Housing Opportunity Committee and the Maine Association of Realtors, contacting tech support first saved him a lot of time, allowing him to focus on his business. He encountered a "Windows nightmare" and reached out to Tech Helpline, provided by his Realtor association as a member benefit. "My day was not consumed with technical issues but with income-producing work." The bottom line: let the tech experts focus on helping you fix your glitch and get back to business by reaching out first. Hopefully, your association or brokerage provides you with free access to Tech Helpline. If not, ask them to check out techhelpline.com, as the importance of getting fast tech support is now a must-have for agent productivity. Do you have a Tech Helpline story to share? Tag #TechHelplineHelpedMe in your social media post. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Top Tech Issues Every Real Estate Pro Faces
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Read This First If You Need Help Setting Up a New Tech Device
New year, new devices. Fortunately, Tech Helpline can help you set up all kinds of tools and devices. When you think of getting assistance from Tech Helpline for a new device, you probably think about laptops, desktops, printers, and your smartphone. That's still 100% true: Tech Helpline can help you troubleshoot all of these devices when they are giving you trouble. But did you know that the Tech Analysts at Tech Helpline also can help you with setting up many other new tech devices? Or help you switch from an Android to an iPhone, Windows to Mac, or vice-versa? Tech Helpline is ready to help with nearly all of your technology needs as a real estate professional. With a combined 300 years of technology experience, Tech Helpline has become the No. 1 tech support service expressly for real estate pros like you by providing friendly and highly responsive services. Here are some of the devices that Tech Helpline can help with to get your new tech ready to go: Smart speakers: If you have a new Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple Homepod smart speaker, Tech Helpline can help if you get stuck setting one up. Smart displays: For those who received an Echo Show or Facebook Portal for a holiday gift, if you have challenges setting them up, reach out to Tech Helpline. Other smart home devices: If you are outfitting your home office with smart switches, smart light bulbs, or smart plugs, they may not be as easy to set up as the initial instructions indicate. You can reach out to Tech Helpline for help. Bluetooth headphones: While most of the time, Bluetooth devices connect flawlessly, there are exceptions when you can't get Bluetooth to connect. Tech Helpline can help. Video camera: A new standalone video camera can make your Zoom calls crystal clear, but it's not always easy to get your new camera set up. Or once you go back into Zoom, your laptop or desktop computer's camera takes over as the default. A Tech Helpline analyst can help you get your new camera set up right! External microphone and stand: Because virtual meetings have become a go-to tech tool for agents, adding a separate microphone allows you to be heard better than ever, without headphones on your head and chords dangling in front of you. But it can be challenging for some computers to recognize a new external mic and keep it as your default. Tech Helpline is ready for your call. Adding one or more monitors: Many agents are discovering the benefits not only of a larger screen monitor when working from home, but the value of having multiple screens — one or two more connected to your laptop or desktop. Getting a new monitor set up to allow you to work the way you want is essential, and contacting Tech Helpline can help you expedite the process. Smart car technology: Tech Helpline can help fix your car? Well, sort of. At least when it comes to setting up Apple CarPlay or Android Auto in newer vehicles that have this option. Grab your mobile phone, sit in your car, and give Tech Helpline a shout. And if you have a new mobile phone or computer, you'll need help setting up, remember that Tech Helpline can help you get all your data — yes, especially your photos — off of your old device and onto your new device. More Technology Advice Articles: You can read more about how Tech Helpline can help you with all your tech needs in these articles as well. 10 Things You Can Call Tech Helpline About That You Didn't Know You Could Working in isolation? Remember Tech Helpline can help Tech Helpline Can Help You Get More than Your Computer Fixed Tech Glitch? Why it's not the time for DIY Why You Shouldn't Fear Calling Tech Support 7 more ways Tech Helpline can help you Again, if you need assistance with any new or existing technology or with any other tech questions you have – Tech Helpline is ready to help you! To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline blog.
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2021 Pandemic Resources for Agents
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How to Use Outsourcing to Reduce Your Workload
The rebound in real estate markets nationwide has been challenging for many agents. Tight inventory and multiple offers in many places is the norm. Working with buyers and sellers during a pandemic adds a new, extra layer of effort. Having to work remotely adds even more challenges. It seems agents find themselves today working harder than ever. How do you keep the quality of your work high and, at the same time, reduce your workload? Outsourcing is one option worth your consideration. Here's how to figure out what you can – and should – be outsourcing. Self-assessment test The saying goes, "Do what you do best and outsource the rest." After all, everyone knows the tasks they love as well as the things they loathe. The problem is, using this as a particular measurement to decide what you should be doing and what you should be outsourcing is not always in synch. For example, some agents love to develop their marketing materials. The problem is the creation of marketing materials can consume a significant amount of time. It's also easy to outsource these activities. By making an assessment, you can make the right decision. If you don't enjoy creating marketing material or are not particularly good at it, then you know outsourcing can be a great answer to reduce your workload. If you enjoy these tasks, then you need to measure it. When you track your time, you can see what it takes to create marketing materials for each listing. How much total time is it taking to develop a property flyer, update your website with a single property listing page, and create a virtual tour? Like most agents, you would be shocked as projects like these include tasks that can consume much more time than you expect. That's why you need to measure it before you decide. Low-hanging fruit In addition to marketing tasks, how does your client database look? Are you using a CRM or Customer Relationship Management software? Hiring someone to pull together all of your contacts in one place can reduce your future workload. You will avoid scrambling to look for past client background information when they contact you as you will have it all in one place – just a click away. How much time do you spend scheduling appointments with vendors to help your sellers? From arranging for professional photographers to stagers to inspectors, this is another area that can end up eating into your most productive time. Is there someone in your office that you can contract to help with these tasks? Another alternative is using a virtual assistant as this is the kind of ideal routine job that someone else can handle, even if they don't live where you do. Looking at photography, are you still shooting your listing photos? Research says you shouldn't be. Listings with professional photography sell faster and can help increase your ability to win more listings in the future. Home listings with high-quality photography sell 32% more quickly than listings with poorly shot images, according to the Center for REALTOR® Development. Even though your smartphone takes great photos, there's no substitute for a professional photographer's skill when it comes to showcasing the most important part of your business. A great way to outsource If technology isn't your thing, and you have FREE access to Tech Helpline—as more than 60 percent of all Realtors in North America do!—this can be one of your best and most cost-effective ways to outsource! Tech Helpline can help you with every tech tool and nearly every software program you use every day. If you get a new smartphone or laptop, it's the first place you should contact. As a covered real agent or broker, you can ask Tech Helpline multiple questions about your tech challenges all on one call. Most importantly, Tech Helpline can help you with other business tech needs beyond just helping you reset your Wi-Fi for a faster connection or help get your printer to print. You can get assistance from adding a background image or video for your next Zoom meeting to the ins and outs of connecting your social media accounts. There are so many things that Tech Helpline can help you with when it comes to all things technology related. Here's an article that shares more ways Tech Helpline can help you reduce your workload. And if your Realtor association, MLS, or brokerage doesn't have Tech Helpline yet, encourage them to go online at TechHelpline.com and reach out to add this valuable member service. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Tech Challenge: Try Tech Helpline just once in the next 30 days
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Create Intentional Marketing that Shows Your Love and Support of Your Clients
We have all been touched by a story or event during COVID-19 that has warmed our hearts. We have heard about the agent that left an Easter egg hunt on the lawns of several of her clients. Or the REALTOR that sent a handwritten note and a beautiful candle to each of her clients to let them know she was thinking of them. Molly McKinley, CEO of Intentionaliteas and VP of Brand Strategy for RateMyAgent, took us through some phenomenal "conscious capitalism" ideas about how to become more human and share the great works you have done for your clients in warm and effective ways through the mail and online. She taught us about an interesting concept dubbed "digital word-of-mouth marketing." Here are three key takeaways: 1. Let your clients know that you really care about them. No human being wants to be thought as a "lead." Pay it forward. Do kind things for them in unexpected ways and at unexpected times, and you will reap great rewards—and probably like your job as a REALTOR® much better, too. 2. Just because you have a strong, local, referral-based business doesn't mean you can't create a strong digital marketing presence. You can use the words of satisfied clients to tell your story online so you don't have to bow down to the "me, me, me" advertising that so many agents do. 3. There is now a simple and inexpensive way to collect all of your reviews from online portals, referral systems, websites and even emails or handwritten notes and put them all in one place so you can share them online, in listing presentations, and via reports. Check out RateMyAgent.com to learn more. Watch the recording here: Don't Miss These Upcoming Coffee Chats! Friday, May 8 Your MLS System: The Ultimate Prospecting and Lead Generation Machine with Brian Tepfer, Executive VP and CTO, Rapattoni Monday, May 11 Learn How to Win New Listings During Covid-19 by Delivering a List of Qualified Buyers with Charles Williams, CEO/Founder of Buyside Tuesday, May 12 Look No Further than Your Local MLS to Generate a Ton of Business FREE! with Amy Gorce, Principal Business Development of CoreLogic Wednesday, May 13 Learn How to Become a Social Media Expert Without Doing All the Work! with Michael Glazer and Michael Tomasetti of BackatYou Media If you would like us to sign you up for all upcoming coffee chats, email michael@wavgroup.com and he will get you signed up. If you would like to get notifications every time a Coffee Chat recording is published, subscribe to our YouTube channel, RETechnologyInc. Then hit the bell next to the Subscribe button and receive notifications every time we publish new educational videos. Get Recordings of All Coffee Chats If you would like to binge watch all of the Coffee Chat recordings, click here. If you would like a FREE 3-month trial of RE Technology, go to retechnology.com, click Create Account and then use one of these coupon codes: COVID-19A COVID-19B COVID-19M
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National Association of Realtors' Response to COVID-19
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Working in Isolation? Remember Tech Helpline Can Help
Our world is rapidly changing, and across America, people are finding themselves working at home or working in isolation, many for the first time. Fortunately for about half of all professional Realtors -- 650,000 throughout North America -- Tech Helpline remains ready and available to assist. Tech Helpline is the real estate industry's No. 1 tech support firm. Known for its top team of friendly and experienced analysts, agents and brokers can connect to Tech Helpline by phone, email, or online chat. Challenges of working remotely While many agents may be used to working remotely, others are finding themselves for the first time having to replicate all the capabilities they had at their office inside their homes. Some of the technology that agents may take for granted that is available at the office can create challenges to replicate remotely. For example, few of us have fax machines today in our homes, yet some vendors or government agencies still rely on a fax. Tech Helpline can walk you through the alternatives available remotely to accomplish the same thing. Agents who wait until they get to the office to do their printing may now have to print their contracts and flyers at home. Questions immediately arise from what printer do you buy to how do you connect your new printer to Bluetooth and print a document that's stuck on your phone? Tech Helpline can help. When agents are working in an office and have a software, computer, or a smartphone glitch, there often seems to be someone they can ask – a tech-savvy agent or admin. Now they can connect with Tech Helpline to get the same troubleshooting advice directly from an expert who is part of a team that collectively has more than 300+ years of technology experience. Reaching out for help If you never had to ask for tech help from Tech Helpline, rest assured that there is nothing to fear about calling this support team. Tech Helpline has been dubbed real estate's "Genius Bar" for a good reason: our techs are super friendly. Most importantly, Tech Helpline analysts work with real estate agents and brokers every day. They understand what to do, and your tech needs. They know you live in a deadline-driven world. Tech Helpline analysts are a respite for help, a place to contact to help resolve your tech issues and help calm your waters. In addition to offering live tech support from a staff that is US-based (Orlando) and provides assistance in English and Spanish, our Tech Helpline blog is binge-worthy when it comes to agent tech topics. At techhelpline.com/blog, you can learn how to sharpen your tech skills in dozens of different ways, from "How to use your new smartphone camera like a pro" and "What's the safest way to manage your passwords?" to "5 Great Google Docs Tips and Tactics" and "How to Pair Air Pods with any device." In the past, we also have shared all of the different questions and challenges that Tech Helpline can help you deal with remotely. Each of these articles details the full range of support available, and the kind questions Tech Helpline is ready to answer, including: "10 Things You Can Call Tech Helpline About That You Didn't Know You Could" "7 More Ways Tech Helpline Can Help You" "Tech Helpline Can Help You Get More than Your Computer Fixed." Wherever you are, working on the road or from home, remember that when you need tech support, you are never alone. With Tech Helpline, you have a team standing by, ready to answer your questions, and gently walk you through the steps you need to take to leave with a smile on your face and a sense of relief. If your local MLS or state, regional or local association doesn't offer Tech Helpline yet as a standard member benefit, encourage them to reach out to us at TechHelpline.com. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Why You Shouldn't Fear Calling Tech Support
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Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity are on the road again!
Each year, thousands of real estate agents and brokers who use Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity have the opportunity to meet some of the folks who make the magic happen for these two Florida Realtors owned products at local conventions and conferences. This year's schedule includes visits as far north and east as Nova Scotia, Canada, as far south as Hollywood, Florida, and as far west as Los Angeles, California. As real estate's number one tech support firm, Tech Helpline serves more than 600,000 real estate professionals in North America. Available through MLSs or local associations, as well as real estate brokerages, connecting with Tech Helpline is typically accomplished via a phone call, online chat or email inquiry. Our annual direct outreach gives agents and brokers, as well as MLS and association executives and staff members, an additional opportunity with face-to-face communications. Opportunities to connect This year, we kicked off our spring and summer schedule for Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity with an appearance at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in mid-May. Tech Helpline was just represented at the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) Association Executives Seminar in early June, held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Next up, Form Simplicity will be at "Rock the Market" at the Hard Rock Event Center in Hollywood, FL on June 25. The next two days on June 26 and 27, both Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity will be heading to the Florida Realtors Association Executives Education Workshops in Cocoa Beach, FL. August marks two major conventions for Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity. Association leadership from all business disciplines will convene at the ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo in Columbus, OH on August 10-13, followed by our own Florida Realtors Convention & Trade Expo (August 21 and 22) and Governance Meetings (August 23-25) in Orlando, FL. Tech Helpline will head to another big convention as the Colorado Association of REALTORS® hosts its "REfresh Expo" in Denver, CO on September 5. The summer tour schedule ends with two back-to-back events. The first one is in North Carolina, the NC REALTORS® 2019 Convention & Expo "Xchange'19" at the Pinehurst Resort during the Expo dates of September 14-16. That's followed by the Arkansas REALTOR® Annual Convention & Tradeshow being held in Memphis, TN at the Guesthouse at Graceland, during the Expo dates of September 16 and 17. More to come As the fall begins, Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline will be back at it, with appearances by Tech Helpline at the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Expo "REImagine!" held in Los Angeles on September 24-26, followed by opportunities to ask your questions about Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline at CMLS2019 in Salt Lake City on October 16-18. The last two conventions for Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline currently are scheduled for both the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco this year (booth #1234), November 6-11, and finally December 9-12 at the 2019 Triple Play REALTOR® Convention & Trade Expo in Atlantic City, NJ, which brings together members from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania Realtor associations. If you happen to be attending one of these events, please stop by and bring your questions about Form Simplicity and Tech Helpline. We hope to meet you face-to-face! Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.  
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Tech Helpline Tips: Is It Time to Update or Replace Your Computer?
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9 Technology Productivity Tips: Do this, not that
Technology is supposed to save us time and make us more efficient. Most often, technology does. But sometimes you need to give tech a rest and do things the old fashion way because it's actually faster. Here are tips on when technology can make you more productive, and when it can be a time waster.
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7 More Ways Tech Helpline Can Help You
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What Do You Do When There's No App for That?
Today, agents carry what amounts to a mini-supercomputer in their pockets and purses. And if that smartphone malfunctions, the result can be a business catastrophe. Apple's creation of the first iPhone over a decade ago, along with its trademark of the phrase "There's an app for that," was revolutionary for the real estate business, but no one has invented the phone that heals itself when it breaks. As an agent, what do you do when your smartphone doesn't power up? Your computer gets infected with a nasty virus or malware? Your printer won't print, your outgoing email messages get stuck, or you can't connect to Wi-Fi, no matter what you try?
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10 Things You Can Call Tech Helpline About That You Didn't Know You Could
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On the Road Again: Tech Helpline May Be Coming Your Way
Tech support is often thought of as a kind of necessary evil. You will call upon it when you're stuck, but you probably dread making the call. That makes it hard for many people because we live in a tech-centric world today, which means the importance of tech support is growing, and we're going to need that crucial help at critical times now more than ever. Fortunately, nearly 50 percent of agents and brokers in North America – more than 600,000 in the U.S. and Canada – have access to Tech Helpline. Now if you have made a call to Tech Helpline before, then you know what I am talking about. We earned the moniker "The Genius Bar of Real Estate" because of our no-nonsense technical advice and warm, friendly, customer service. When is the last time you called for tech support and felt you were treated by someone who was "warm and friendly"? You get my point. It's why so many Realtor® associations, Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) and real estate brokerage firms discover that of all the benefits they provide their members or agents, Tech Helpline is often their highest praised benefit. It's also why Tech Helpline has become the #1 tech support service in the real estate industry. Our Orlando, Florida-based staff of professional tech analysts have nearly 300 years of combined IT experience, and we provide support by phone, chat or email, in English or Spanish. We bet that if you have used Tech Helpline, you found the experience so much better than other Tech Support experiences that it left a lasting impression. If you haven't used Tech Helpline or are not aware of what we offer, Tech Helpline may be coming to a conference or convention near you! Each year, a small team from Tech Helpline goes on the road to meet with existing customers and seek out new ones. We wanted to share our schedule with you and invite you to meet Tech Helpline face-to-face. Jessica Smith, who manages the integration of Tech Helpline with all of our new customers, will be our chief ambassador. Other Tech Helpline ambassadors will be Marc Zayas and Caitlin Vaught. They all will be taking turns on the road, traveling from August 8 through October 10. They will all be starting locally, in Orlando, where Tech Helpline is based, at the Florida Realtors Convention & Trade Show and will travel to six more states, as far as Colorado and California. Here is the schedule for Tech Helpline and the upcoming trade shows and conventions we will attend. If the booth number is currently not available, check back closer to the event date for an update here. August 8-9Florida Realtors Convention & Trade Show - Orlando, FL (Rosen Shingle Creek)Link: http://convention.floridarealtors.org/Location: Sebastian Foyer September 12-14Rise Above Realtor Convention of the Dakotas 2018Link: https://www.2018conventionofthedakotas.com/Booth #: TBD September 16-18North Carolina Realtors Convention and Expo – Wilmington, NC (Wilmington Conv Center)Link: http://xchange18.com/Location: Jessica will be at Booth #611 on Sunday (9/16) and then at a Help Desk located in the pre-function area of the convention center on Monday (9/17) & Tuesday (9/18) September 17-18Wisconsin Realtors® Annual conventionLink: https://www.wra.org/CONVENTION/Location: Booth #49 September 25-27Virginia Realtors® Annual Convention 2018 (Norfolk)Link: https://www.virginiarealtors.org/events/annual-convention-2018/Booth #: TBD September 26-28CMLS2018 – Orlando, Universal City, Lowes Sapphire FallsLink: http://cmls2018.com/Booth #: TBD October 9-11California Realtor Expo – Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CALink: https://expo.car.org/Booth #: TBD October 10-11Colorado Association of Realtors – Refresh Expo – Colorado Convention Center, Denver COLink: https://refreshexpo.eventwaves.com/Booth #: TBD Remember to bring your Tech Helpline questions with you. If Jessica, Marc or Caitlin can't help you directly at the show, they will be able to connect you with one of our Tech Helpline analysts. We hope to see you on the road! Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns both Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.    
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Tech Helpline Can Help You Get More than Your Computer Fixed
One of the most popular benefits associations, MLSs and brokerages offer is Tech Helpline. Tech Helpline's U.S.-based analysts have helped agents and brokers recover documents from hard drives that crashed, fixed printers that wouldn't print, sped up computers that were performing like sloths, and helped them find files that disappeared. But did you know that if you already have access to Tech Helpline, you can seek them out for more than just emergency tech support? That's right, one of the untapped treasures of your Tech Helpline support is that their expert analysts can do more for you than help you fix your broken computer!
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Friday Freebie: Emergency Preparedness Checklist to Share with Your Sphere
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Does your MLS or Association provide tech support? It should.
Technology in the real estate business is truly ubiquitous. Think about how many times you used your smartphone today related to your work. If you are like most agents, you probably used it to check your email, set an appointment and contact a client before you even stepped foot in your office. Or perhaps you didn't even go to your office now that technology has enabled most agents to be able to work from almost anywhere. We have become so dependent on technology in real estate that if we misplace our phones or our computers crash, we are likely to have a panic attack, right? Real estate agents and the real estate industry rely on, as never before, technology to power our transactions and our day-to-day operations. So why doesn't every MLS and/or REALTOR® trade association provide technical support for its members?
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The 5 Tech Tips You Can't Live Without
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Is Your Technology Slowing You Down?
How long has it been since you bought a new laptop or smartphone? Upgraded your Windows or Mac operating system software? Switched to a new, better web browser? If you're like Michael Phelps in the Intel TV commercial – and the tech tools of your trade are more than two to three years old – then your technology is slowing you down. At Tech Helpline, the real estate industry's number one tech support service, we tapped the brainpower of our tech analysts to shed some light on this topic. They work with real estate agents every day and have a combined IT experience of nearly 300 years. Here are the three big reasons you need to upgrade – and update – your technology. Speed Have you ever heard of the phrase Moore's Law? A simplified version of this law states that processor speeds, or overall processing power for computers, doubles every two years. So if your laptop is just a couple of years old, it likely has half the processing power of a new one. What if it's five years old? It would be like owning a horse today as your primary transportation, which has a top speed of about 25 mph, when you could have a car that goes over 100 mph... so at least you could go the speed limit. Seriously, today's computers and smartphones are wickedly fast and make older ones seem nearly unusable. For example, the iPhone 7 processor is 40 percent faster than the iPhone 6 processor. With your old laptop, it's probably collected many excess files and programs that are slowing it down. Plus, you get better features with newer technology. Did you know that an iPhone 7 has four times the storage of an iPhone 5, and can take pictures with a resolution that is six times better? With a new laptop, you'll increase your speed and that should mean an increase in efficiency. Most importantly, a new laptop - with a speedier processor, significantly more storage, the latest operating system and best browsers all pre-installed - will likely cost you less than half of what you paid for your old laptop.
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Six Tips for Maximizing Battery Life in iOS 10
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Moving to a new firm? How to deal with your new tech challenges
Change is a challenge that often opens up new opportunities, but making a new transition is rarely easy. When it comes to moving from one brokerage firm to another, it is often even more complicated today because of technology. While technology is supposed to make agents' lives easier – and it does – few brokerages use all of the same technology. That means making the transition from one set of tech tools to another can get complicated and frustrating for agents. Making the move Helen Keller had it right when she wrote, "A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn." To help agents make that turn more smoothly, there's Tech Helpline, the real estate industry's #1 tech support service that's available to more than 60 percent of the Realtors in North America. Making the move from one brokerage to another means more than just learning about different technology and how to use it to help you build your business at your new firm. It's also about making sure you are able to keep your current clients' contact information and not lose the ability to stay in touch with a client list you may have taken years, if not decades, to create and nurture. What do you need to do first? How do you export your contact files? What format should they be in? How do you get them off your computer in the first place? How do you import them into your new system?
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Is Windows 10's 'Fast Startup' Feature Slowing Your Computer Down?
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Facebook Groups for Real Estate: Love Them or Leave Them?
I remember when Facebook launched Facebook Groups. It was a great way to move specific conversations from Twitter or Facebook posts to a defined audience in one space. For the most part, Facebook Groups provide great value to a like-minded community that wants to share as much knowledge as they can. And the quality of groups seems to be attributable to the administrators who moderate them. Facebook Groups for value and vivacious conversation Two examples of effective groups targeted to the real estate community that I value in particular are Tech Support Group for Real Estate Agents and What Should I Spend My Money On? These groups were started by Curaytor founders Jimmy Mackin and two-time best-selling author Chris Smith. The conversations are moderated to stay on course in accordance with the guidelines established for the groups. There is a high caliber of sharing and learning in each. Another category of groups where I find great value are my brand's groups. There is an official, closed group for Coldwell Banker associates around the world. It is the most effective way for the company to launch new initiatives, keep us all up-to-date and demonstrate how we all leverage the brand. It's become the place to share successes and learn from each other. Then there are breakout groups that have sprung up to take discussions to the local level or address the specific parts of the company's offerings, such as Coldwell Banker Tools & Systems started by Mike Bowler, Sr. of Coldwell Banker Hubbell BriarWood. If memory serves me right, the first industry-related group I joined was Raise the Bar. It stemmed from an ongoing Twitter thread that used the hashtag #RTB.
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Do You Fear Making a Call to Tech Support?
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Top 5 Complaints Agents Have About Technology
Does your computer run slowly? Are you having challenges with Windows 10? Did your desktop get a virus or deploy adware that's driving you nuts? You are not alone. In fact, your experience is pretty common, at least among real estate agents in North America. This is according to our experts at Tech Helpline, called the "Genius Bar for real estate," a service originally created a decade ago by Florida Realtors® for REALTORS®. Today, Tech Helpline is available through MLSs, state and local associations, and even brokerages – serving a combined total of more than 600,000 real estate agents and brokers throughout the U.S. and Canada as a standard member benefit. With a staff specializing in providing help desk support specifically to real estate professionals, Tech Helpline pros have nearly 300 years of combined IT experience. They also field more than 100,000 questions a year. So I asked our team to pull together their "Top 5" list of the most common questions that real estate agents call, email or chat online about when seeking tech help. Here are the Top 5 issues the Tech Helpline team identified: Number 5: Printer issues We have all been there: we buy a new computer or printer and struggle with the initial setup of getting it to print a page. Or the printer says that it's "offline," or we try to connect to it wirelessly, and it feels hopeless.
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4 Simple Steps to Optimize Windows 10 Performance
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How to Back Up Your Text Messages, Email, Calendars, and More
Worried that a lost or broken phone means losing all of your text messages and all of the important conversations you've had with clients? You're not alone. An RE Technology reader recently wrote to us in search of an easy way to archive her text messages and prevent disaster from happening. Rather than rattle off the few methods that we're aware of, we turned to Tech Helpline for some expert advice. Since they're a REALTOR®-owned company that offers tech support to hundreds of agents and brokers every day, they're uniquely suited to knowing just what real estate professionals need (read: easy and painless solutions). We spoke with Richard Gordon, Technical Analyst Lead at Tech Helpline. Not only did he walk us through archiving text messages, he showed us how to save contacts, emails, and calendar events from all of your devices! Fortunately, for iPhone users, it's as simple as syncing your phone to iCloud. For Android users, syncing your contacts and emails is a snap, but your calendar and text messages will require third-party apps. Back Up 101 for iPhone Users "Syncing your devices through your iCloud account is as simple as following a few steps," says Gordon. The first step is the simplest: make sure you are signed into the same iCloud account on each device. If you use a Mac computer, go to System Preferences from the black Apple menu in the top left corner. Then, select the iCloud option and make sure you are signed into the correct account. Next, check the boxes next to anything you want backed-up by synching to iCloud.
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How to Select a Tech Support Service
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Should You Hire a Real Estate Intern?
If there is one thing real estate agents dislike, it's parting with money. Thus, low or no cost approaches are highly treasured, such as the use of social media as a marketing tool, the popularity of Craigslist and the heavy reliance on do-it-yourself photography. There's nothing wrong with being frugal. Many wealthy people are actually quite thrifty, pinching pennies and living beneath their means, says Thomas J. Stanley, author of "The Millionaire Next Door." So, in the spirit of helping you hang on to every possible commission dollar, here's the skinny on hiring an intern. What Is an Intern? An intern is a person who works primarily to gain experience in a field. Some work for free. It may sound crazy, but they have their reasons for offering services sans remuneration. Most interns are young and usually in college. In fact, almost 30 percent of college students work as unpaid interns, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. If you hope to hire an intern to assist you with various duties for your real estate practice, however, you will most likely need to pay him or her. (More on that in a minute.)
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What to Do When Tech Problems Strike
Technology is a wonderful thing. When your devices function properly and you know how to leverage them, your work and personal lives run so much more efficiently. However, when your electronics are down, your business is down, too. This is especially true for real estate agents. Not only are most agents mobile--using their smartphone, laptops, and tablets on the go--but as independent contractors, they have no employer IT department to turn to when their computer, phone, or printer stops working. Some try the DIY troubleshooting route--but too often this ends in wasted time, energy, and frustration. So where can an agent turn in a tech crisis? Well, that depends on what you need help with. Today, we're going to guide you through different support options for various tech issues. Help! I'm having problems with my real estate software! Because modern real estate solutions are largely web-based, many difficulties have been eliminated since there's no software to install. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's all smooth sailing. Sometimes data is accidentally deleted, or upgrades make old features hard to find. Fortunately, most real estate software comes with robust tech support options including phone, email, and live chat support. Many also have video tutorials or a built-in Knowledge Database that lets agents use a search feature to find answers to a specific question they may have. Check with your vendor for tech support options. Tech support is important, so if you find that your vendor's options are inadequate, consider switching to a new solution. If you need guidance, many of our product reviews provide available tech support options. If you're simply looking to use a product better, many vendors offer live training webinars. Check your vendor's website for more information, or see our webinar listings here. If a solution is offered by your broker, MLS, or association, there may be training sessions available through them. Check with your organization for details.
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Holiday Deal: Real Estate Tech Support from My Computer Works
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