Florida Realtor April 2013 : Page 24

reaching global buyers and investors Be there Without Being there Online tools and apps that allow you to connect with global buyers from anywhere. By Doug Devitre formation and text it to the buyer. Another benefit is if you have templates or PowerPoint slides about, for example, how to get a visa, you can integrate your notes into the conversation to be more di-agnostic rather than prescriptive. Circle what you’re talking about and draw arrows to points you want to emphasize. Skype — This free app allows you to make Internet phone calls to other Skype users for free. Need more servic-es? Skype has a paid service as well. You can choose to call from a mobile device, smartphone, tablet or your computer, with or without video. What to use it for: Be there without being there with Skype. Use the video feature to interview prospective custom-ers, share files and screens, and more. Using Skype video allows you to have a more personal conversation than a sim-ple voice call with an out-of-town buyer or investor. 3. Working with buyers in other countries is get-ting easier and easier with the advent of technology tools that allow you to remotely connect with out-of-the-area customers. Here are some that Devitre recommends: Czech Republic, Germany, Canada and Brazil. So, what should you post? Devitre sug-gests you focus less on the services you offer and more on the information global buyers want most, such as a primer on how real estate sales work in the United States, information about local commu-nities and the amenities they offer, and answers to frequently asked questions about the process. Address those issues through posts, videos, feedback (on other people’s posts) and other interactions. Here are some social media sites that can enhance your international pres-ence online: ActiveRain.com Craigslist.com Facebook.com LinkedIn.com Twitter.com YouTube.com Instagram.com Flickr.com Vimeo.com 1. iPhone and Android allows you to chat with prospective global buyers and investors, share your screen and send files for quick meetings. What to use it for: Use it to share your screen with buyers and investors. Demonstrate how to use a website, help buyers fill out forms and walk them through a contract or offer. Join.me — This free app for iPad, 9 Global social Media sites Social media allows you to get information to prospective buyers and investors quickly and easily. doceri — This free, profession-al iPad interactive whiteboard screencast recorder offers sophisticat-ed tools for hand-drawn graphics and built-in remote desktop control. What to use it for: Use a stylus to mark up listing photos and highlight information important to your custom-ers. This iPad app allows you to mirror what’s on your iPad. So, if you’re re-viewing a contract or an agreement, you can highlight areas you need to explain. If you have the listing pulled up on your iPad you can get into “draw mode” and take notes on the screen. Save this information into a file that you can email to the buyer or investor later. Or, take a screen shot of the in-2. Social media makes it much easier to reach global buyers and inves-tors. But, cautions Doug Devitre, president of technology and social media consultancy Doug Devitre International Inc. in St. Louis, you should consider it an adjunct to your existing strategy. After all, he explains, there’s only so much you can accomplish in person and by phone. “Social media helps you le-verage your time and communicate with a larger group of people,” he says. That can be particularly use-ful for the international agent who doesn’t have the time or resources to regularly visit countries like the GrEAT IdEA Tech guru Doug Devitre points to YouTube as one of the best starting sites for those looking to increase their global reach. “International buyers naturally look to Florida as a target, but they don’t know what cities, attractions or amenities they want to be closest to,” he says. “Create educational videos highlighting a region’s top amenities, for example, and post them on YouTube to reach potential buyers.” 24 FLORIDA REALTOR April 2013

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