REsearch 4.1 Is Being Retired

I hope everyone’s week is going well so far!  Starting Monday, June 1st, we will be retiring REsearch version 4.1 and switching over completely to version 4.2.  We know that getting used to something new takes time, so here are a few resources and tools you can use to help make the transition easier.

  • Go to our Bulletin Blogto see the schedule for online classes being offered on all of REsearch’s features and functions.
  • Use the help feature within REsearch to get your questions answered – a number of topics have tutorial videos that explore the features and functions in more detail.
  • Call 808-599-4224 (on Oahu) or 1-800-628-3121 (toll free) to talk directly with our customer service team.
     

Have a great rest of your week, and, as always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me at erin@alohaliving.com or call directly at (808) 748-8759.

Vacation Blogging

Hawaii is one of the world’s most renowned vacation destinations. But it is not uncommon for people to visit and then decide they never want to leave.  Capture this market by catering to the desires and needs of tourists, recognizing that they may make long-term plans to purchase a home or second home in the islands.

The range of visitor-friendly topics is endless.  You can focus on things people can do while they’re visiting Hawaii, including:

·        Where to stay and where to eat.

·        Things to do and notable local events.

·        Profiles of local businesses and tips on where to shop.

·        Popular recreation spots, including parks and beaches.

Meanwhile, you can also begin to build a library of useful articles for people who are seriously considering a move to Hawaii. Topics could include:

·        An overview of the local job market, with specifics on salaries and benefits.

·        Profiles of local schools and other educational options for families.

·        Profiles of specific neighborhoods and projects.

·        An introduction to local sports teams, leagues, and athletic clubs.

·        Features on various religious and spiritual groups and services.

Even though you’re not a tourist, you can probably generate tons of great content simply through your own interisland travels.  “Play tourist,” and take lots of photos and blog about your own personal adventures.  Visitors often come to Hawaii and travel to more than one island during their stay, and they will greatly appreciate the tips and information.

In fact, you probably have already written posts along these lines.  Just remember to create special categories for entries that might be relevant to visitors so that they can find and browse through them easily.

Happy blogging!

June Online Training Schedule

Below is the schedule for the June online training classes.  After you have participated please make sure to fill out the survey or e-mail me your feedback so we can continue to improve upon our training efforts!  Mahalo.

June 1st – 6th, 2009

June 7th – 13th, 2009

June 14th – 20th, 2009

June 24th – 30th, 2009

Instructions on how to register for the above webinars: 

  • To register, please click onto the applicable link located below the class.  The link will then take you to the registration site.
  • Please complete all the required fields marked by a red asterisks (First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Phone, Organization AKA Office Name). 
  • Click “Register Now” to complete the registration process.  Once registered a confirmation email will be sent to your email address to confirm your registration along with a unique web ID number and instructions on how to login to the session on that day. 
  • If you need login assistance, please feel free to contact our Customer/Technical Support team at (800) 628-3121, press # and then 457.
     

System Requirements

  • PC-based attendees – Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista
  • Macintosh®-based attendees – Required: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer
     
     
    Questions? Comments?  Please feel free to e-mail me at erin@alohaliving.com or call directly at (808) 748-8759.

Leads: Quality over Quantity

You might think that the longer your list of contacts, the better. Not necessarily.  As you well know, keeping up with everyone in your database takes time, and for this reason you should make sure that the people with whom you’re maintaining a relationship with are quality leads.  Here are a few ways to keep your list clean and up to date, and to keep your contacts engaged.

  • Target your market.  Each group has different needs, and “one-size-fits-all” messaging can drive people away. Make sure to organize your contact list, taking into consideration the kinds of information people are looking for, and then market in a focused way to the various groups you’ve identified.
  • Be current. Make sure the content of your communication pieces is timely, relevant and versatile. You can “freshen up” an older piece of news by referencing a current event, or framing the message as a review or refresher.
  • Stick to what you know.  Don’t send out statistics or write about a market or area about which you are not prepared to answer questions.  Focus on what you know best to maintain the position as the expert in those areas.
  • Include a call to action.  Whether you are posing a question you want them to answer, or reminding them that referrals drive your business and are greatly appreciated, you should always invite your target audience to participate in some way.
  • Always include the option for a person to “Opt Out” of receiving your messages.  It may seem harsh, but if they don’t want to receive information from you, you don’t want them on your list.  You’ll make them happy, and more importantly, you won’t waste your time and resources on people who are never going to turn into a ripe lead.

Blog Topic : The Closing Process

Most people know that when the sale of a home “closes,” that means that the transaction is complete, and the title of the home is transferred from the seller to the buyer.  Beyond that, however, most people — even those who have gone through it — truly understand the entire process.

Use your blog to explain, in detail and in your own words, the whole closing procedure. You can cover everything including the timeline, fees, and parties involved (i.e. title company, escrow etc.).  Remember to describe it from both the buyer’s and seller’s perspectives, and don’t hesitate to add your own advice or tips on how to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

For future blog posts, look beyond the closing process to other sometimes complex steps in the home-buying experience. As a Realtor, you know better than anyone that the process of buying or selling a home is full of details and steps that most everyday consumers aren’t aware of.

Consider writing a series of posts that shine some light on the more mysterious parts of the real estate transaction. You will impress consumers with your in-depth knowledge, but more importantly, you’ll find that educating people prior to doing business with them makes the process that much easier when its time to help them buy or sell.

Blog Topic: Reporting Back

Have you recently had your home painted, replaced your solar water heater, bought a new fridge, had your carpets cleaned, or done anything else to your home?  While this is may just be general maintenance to you, they are great occasions for a blog post as well!  Whether your experience was a good or a bad one, these are definitely the types of things worth blogging about.

Positive Experiences:  If you are like me, you are always looking for great referrals from the people you trust – and what better person to get home tips from than your trusted realtor?  Not only will your family, friends and clients appreciate the inside information, so will the people and businesses you are referring them to.  Just make sure to include contact information/details so that your readers can truly benefit from your insight.  Also, when you post the entry to your blog, don’t hesitate to forward the link along to whoever it is you wrote about – people always love to hear positive feedback, and who knows, maybe they will be a new source of referrals to you sometime in the future!

Negative Experiences:  Let’s face it, not everything in life turns out just as we would have hopped.  While no one wants to fill their blog (or their lives for that matter) with negative thoughts and feelings, it is just as important to share the not so great experiences you’ve had as well.  As is the case with any negative confrontation (direct or indirect) it is important to be tactful, non-emotional, and stick to the facts.  This will allow you to get your point across without it reflecting poorly on you.  Lastly, try not to end on a negative note – offer a solution or a suggestion as to how your readers can avoid/address the issue in their own homes in the future.

Either way it goes, know that your readers will greatly appreciate the tips, tricks and suggestions you have to offer.  Happy blogging!

New Online Training FAQ’s

We are happy to see/hear that the new online training classes are popular and effective with many of our users.  But, as with anything new, there is always a learning curve.  Here are answers to the FAQ’s we’ve been asked regarding the new online training.  Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our customer service department via e-mail at CustSvc_Technical_assistance@hawaiiinformation.com or by phone at (808) 599-4224 (Oahu) or Toll Free at (800) 628-312.  Also, after taking the new classes please share your feedback about your experience so we can continue to improve our training program!

  • Q:  Can I take any of the classes or just those being taught on my island/area?
  • A:  Because they are online, you can participate in any class being offered, however be aware that the trainers usually use area specific examples depending on where they are located.
  • Q: Which classes cover the Condo Guide?
  • A: The Condo Guide is covered in the Searching and Formatting classes.
  • Q:  Can I take the class from any computer, even if I am traveling?
  • A:  Yes, the online classes can be taken from any computer so long as you have registered, have the link and/or webinar # sent to you after you register, and have access to the internet. 

  • Q:  Do you need a video camera/microphone on your computer to participate?
  • A:  You will need a microphone if you want to speak to the teacher, otherwise you can type your questions.  In order to listen to the class you will need either speakers or headphones that plug into your computer, or you may use the telephone after joining the webinar (you will receive instructions on how to do this after signing up).  There is no need for a video camera.
  • Q:  Is there a course description detailing what the classes are about?
  • A:  Yes, under the Training tab on the REsearch website you will find a link below the log-in area that says “View Class Curriculum” where you can go to see a detailed description of what is covered in each class.  Here is the link to the Training page: http://www.hiinfo.net/REsearch/IDX/mlsHawaii/Training.asp