Emailing Real Estate Listings


THE LEADERS POST - Issue #7 - January 14, 1999

from Results-net.com
By: Doug Toews, Editor

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About the Leaders Post
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The Leaders Post is the newsletter for real estate
professionals committed to Net Success - from Results-net.com, an
online community of real estate professionals dedicated to providing
excellent service to their clients. If you prefer the online version,
the current issue as well as previous issues can be viewed by clicking
Internet Marketing Tips For Real Estate Agents

You may pass this newsletter on to others, as long as it is sent
in it's entirety.

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Contents
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- How to email property listings
- More on Page Mail
- Agents Online enhancements
- New Y2K Forum
- Instant Survey results
- Contest winner
- New virus alert
- Tip Of The Day

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Net Success
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You may have noticed by now that, in these newsletters, there is
always a lot of emphasis on communication using the internet. The
internet was originally conceived as a communication medium and
remains so today. Despite the proliferation of ads, the net is not an
advertising medium, and if you think of your web site primarily as an
advertisement you will probably not reap much in the way of rewards
for your efforts.

The most often thought of way of using the internet to communicate is
email. One of the most productive things you can do is respond to
your visitors' email promptly, and include the information they are
seeking in you response. That includes emailing property listings!

Most modern MLS systems now have mechanisms built in to allow agents
to email property listings to their clients. These systems will
convert property listings with photos into a format that can be
easily emailed and read by the receiver without any special
"plug-ins" or viewers - other than a web browser. The most usual
format is HTML - which is the language used to construct web pages.
Using HTML to email your listings allows anyone with a web browser
(like Netscape or Internet Explorer) to view, print, and save the
listings you send them.

If your MLS system does not provide a way for you to easily email
listings, here is the method I used before the MLS system I use was
updated.

It works great when your MLS system will not allow you to get both
the listing and the picture out together in a format that can be e
mailed. The whole process takes about 10 - 15 minutes tops once you
get the hang of it.

It involves adding one more step to the process used to e mail text
listings. It is better than sending text listings and then adding the
pictures to the attachment and having the client try to match the
two up. This method puts the pictures with the actual listings with
minimal effort.

The first step is to do the search on the MLS system, and save the
resulting listings to a text file. Usually your MLS system - or the
program you use to access it, has a menu which gives you the option
of saving the information to a file instead of printing it. This file
is usually called "capture.txt", but can be called something else
with a ".cap" of ".log" extension as well. You may have to read your
help menu to determine what yours is called and how to save the
listings to there. Once you have the info saved to that file, you can
find it in your File Manager or Windows Explorer, and it is ready
attach it to an e mail message - or if you want to send color
pictures with the listings, ready for step two!

Before exiting the MLS system, you have to get the pictures out for
the listings you want to send. Most systems will allow you to
download the pictures - that works too, but can be cumbersome. What
works well is to copy the individual pictures to the clipboard
(making  note which picture goes with which listing)  - I use a
fantastic program called Clipmate (http://www.thornsoft.com/ )to
automate the process and store the pictures until I am ready for
them.

Next step is to start up your Front Page Express (or Frontpad -
depending on version) program that is included with Microsoft
Internet Explorer 4.0 - available free for the download if you don't
have it. This is a web page editing program that will quickly convert
that text file into a web page that can be viewed in the receivers'
mail program or web browser. **The web page editor that comes with
Netscape 4.0 - will not do this - you need the one with Explorer
4.0!**

Front Page Express will allow you to open the text file (the one you
captured or downloaded the listings to) in the editing program. It
gives you several options when opening - on how you want the file to
be converted -choose "convert text to formatted paragraphs".

You now have all those listings on a web page! It took about 2
seconds! You can paste the pictures from your Clipmate program by
each listing (I paste mine at the beginning of each listing). If you
want to "jazz" up the page a bit, you can change the background
col our, text col ours, add titles - whatever your creativity dictates
- although it is fine as is. Then save the page - the program saves
the page with the extension ".htm" and saves the pictures with the
extension ".gif" - remember where you save them to!

You can now attach the .htm file and the .gif files to your e mail
response. When the receiver gets it, he just has to double click on
the .htm file to view the listings and pictures together - just as
you formatted the web page. The worst case scenario is that the
receiver has an ancient mail program which will receive all the
attached .gifs as separate attachments. In this case they will have to move all the files into the
same directory if they want to see the pictures with the listings.
Anyone using such a program will most likely already know how to do
this. In any event - they can always view the listings and photos
separately and match them up - as before.

Sending listings this way may give you a competitive advantage, and
give prospects a good reason for deciding to work with you. If you
have questions or run into trouble - leave a message at the Agents
Online Real Estate Forums
.

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Last issue included some experiences with Page Mail. George Farkas
from St. Paul, Minnesota passed along these comments.

"Regarding the pager for e-mail,  I think the volume of my messages
would negate it's usefulness. I average 20-30 a day since I have
several banks I market foreclosures for that are hooked up
electronically and we are gravitating more and more away from voice
to e-mail for updates on the various properties I market for them. If
I had a pager hooked to this it would be going off almost constantly
during the day.  I am an 'unlimited' account with my ISP and so
because of that I am on line almost all day and since Explorer checks
automatically for mail for me every 3 or 5 minutes, I can usually
stay on top of things."

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What works for you? Your suggestions and submissions are gratefully
accepted, and if used you will receive credit along with a link to
your web site or (e mail address if you don't have a web site yet.)
Send submissions to - suggestions may
also be left at the Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center in the
Newsletter Suggestions Forum. http://www.agentsonline.net

One of the most popular forums there is the Real Estate Investing forum. There are
always lots of interesting and informative discussions going on with a minimum
of spam and solicitations to wade through - check it out!

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Happenings At Results-net.com
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There have been some changes at the Agents Online Real Estate Idea
Center http://www.agentsonline.net!

To help increase agent exposure, on every page here is now a drop
down menu of links to sections of the Results-net Real Estate
Directories! Another feature also helps promote the agents - members
of the Idea Center can now store their "signature" to be
automatically added to their postings. Your signature can include
your service areas as well as all the various ways to contact you.

The coming of the year 2000 promises to be an interesting time! The
new Y2K Forum at the Agents Online Real Estate Center is the place to
discuss concerns, comments, ideas, bug fixes etc.

There are more changes coming up in the next month or so - so stay
tuned! The software that powers the Idea Center has been adopted by
over 36,000 sites in the past 11 months, including some major sites
like Warner Brothers Studios and the Baltimore Sun. The Agents Online
Real Estate Idea Center is a great resource for both agents and the
general public. If you want to increase your exposure, why not become
a moderator for one of the forums? No experience necessary, you get
to do some neat stuff, and your name is prominently displayed. You
will rapidly become thought of as an expert in your field!



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This And That
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The current Instant Survey on Results-net.com asks the question
"REALTORS, what activity is your first priority to help increase your
business in the coming year?" The results so far are surprising! Very
few agents are planning on increasing advertising, while increasing
networking and new web sites rate the highest!

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Contest!

This week's lucky winner is Kelly Ayers, Bangor ME
who wins a photo listing in the Real Estate
Directory at Results-net.com! http://www.results-net.com

For the next while, we will be choosing one posting a week from the
Idea Center, and awarding the lucky participant with a FREE 6 month
enhanced listing (which includes the agent's photo) in the Real
Estate Directories! The lucky participants will also be mentioned
with a link back to their web sites in this newsletter which goes out
to several hundred real estate professionals. Membership in the
Agents Online Real Estate Idea Center is free, so discover this great
networking resource today at http://www.agentsonline.net/.

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A new virus that affects AOL users made an appearance just before
Christmas. If you use AOL and you receive an attachment in e-mail
called "picture.exe," don't open it.

If you do, this Trojan horse drops two more programs called note.exe
and manager.exe which will search through your internet cache
directory and, if you have one, the directory that holds your
America Online username and password. It then encrypts that
information, tries to establish an Internet connection, and sends it
all to an e-mail address in China.

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Tip Of The Day
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To get something done, a committee should consist of no more than
three men, two of them absent. - Unknown


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their clients.

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