He has a bit of a rock star following among the real estate technology geeks. And the perfectly coiffed “Astro Boy” hair to prove it.

Chris Smith, the real estate tech guru, rolled into Dallas again this year for Inman News’ Agent Reboot, charmed and enchanted his throngs of followers with a well-synchronized introduction of his tech elite industry friends, leaving the audience with extensive to-do lists and brains whizzing with possibilities.

Long considered to be the on the bleeding edge of real estate technology, it’s no wonder that Chris first came on my radar years ago as the co-founder of Tech Savvy agent. As the current Chief Evangelist for Inman News, Chris has knack for envisioning the future of the real estate industry while most are still relying on direct mail and cold calls to get their business to grow. This instinct makes him a must follow on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+… (the list goes on), and to be in his mere physical presence inspires one to up their online game — yesterday. And the fact that he never sits down is enough to make anyone stockpile 5-hour energy drinks just to keep up.

As a licensed real estate agent, the Agent Reboot is a must-attend. I go each year not to see Chris Smith and friends in the flesh, and not because I hold my license (I don’t practice), but because I view real estate as the canary in the coal mine for my business brokerage — and more importantly it helps me better serve my real estate clients of which I manage their social media and blog activities.

Agent Reboot continues to come as advertised. I dare find anyone who hasn’t left more educated and with better tools to make them a more effective professional. It’s the best $50 spend around –real estate or no.

Agent Reboot is the perfect medicine for any real estate agent who is committed to competing and elevating themselves as a professional in today’s market, but here are some golden take-aways that I believe everyone (not just real estate agents) should know:

  1. Facebook business pages are now timeline-ready. Hold on, hold on, wait a minute. Harness your trigger reaction to dive in and upgrade. Slow down. Strategically think out your timeline, write it out, THEN post it.
  2. We’ve seen the trend towards refining your news stream (think Google Circles, Faceblook Smart Lists, LinkedIn Groups, etc.) but the market is flooding with apps to help you do this. Apps like Zite, Google Current and Flipboard make it mission critical that the content you produce is now follow-worthy and will make the cut to fit into your audience news streams. Remember that saying, “Content is King?” It’s no fad.
  3. Don’t bolt things onto your business. Before loading new apps and programs into your arsenal, they need to align with your marketing plan, your “why.” If you’re going to add it, add it brilliantly.
  4. Apps Astro Boy loves:
    1. Roambi for iPad: With a premium package, you can embed this amazing tool into your website. Roambi is an easy-to-use interactive publishing tool that takes your company reports and information and creates it into an interactive report for your mobile devices. I know a few people that will totally geek out on this one!
    2. WorldLens: Hold your phone up to any words, your camera will read them and translate them for you. I am SO using this on the menu at the next ethnic restaurant I go to!
    3. Text Vision Lite – Save yourself the embarrassment that this woman had by texting and well, walking. You know it could be you…
    4. Snapseed: Amazing photo editing software for your iphone. This will be my downfall at the soccer game this afternoon, I just know it.
  5. Posting your information directly to Facebook gives it better visibility than HootSuite.
  6. When making smart lists (think old school like qualifying leads as A, B, C, etc) on Facebook – make sure they are safe for public consumption. While they are private to you now, you just never know when Facebook will change their interface and poof, now everyone knows you have a list called, “Friends who tell bad jokes” or worse, “People I have to friend but would rather block.”
  7. Use Nimble to bring together all your social media contacts and conversations to more effectively monitor and engage with them.
  8. The first few words in your Google+ profile are the most important. Write them for new readers. Also, the more words, the less “weight” each word receives so be brief and to the point.
  9. Online reviews need to be taken seriously. Make them part of your strategy – NOW. If you think their power is not effective, go to Travel Host.com, search for the “Budget Host Saga Motel.” Seriously, do it. It’s hilarious — because it’s not about you. If this does happen to you AND it’s unwarranted, file a request in the webmaster tools section with the search engine and petition to have it removed.
  10. When making a client testimonial video, ask your movie star a very specific question to answer and you’ll have a more valuable end product. And here’s your bonus tip: YouTube.com/create has a goldmine of tools you can use to edit and even create videos.

Well done Agent ReBoot presenters, well done. I can’t wait to see what you do next year.

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