OMS Upgrades – QR Codes and Leads Management Module Progress

We have some exciting developments to report. Those of you who participated in the Tech Time Tuesday meetings the past two weeks already know about these new tools. For those who have not been able to attend the meetings, here is a recap.

QR Codes

By popular demand, we’ve created a system to generate a QR code for every listing in the OMS. To access a listing’s QR code, open the listing and then click the “Reports” tab. You’ll see the listing’s QR code on the right-hand side. If you want to add the code to your printed brochure, select that option from the drop-down menu. The QR code will direct users to the mobile version of the listing.

You can save the code for use on printed materials by right-clicking on the image and choosing to save it. Some suggestions for use of the QR code are stickers and sign riders. One of our preferred vendors, Oakley Signs & Graphics, can print stickers for use on your existing signs and print the codes directly on new signs.

QR Code
A sample QR code

For more about QR codes, read our previous post on the subject.

Leads Management Module

The first phase of our Leads Management Module is complete. You can see your new web leads in OMS under the new Leads Management tab. Leads are color-coded based on their age. Red means the lead is more than two weeks old. Orange indicates between two weeks and five days, and green is younger than five days. Click on a lead to read the comment and to either delete or assign the lead to an agent. Once you “claim” the lead, it moves from the “New web leads” area to the “Leads” area.

On next week’s call, we’ll preview the next phase. It will allow you to add leads to the “Leads” area and you can sort them into types, such as “buyer,” “seller,” “walk-in” and “call.” Once the leads are converted into buyers or sellers, they will move to the “Contacts” area.

Help-U-Sell® Real Estate To Host Free Technology Demonstrations

Sarasota, Fla. – Help-U-Sell® Real Estate will host free technology demonstrations on June 22 and 23 for real estate professionals who are interested in opening a franchise. These demonstrations will review the company’s industry-leading technology platform, such as national and local broker websites, the back-end Office Management System (OMS) and some of the tools Help-U-Sell has to drive leads to local affiliates.

Help-U-Sell has developed and supports its own technology solutions, eliminating the need to rely on third-party vendors.

Solutions tailored to the needs of the busy real estate professional include:

• A Referrals Module that enables sending and receiving buyer and seller leads to any Help-U-Sell office and tracking the referrals’ progress
• A Listings Module that makes it easy to upload videos, 360˚ virtual tours and documents
• A Sales Module that displays past sales by type and statistics
• A Contact Module that organizes contact information for buyers, sellers and leads

Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the call. Interested attendees can register for the demonstrations using the following links:

June 22 at 8 p.m. EDT: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/194831794
June 23 at 5 p.m. EDT: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/775181346

Created 30 years ago, the Help-U-Sell ® model was the pioneer for providing an alternative to the dated commission structure, something that had gone uncontested for years in a market overrun by a monopoly of traditional brokerage firms. Help-U-Sell ® forged a revolution in the real estate industry by proactively challenging the commission structure, and has continued to perfect its full-service set-fee model today.

For more information on franchise opportunities with Help-U-Sell ® Real Estate, visit www.helpusellfranchise.com or call (888) 619-7776.

Help-U-Sell ® Real Estate is the world’s first set-fee real estate company, with offices in 36 states, and operations in South Africa, and the Philippines. The company has revolutionized the real estate industry by focusing on information and transparency to consumers. Help-U-Sell ® differs from traditional brokers, not in the level of services provided by its licensed brokers throughout the country, but in the dollar amount that the consumer pays for those services.

Help-U-Sell Real Estate Launches in-house Virtual Tour Service

Help-U-Sell's New Virtual Tour Viewer

Help-U-Sell Real Estate continues to be innovative with our new Virtual Tour service. The Virtual Tour service is exclusively available to Help-U-Sell Brokers and Agents. Brokers can access the service via their OMS login. Each listing in the OMS has a Media tab where brokers and agents can upload and manage listing photos, videos and virtual tours. The service is offered at no additional cost to our brokers and agents, and they can do unlimited tours. The tour is a 360 degree view of a room or landscape. Tours can easily be created by taking photos every 30 degrees, then using stitching software available in the OMS to create the panoramic image. This image is then uploaded to the OMS and displayed in the Help-U-Sell Virtual Tour viewer.

January 11, 2011: OMS Upgrade – Approved Vendors Section

We have created an approved vendor section under the Marketing & Content Module. You can now view all the Help-U-Sell Approved Vendors with links to their websites. We will keep this page updated as we sign up new preferred vendors.

This update will be loaded tomorrow morning January 12, 2011.
Other updates include;

  • All new navigation buttons on the listing module.
  • We moved the Transaction History section from the Mandate tab on the listings module to the Reports tab.
  • Renamed the ‘Mandate’ tab to ‘Listing Status’
  • Fixed several 404 pages on broker websites resulted from listings that expired or was removed. The page will no longer show a 404 error page or listing not found page, instead it will redirect to your home page.
  • Updated the CMS: Removed the Style Builder and added several font edit tools directly to the main tool set.
  • Fixed property details error pages from Muscle Shoals MLS feed.
  • Fixed iFrame rendering issues in IE 8.
  • Fixed issue where incomplete listings in OMS displayed on broker website.

Real estate’s QR code ‘fever’

I just read the below article on Inman news and would like to see what you guys think. The technology is not new as the writer mentions in the the article, but seems to be new in the real estate world. You need a smartphone to read the ‘QR code’. The biggest problem i foresee with this technology is explaining it to a buyer everywhere you use it. It could be overseen as just an internal reference bar code by the client. We are working on continuing our development on mobile technology and completing our Help-U-Sell Reality Search application as demonstrated at our Tech Summit this year. This QR code technology could be a nice add on. Let me know what you guys think…

Article from Inman News:

Real estate’s QR code ‘fever’

Despite rising popularity, it’s not mainstream yet

BY TERESA BOARDMAN, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2010.

Inman News

Realtors love QR codes. It is like a fever that is sweeping the country. The QR code — basically a next-generation bar code — was invented in Japan in 1994.

A QR code (QR is short for “quick response”) can be read by camera-equipped smart phones via an app. The codes are handy because it is faster and easier to scan a code into a phone than it is to type a Web address. QR codes have also been called “mobile tagging”.

At the recent NAR convention in New Orleans, QR codes were all the rage. NAR used them on printed materials, and so did some of the vendors. I met Realtors who have them on business cards.

The technology seems to be more widely adapted than it was a few years ago but it isn’t exactly mainstream and I don’t think it will save the housing market.

I had a listing that was a short sale, but even with a QR code on the flyers it went into foreclosure before it sold.

In 2007 I had a QR code on the sidebar of my blog and no one knew what it was. It didn’t get any clicks so eventually I deleted it because I needed the space.

A year ago I wrote a short article about QR codes on my Posterous blog and I asked people if they knew what the funny black square was in the post. None of my readers did.

A couple of weeks ago I put a QR code in a blog post on my real estate blog. People who scanned the code were taken to a Web page that congratulated them for using the QR code and invited them to leave a comment.

The only people who left comments were Realtors who expressed their excitement about the codes and wrote about using them for property marketing because they have QR code fever.

It is easy to generate a QR code and it is free. Give it a try. All you have to do is type in some information, such as a URL, and click to instantly generate the code.

The QR code can be printed on most anything. Hint: Realtors like to print them on any type of marketing like fliers, business cards, and for-sales signs so that they can all be scanned by mobile phones.

QR codes can also contain text messages or phone numbers.

I didn’t set out to explain what a QR code is, but I know from experience that every time I mention QR codes I have to explain what they are.

QR code scanning has not been adapted by the masses in my community. In fact, according to my Google Analytics my websites are most often accessed by PC’s using Internet Explorer and occasionally someone views them with a mobile browser.

My websites were optimized for the mobile browsing revolution three years ago, and each year more people view them with mobile devices.

For generating QR codes, I like to use a service like http://bit.ly/ because I get a short URL so the code has less data in it and is easier to scan and print and I can track the clicks through my bit.ly account.

I use analytics for just about everything because I want to know if my marketing efforts are effective, and reading an article about how effective something is just isn’t enough for me. Hyperbole is often used instead of data, but it isn’t nearly as useful for making business decisions.

Disclaimer: Agents who plan to use QR codes to wow potential sellers should be prepared to spend as much time during the listing presentation explaining what the QR code is and why it is such a great thing as they do explaining why they, themselves, are great.

Real estate search and marketing site Trulia.com, for one, is offering free QR codes for real estate listings.

Judging from the comments on that announcement, agents are excited about having QR codes for listings. When a code is scanned, it will display a listing from the Trulia website.

Personally, I would rather generate my own code for free so that when people scan it they come to my website. Trulia was wise to offer the QR codes while the fever is still sweeping the country.

Vendors and various third-party sites will take advantage of Realtors’ newfound love for QR codes. That is why I decided to explain how to generate one for free.

They are gaining in popularity and it is a good idea to use them where it is appropriate, but at least for now I don’t think the codes are going to give Realtors that killer competitive advantage.

Not all homebuyers have smart phones, and I have worked with several homebuyers who use Android-based devices or iPhones but have no interest in using QR codes as a tool in their home search.

Some still prefer viewing the Internet on a nice big screen at home instead of on a little phone screen while parked in front of a for-sale home.