Green. Gold. Sold.

12 Go-To Apps for Real Estate Professionals
July 27, 2012

Below are the 12 apps that Jeff Lobb recommends. Realtor.com - This is the go-to search app if you don’t have your own branded app, useful for both consumers and agents. Its mapping features are awesome and you can “draw” a circle around your desired neighborhood to find all the homes for sale within it. The app has competitor information so make sure that you utilize the “Send to Agent Feature.” Once its activated, all your clients home inquiries go directly to you. Evernote - This app is the external brain for every busy professional. Checklists, photos, audio, shareable notebooks, document importing, and its cross-platform synching make managing your business a snap. OpenHome Pro – This is an iPad only app. It has an incredible feature set for doing consumer open houses, broker opens and marketing homes to open house guests - and guests love completing mini surveys and registering on an iPad. It’s great for getting contact information. iAnnotate – This is my favorite PDF app - take notes, sign contracts, highlight and take notes. Pixeet 360 Tours - Free iPhone app but a lens kit is needed, which can be purchased at www.pixeet.com - create easy and free interactive 360 tours with built in Google maps and augmented reality. It’s gorgeous when played on an iPad. The Android app is coming soon. BombBomb - Templated Video Emails with great tracking capabilities. This app is an extension of Bombbomb.com - amazing customer service. Homesnap - Take a photo with your iPhone and instantly get public data, approximate value and info about any house with this free app. This app is an absolute game changer. Zillow - Your clients are using this one and so should you. It includes prior sold information, mapping and agent information. Flipboard - This is one of the favorites for busy people. You set up your account with all the social media streams and blogs that interest you and flipboard brings it all into a beautiful magazine format so you get all your info in ONE place. CamScanner - Need to scan something on the road? Use this app to do it. Instantly turns the photo into an emailable pdf document - very useful and accurate. Trulia Apps - Trulia is available for Droid & iPhone - but as of right now, Trulia Rentals and Trulia Agent are iPhone only. Trulia’s app suite is part of the arsenal. Trulia’s consumer app is a handy search tool with geo-locating features. It’s excellent with rentals - it geo-locates all rentals in a particular location with pricing and listing info - and allows agents to access their Trulia Profiles and Lead Center for free from whereever they are. Never miss a free lead again. Instagram - Photo-sharing at its best - with a basic photo editing feature set - this app instantly uploads to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, 4Square and several other social networks. Pick your top 5 and see the difference they make in your business!

How to Save on Power Bills this Summer
July 6, 2012

As we move into the dog days of summer, Georgia Power offers some helpful tips to stay cool and save on energy bills. Keeping Cool During the summer, the air conditioner is usually the biggest user of electricity. For many homes, it accounts for more than half of the summer electric bill.
  • Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher and leave it there. For every degree below that setting, you'll use 3 percent to 4 percent more electricity.
  • Set the thermostat even higher when at work or away from home for long periods of time, but no more than five degrees higher.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts your home's temperature to your schedule so you're comfortable when at home and save energy while away.
  • Change or clean your air conditioner filter regularly to maximize the unit's cooling potential. Dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency.
  • Check your windows and doors for a tight fit. Apply weather stripping or caulking if needed.
  • Use fans whenever possible. Ceiling fans can make the air in a room feel 6 degrees cooler and allow you to save energy. However, remember to turn them off when you're not in the room.
Proper Insulation
  • Increasing attic insulation can reduce heat loss/heat gain by up to 28 percent.
  • Insulation is measured in R-value, which is a measure of resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation value.
  • Experts recommend you use an R-value of R-30 or higher, depending on local energy codes, in ceiling areas.
In the Kitchen
  • Try to use the range instead of the oven. Or better yet, turn on the microwave or use a pressure cooker. Both use less power than a standard electric range.
  • Whenever possible, cook a lot of meals at the same time. This uses less energy than cooking each meal separately.
Using the Refrigerator
  • Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Check them by closing a piece of paper in the door, half in and half out. If you can pull the paper out easily, you may need to make some adjustments or replace the seal.
  • Set the refrigerator thermostat between 35 and 38 degrees, and your freezer at zero degrees.
Clothes Washer/Dishwasher
  • Turn down your water-heater thermostat. A setting of 120 degrees is adequate for most homes and will save money and energy.
  • When using the dishwasher, turn off the drying cycle if you don't need the dishes right away.
  • Run the dishwasher, dryer and stove in the morning or after the sun goes down to avoid adding heat to your house during the hottest part of the day.
  • Wait until the dishwasher is full before running it. Partial loads use just as much water and power as a full load.
  • Dry clothes in consecutive loads so the dryer does not have to reheat every time. Always clean the lint filter after each load.