Zoccam Phone

Let’s say you’re in hot pursuit of a home that has multiple offers and you want to get your earnest money in and get the home locked down quick. It’s a total pain in the posterior for some agents when they have to race across town to the title company to get that check in the right hands. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just deposit the check using the camera on your smartphone? I mean, you’re carrying it around everywhere anyway. You can’t live without that thing!

Well, ZOCCAM will change all that. The new smartphone app, which just went live in Texas today, will allow licensed agents to send earnest money with ease, and without having to drive anywhere. The app, which uses Jack Henry & Associates to securely process checks, is available to licensed Texas real estate agents for $9.99 a month or for $100 a year.

“We are revolutionizing the way real estate transactions are conducted,” said Ashley Cook, a Dallas real estate attorney and founder of ZOCCAM. “We are improving the agent’s ability to attract and service clients by enabling faster sales cycles. Instead of driving checks to the title company, the agent can spend more time putting deals together. Not only does it minimize their liability, it gives them more time which is something you cannot buy.”

Yes, this is like BUYING YOU TIME! Who wants to spend more time in the car when they could just use their smartphone to get things done? Really, who doesn’t like that? This thing is going to be huuuuuge! Jump for more!

(more…)

Find Beverly

I just got off the phone with Dallas Police Department’s North Central Patrol Division Neighborhood Police Officer Mark Lutz, who will be giving us more detailed tips in the coming days on how Realtors can better protect themselves from dangerous criminals, so stay tuned.

Until then, real estate agents can take some comfort in the news that Arkansas officials have apprehended Arron M. Lewis, a convicted felon and parolee accused of kidnapping Little Rock real estate agent Beverly Carter while showing a vacant property. Lewis escaped from an area hospital after a single-car accident just 30 minutes from the bank-owned home Carter was showing when she disappeared. Yesterday, after his escape from the hospital, a judge issued a warrant for his arrest. A Facebook page has been started to help disseminate information regarding Carter’s disappearance.

Of course, this has some Realtors wondering how to best keep this from happening to them. Lutz suggests that a third-party background check would be helpful to screen out potentially risky clients, such as SecureShow. Otherwise, staying aware of dangerous situations is key, Lutz said, as well as calling 911 the moment you suspect something is up.

Inman News says that some agents are calling this incident a “wake-up call” for Realtors. What do you think?

Lydia 2013

A perennial top-performing agent, Lydia Player offers her wisdom on real estate marketing

As an occasional feature, we’ve asked several high-performing agents about their marketing strategies. We wanted to know what does and doesn’t work for real estate agents in a variety of situations. This time we’re focusing on getting ready for the off-season. We asked star Ebby Halliday Luxury Portfolio agent Lydia Player: “What are the best actions and biggest mistakes agents make when marketing themselves.

Look for her answer after the jump:

(more…)

Robbie-Briggs

Giveback Homes member Robbie Briggs (center), president and CEO of Dallas-based brokerage Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, at Giveback Homes “build day” in Dallas. 

You remember our very own Blake Andrews, yes? The founder of Giveback Homes, a real estate charitable concept that gives pros a channel to donate funds to help build homes for those in need in desperate, needy parts of the world. 

On his first mission trip to Nicaragua in 2011, Blake was more than moved by how the people of Nicaragua lived and where they lived — in homes you could not even call shacks. Back home in Dallas, his friends were buying homes with Viking ranges while to these folks, even a rusted-out stove was a dream. Most were living under scraps of wood and metal, or tarps. Blake was transformed. In his work for TOMS, he got these people shoes for the feet.

Now, he is working to get roofs over their heads. (more…)

Alleged Thief Stan "Dan" Tucker also goes by Tim Allen.

Alleged Thief Stan “Dan” Tucker also goes by Tim Allen.

We sounded the alarm about Stan “Dan” Tucker, a middle-aged man who is targeting open houses and owner-marketed properties. He comes in and heads straight for the medicine cabinet, stealing prescription medication while touring homes. Realtor Lydia Player tipped us off that this guy has been all over North Texas and Oklahoma, touring homes and snatching things from people’s bathrooms and bedrooms.

“His mode of operation is to pose as a potential home buyer. He claims to be looking for a property for his son, or himself or something like that. Currently it looks like he is targeting homes that are for sale by owner. Security is a major issue when selling a home without an agent and he is proof. Letting a stranger in your home is risky business for a homeowner.

Based on the calls and emails I’ve gotten, he has robbed homes from Waco to Stillwater, Oklahoma. This slippery snake is good at what he does and seems to always avoid getting caught in the act. Yesterday, I got a call from a homeowner in Lake Highlands where he did his usual routine.”

But who is this guy? And why is he stealing?

(more…)

rsz_budgaynelledave-e1408141377179

The big real estate news in town is that Dave Perry Miller, the high end luxury boutique firm with those regal blue and gold signs all over town, has a new manager of the Preston Center office. Her name is Gaynelle Henger, and she’s replacing Bud Bush at Dave Perry-Miller’s outpost in Preston Hollow, as he is moving to Ebby’s corporate office to analyze finances for DPM.

Bush has worked with Dave Perry-Miller for almost eight years, when Dave Perry-Miller sold the luxury boutique firm he built from the ground up to Ebby Halliday. Gaynelle comes to the table as a top producing agent at Ebby Halliday. But of course there was much more to the story than meets the eye, as Dave delighted in telling his office. (more…)

NTREIS Matrix

A reader writes:

“I would like hear feedback from your readers on the new Matrix MLS that MetroTex Association of REALTORS put out this week. It has a lot of frills is harder to use and ultimately has nothing new. The learning curve just like the last 3 or 4 MLS system changes only slowed me down and cut in to my production. Someone once said ‘If it aint broke don’t fix it.’”

We’re interested in hearing more perspectives of the new Matrix interface from Realtors and brokers, too. Sound off in the comments!

images

I came across a terrific post this morning by the wise and vigilant Lydia Player and thought I would share in the hopes that it may save someone, anyone from being a victim of crime.

Though I am super cheap and an attorney, even I used a Realtor to sell our condo because I knew there was a lot I do not know and needed an expert to handle. Having an open house and inviting a criminal into my home did not even occur to me.

(more…)