Categories
Video

Recommended Apps, Gadgets, and Gizmos to Achieve Easy Filming for Real Estate Agents on the Go

Between listing appointments and managing expectations for buyers and sellers, you manage to carve out some time to film yourself to promote your Real Estate business. Maybe you have tried to prop up your phone on the counter, use a webcam, or the cell phone holder in your car. The lighting is wonky but you give it the good ol’ college try. After pressing the terrifying red ‘Record’ button, you ramble and “um, ah” your way through the first take. Text messages are flying in while you record.

“Oh, I’ve got to take this call,” you say to yourself, “I’ve been waiting to hear from the home inspector.” It’s not good news. And how can you turn the cheer back on to resume recording your second take?! Uy vey! Calgon, take me away!

As you ease into recording videos of yourself for YouTube, social media, updates for your clients, etc., here are some helpful apps, gadgets, and gizmos that will make filming a part of your ongoing efforts for your business.

Apps

Teleprompter for Video

This app is free as long as you can keep your script under 750 characters. That’s about 1 minute with of video which is great for short explainer videos. You can also split up your script into 2 or more segments (videos) and splice them together under some B-roll. It’s easy to adjust the speed of the script and size of the font to make it super easy to record while looking directly at the camera.

iMovie

iMovie is great for editing content on the go. Whether you film horizontal or vertical, it is possible to edit in iMovie and export your content to Photos to distribute your video.

Photos

Once a movie has been exported to Photos, you can share your content directly from your Photos to social media platforms and YouTube. If the video needs to be cropped to the vertical format, this is possible to do in Photos.

Regarding distribution, I find it is best and easiest to distribute natively on each platform. The manner in which to upload content is different on each app and varies over time as apps update on a regular basis.

Gadgets & Gizmos

iPhone

The iPhone is the absolute most handy gadget to film, edit, and distribute content online. The camera quality is amazing and the editing app, iMovie, comes included with the phone. Also, social media platforms are free to join and it’s free to distribute your content. With just a few more gizmos, it’s possible to maximize all you can do with your iPhone.

Tripod & Cell Phone Adapter/Holder

A tripod and cell phone adapter (holder) are a worthwhile investment to steady your phone instead of propping it up on a stack of books against a potted plant. Here’s the setup that I use:

Davis & Sanford EXPLORERV Vista Explorer 60” Tripod with Tripod Bag

I love this tripod so much that I’ve got three of them! The cool part is that it is inexpensive, collapses to travel well, and has a removed plate for attachments. This makes it really easy to attach the cell phone adapter (holder) to the tripod. Here is my affiliate link to the tripod: https://amzn.to/3daSodf

Vastar Smartphone Tripod Adapter Cell Phone Holder Mount Adapter

This cell phone holder is great because it is easy to attach to the tripod, it can fit virtually any size of phone, and it easily switches from horizontal to vertical format. Click here for my affiliate link to the cell phone holder.

Gimbal

DJI OM 5 Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer

I am so impressed with the ease of use of the DJI OM 5 Gimbal – it could be love!!! There are so many features about this gimbal that I love as opposed to the Hohem Gimbal that I originally purchased. Stay tuned for a comparison video to go over the features that I love the best. Click here from my affiliate link to the DJI OM 5 Gimbal.

Have you tried using any of the above to make a video for real estate? I would love to hear about your video victories! If you have any questions, please share in the comments below. Happy filming!

Categories
Announcement

3 Steps to Transition to a Productive Season of Completion

In this modern age, we have so many tools and gadgets to simplify our lives. And yet, many of us feel more busy and more behind than ever. How can this be possible with the technology and knowledge base that we have? I’ll be exploring thoughts like these on posts that focus on “A Moment of Serenity.”

There a quite a few things that get in the way of completing our tasks and projects. Interruptions come in all forms – people, meetings, bills, taxes, moving, errands – the list goes on! Time is precious commodity and it’s time to guard your waking hours to get things done.

Here are a few thoughts regarding launching your Season of Completion!

1. Don’t start anything new!

If you have quite a few projects that need your attention, then put all of your great new ideas on hold. As we get older, we realize more and more that it is much easier to start something than to complete something or release responsibility. Also, it’s okay to say “No” to the next person who asks you to help you with something. Learn how to assert your needs to your friends and family, “I would love to help you, but I’m trying to focus on completing some tasks that have been on my plate for a while now.”

Keep in mind your season of life as well. If you have a bunch of young kids to raise, now is not the time to volunteer all over the community. If you have been having a lot of health problems, it’s okay to say “No” until you get better.

2. Insert some humor.

Studies show that if you insert some humor into your day that it will increase motivation and productivity. If you haven’t had a good laugh in a while, then it is high time that you tickle your funny bone! Humor will direct your thoughts into a more positive and creative view point.

Read some funnies from Facebook or Pinterest, but don’t get stuck there. Get enough humor to get inspired to go to step 3.

3. Make a realistic plan for completing your project.

Long before Mary Poppins said it, Aristotle asserted, “Well begun is half done.” Although partial completion is fantastic, we need to take moment to breakdown your larger task and/or project in to smaller steps so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming.

Well begun is half done.
~Aristotle

Do you know how mountain climbers climb Mt. Everest? One step at a time. But before, they take their first step, all their weather gear, food, water, and tools are accounted for and assembled to last over the long climb up and down. In other words, the entire plan is laid out before the first step is taken…and then when the plan is implemented, each climber takes one step at a time. Sometimes the steps are long, some are short. Some are joyful, some are painful. And sometimes the focus becomes so narrow that literally the only thing on a climber’s mind is the NEXT step.

Implement the technology that works best for you. Perhaps you think best with pen and paper. That’s great! Draw out your battle plan! Some love to use 3×5 index cards or a white board. If you like to integrate technology in your planning, then I recommend the Evernote app. It’s available on Mac, PC, iPhone, and Android. It’s a great system because you can create projects and connect with others who are helping you complete those projects. It works seamlessly across multiple platforms so you’ll always  have access to your tasks. I’ve been a member of Evernote since 2010 and I have so many things saved there including project ideas.

So to sum it all up, stop, drop, and roll. No, no, no. Stop, LAUGH, and roll with a well-prepared plan and you will be well on your way to having “A Moment of Serenity.”

How about you? What is your secret to getting your tasks done? I’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay
Categories
Life Technology

7 Steps to Serenity in Your Schedule

As we embark on our quest for serenity, we need to examine our time schedule. One of the most insidious thieves to serenity is an overbooked schedule. It’s time to examine our commitments and categorize what is vital, important, and optional. Below is a cursory overview of schedule management. We will delve into more detail in subsequent blog posts. Here are 7 easy steps to serenity in your schedule.

We must first acknowledge 4 areas that lead to over-commitment.

1. Technology

With more labor-saving devices in our lives, we have been able to free up time in our schedule. Can’t complain with that! I love the convenience of my dishwasher and washing machine. The problem lies in how we start to fill up that free time. With some people, the 6 hours that they save with technology is spent searching online for 8 hours looking at photos of cats with no productive output in the end.

2. The Desire to Get Ahead

Competition has increased to a frenzied level in all areas of society. We want to be out in the front. We want our kids to be the best. Somehow we must temper our desire to be a front-runner (which isn’t necessarily bad) with a realistic view of whether or not that is really important or necessary. Is it worth what we are sacrificing in order to be in front?

3. Emotional Solace

Our emotions can cause us to fill the void inside with more activity outside. Maybe you enjoy feeling needed. Or perhaps you are struggling with loneliness. Volunteerism is at an all-time high, and yet many volunteers are experiencing burn-out or compassion fatigue.

4. Competency

Everyone knows that you are the one who can get the job done, so people call you first. Actually, everybody calls you first and because each project or task seems simple enough, you say “Yes.” It has been said that 20% of the people in an organization do 80% of the work. Somehow there seems to be a homing device on all Type A personalities – yes, we can find you!

Now that we have identified a few reasons as to why we overbook our schedule, here are 3 steps to reduce your commitments.

5. Review all your commitments.

You’ll need to schedule a decent chunk of time to write down and consider all your commitments. Include your family requirements as well. The more specific you are, the better. Try to be as comprehensive as possible – include even the tiniest commitments because they all ADD UP! This is like a personalized job description of your life.

6. Recognize the non-negotiables in your schedule.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, we must include the basics for survival – sleep, exercise, good nourishment, and quality relationships (love). If your schedule is out-of-control, these basics usually receive the brunt of the attack. Have you been facing sleepless nights? Putting off exercise until you finish the next project? Eating fast food to keep up with the fast pace? You owe it to yourself and your family to prioritize the basics of your life. As you plan your calendar, schedule the time necessary to care for your health. Schedule your sleep time. Give yourself a curfew. Write down the exercise that your body needs. Allow for enough time to purchase groceries that are healthy and then time to prepare good food for yourself and your family to consume. There may be other non-negotiable items in your schedule, but this gives you a head start.

7. Respectfully bow out of commitments and limit your future ones.

If possible, find a replacement to cover your responsibilities. There is no need to feel guilty about stepping away from a commitment that you can no longer maintain. The best explanation? “I would love to continue in my position, but I’m over-committed in too many areas and I feel that my performance does not meet the criteria for this job. I know there must be somebody equally or better qualified who can take over from here.”

How about you? Have you had to go through a season of pruning with your schedule? Please share your story or tips below.

Categories
Life Technology

4 Easy Steps to Create a Memorable Group Audio Greeting “Card”

With families being much more mobile today than a few generations ago, we have families spread out over great geographic distances. This can make it challenging to get together for family reunions, birthdays, weddings, and funerals.

Creating a group audio “greeting card” is a simple yet touching way to gather good wishes and greetings from all those relatives who could not attend the event. Here is a simple free way to do that…

1. Create a Google voice account.

Why Google voice? Because it’s free and you will be able to choose a number to share with friends and family. The message records as an mp3 file into an email that also includes a text readout of the message.

Record a voice mail that goes something like this:
Thank you for calling the 80th Birthday Voice Mail Box for John Smith. You will have 3 minutes to state your name, your birthday wishes and sing a song or share a funny memory or story. If you mess up, that’s ok. Just call back to leave another message. Relax and have fun!

2. Write up instructions to send to friends and family.

Dear Friends and Family,

My dad, John Smith, is turning 60 this November. Since our family is so huge, we know it is practically impossible to assemble everybody for a family reunion!

We have developed a way for you to share your personal birthday wishes with Dad via a group audio card. Everybody can participate and it would mean a whole lot to Dad.

Please call this number (110) 500-BDAY (2329) and you will have 3 minutes to state your name, your birthday wishes and sing a song or share a funny memory or story. If you mess up, that’s ok. Just call back to leave another message.

Please do not wait until November to call. We would love to start hearing your birthday wishes so we can record a CD in time for Dad’s birthday.

If you are savvy with audio equipment and have something really special in mind, please send me an email and we can make arrangements to receive your file.

Thank you for sharing in this special event and we look forward to hearing from you!

–Make sure to send this message via email, send a postcard, instant message, post on Facebook – whatever it takes to get the message out.

3. Use Dropbox to share larger files.

You may have some audio savvy relatives who want to send in a better quality recording. Utilize Dropbox to share the files when they are too big for email.

4. Assemble the files in Audacity.

Audacity is a free program used to edit audio. There’s no need to wait until everybody has submitted their calls. Once you start to receive some voice mails, start a file in Audacity and work on it as the calls come in. Use an instrumental music background if preferred.

Have you ever made a group audio card? Please share your ideas and tips below.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Categories
Life Technology

10 Questions To Ask Your Child to Record a Helpful Listening “Tape”

As I have been transferring old VHS videos and cassettes to digital, I came across a listening tape that I created for my son, Josiah. He was maybe two or three years old and I wanted to create an activity for him that would provide some interaction and free up my time for fifteen minutes.

The recording was made of the two of us talking together. I asked him questions and if he knew the answer I would praise him. If he didn’t know the answer, then I would explain the answer and have him repeat it after me. As he learned new information, I praised him for his good work. I also used prompts for us to say things together.

The types of questions were:

  • What is your name?
  • Let’s spell your name.
  • When is your birthday?
  • What is your address?
  • What is your phone number?
  • Is there a number for emergencies?
  • What is grandma’s phone number?
  • Let’s count to 10.
  • Let’s say a Bible verse.
  • Let’s sing our ABCs.

The list can go for as long as you want on just about any topic. In fact, you may want a couple of different audio files that cover things that you would like your child to learn and remember. The beauty is that you won’t have to repeat yourself over and over. The “tape” will do it for you!

Cassette tapes are pretty much ancient relics nowadays, so find whatever recording device you may have – computer input mic, cell phone, etc. – and make the recording readily available on a playback device for your child.

An important note: do not coach your child too much before pressing the record button. And if your child deviates from “the program” you had in mind, gently redirect him back. It’s important to capture whatever naturally happens during the recording. In a dozen years or so, it will be an absolute treat to hear your kid chatter on about whatever was in their heart and mind at that time.

I would love your feedback on this topic. Please share below.

 

Image by Naser Mohammadi from Pixabay