"Pentium Computer Just $399!"
Have you ever seen an ad in your local paper like this? There are
lots of computer companies out there that try to seduce you with
their low-priced, no-name computers. They can be tempting - who
doesn't want to save hundreds of dollars on a major purchase?
On the other side are the big name brand computer companies, such
as Dell, Sony, HP, and Gateway that tend to be more expensive.
So which is better - a no name or a name brand? If you take a look
at the computers in your sales office, you can probably guess what
CIO Michael Koval thinks. He buys nothing but name brand computers
for Long & Foster, and Dells in particular. Here is why:
- When Koval first came to Long & Foster almost three years
ago, Long & Foster computers at the Corporate Office and our
200 sales offices were a mix of no names. "There were some
problems," Koval says. "Our number of service calls
were unacceptably high, and our agents couldn't concentrate on
doing business." Since he made the decision to switch to
Dells exclusively, our service call volume has dropped tremendously
and Sales Associates can focus on sales.
- Brand name computers are backed by a much better warranty than
no-names, and service is available 24/7.
- No name computers usually use much cheaper, poorer quality components
than their brand name counterparts. A Sales Associate may think
his Brand X Pentium 4 computer is just as good as the Dell Optiplex
GX240, but does he know that his computer has a bargain basement
motherboard, hard drive, and video card that will perform poorly
and easily overheat? "With computers, you truly do get what
you pay for," says Koval.
- Because Long & Foster uses only Dell computers, our service
techs don't have to spend as much of their time on computer problems.
Instead, they can visit offices and train agents on how to
use the computer and its software for business.
What it comes down to is this - if you want to skimp and save money,
buy no name spaghetti sauce. Don't skimp with a no name computer.
You will pay the difference in headaches and problems that will
cost you money in the long run. Remember, brand-name computers
such as Dell are engineered for business. Who knows what no-name
computers are engineered for, other than to promote the lowest price
possible? As our CIO says, "Stick with the names you know for
years of trouble-free computing."
Review: Garmin Street Pilot
Garmin Street Pilot III Deluxe - never get lost again for under
CIO Michael Koval has one of these.
Here's what he says: "I love the Street Pilot! It works very
well and is very accurate. It's MUCH better than Mapquest."
Imagine never being lost while driving.
GARMIN makes it possible. Meet the Street Pilot III - the ultimate
traveling companion and guide. Create a route and then put your
mind on cruise as you follow clear, accurate, voice-prompted turn-by-turn
directions to safely reach your destination. The simple, intuitive
menus of the Street Pilot III offer access to the shortest and
fastest routes, directions, and estimated arrival time of your
intended destination. Automated voice prompts alert you to upcoming
turns, course deviation, and distance to final destination. At
the touch of a button, view the locations of all the nearest highway
exits, gas stations, restaurants, ATMs, hospitals, and rest areas
on a full-color L CD.
The Street Pilot III comes with MapSource
City Navigator CD-Rom and everything you need to download street-level
mapsets from your PC. Then, just place the portable system on
the dash of any vehicle, and enjoy stress-free driving and peace
of mindwithout any costly service charges or hook-up fees.
Plus, CIO Michael Koval finds the
Street Pilot very useful on his way to work, especially in the
morning, so he doesn't lose his way.
in a Street Pilot? check out the latest prices here!
Tech Savvy Agent of the Month
& Foster agents use technology every day to help them with their
business. Each month or so, we would like to highlight a successful
tech-savvy agent to encourage all of you to incorporate technology
into your lives.
we are pleased to highlight Greg Scott from the College Park MD
Greg uses a desktop computer at home and the office, a laptop computer
with a wireless connection in the office that he uses to dial in
remotely when he is on the road.
He uses a Palm to manage his contact information and appointments.
Software on his Palm includes Excel, PowerPoint and Word. He also
uses Outlook every day for contact management.
Forms: Nfuse is very important to him for remote access
to company contract forms.
Greg uses email forwarding a great deal. He never misses an email
because they are immediately forwarded to his cell phone as a text
message. He is always in contact with his email this way! His voice
mail also immediately forwards messages to his cell phone.
When he first started as an L&F agent, Greg took advantage of
our excellent Techstart training class that taught him about new
technologies that he could implement to help his new sales career.
you have not taken one of our training classes yet, you should!
Go to the IS intranet page and click Training to read all about
our fantastic training offerings. To register for a class, contact
Veronica Delaney at firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg reports that Long & Foster's excellent information technology
is a necessity in today's real estate market, and he would not do
business without it!
Review: Toshiba Protege
laptop computer that converts to a tablet PC, for just $2,500.
How about a laptop computer that you can also literally use
like a tablet of paper - just swing the screen around and fold it
down and you can draw diagrams, write notes, etc. The Toshiba Protege
3505 has it all!
Review courtesy of cnet.com.
Easily the best-equipped tablet, the Toshiba Protege 3505 does
it all with style and technological flair. With a weight of 4 pounds
and a thickness of 1.4 inches, the Toshiba is slightly bigger and
heavier than some of the competition. Still, the Protege 3505 sets
the pace for convertible tablets with its flexible design, category-leading
performance, and extras such as USB 2.0 ports, as well as CompactFlash
and Secure Digital slots not found on other tablets.
the full review at cnet.com!
Technology on the Horizon
What if your
alarm clock could 'learn' that you need a certain type of music
at a certain volume four times before you will wake up? Microsoft's
emerging SPOT could make it a reality.
SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology) was recently introduced
by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. This will be utilized with everyday
devices such as alarm clocks, wristwatches, key chains, and even
refrigerator magnets to make them more intelligent through a new
hardware and software platform that is small enough to scale down
to the sizes required by such devices.
more about this incredible technology, go here!
Microsoft's news release about SPOT here!
Spam - Not Just a Canned Meat
If you have ever received
an email you didn't ask for from an address you don't know, you know what
spam is. Spam is a serious problem for everyone, but it is particularly
challenging for businesses. Long & Foster has spam filters in place
that keep most of the spam from reaching your Inbox. Occasionally some
will slip through, and sometimes a legitimate email will get filtered
out. These things are unfortunate, but the filters do serve a vital function
very well most of the time. Here are a few things to remember:
L&F had no spam filters, agents would have their Inboxes filled
with all kinds of spam, some of it offensive. This would present L&F
with legal issues, so of course we filter these out as much as possible.
L&F had no spam filters, vital storage space on your computers
and our servers would soon be filled to capacity. Spam filters protect
our computer systems from being hopelessly clogged with junk.
L&F spam filters screen out between 15,000-30,000 spam messages
L&F spam filters block most aggressively at night, which is when
most spam is delivered. The blocks are loosened somewhat during the
Tip of the Month - Use APSS/CPSS!
of the big advantages of being an agent at Long & Foster is
the easy access our agents have for updating their own contact information,
administrative data, personal photos, property photos, virtual tour
scheduling, and more.
Our agents use APSS (Agent Profile Self Service) and CPSS (Custom
Property Self Service) to update their related data.APSS and CPSS
have replaced the old "Admin Section" of LongAndFoster.com.
review your APSS web information to ensure your profile and listings
appears correctly on LongAndFoster.com. Make sure your MLS ID#,
phone numbers, biography text and personal photo are all current.
Below are brief descriptions of APSS and CPSS. You can access
these from the intranet homepage.
APSS (Agent Profile Self Service)
use APSS to update their personal information in L&F systems.
Some of the new enhancements you can make to your personal information
using APSS include:
- Update your
LongAndFoster.com Agent profile information (phone numbers, bio
information, cities and counties served, languages, etc.)
- Provide your
MLS ID # so your online listings appear with your name.
- Update your
personal contact information for L&F internal use.
(Custom Property Self Service)
use CPSS solely to update listings that appear on LongAndFoster.com.
Some of the enhancements you can make to your online listings using
- Add a headline
and a custom description.
- Add unlimited
- Add Virtual
tour and other links.
Please log onto
APSS/CPSS today and update your information!