Guest Blogger Chris Smith is the Co Founder of Tech Savvy Agent, which recently won Inman News’ prestigious Most Innovative Blog in Real Estate for 2010.  Tech Savvy Agent provides bite-sized tech and social media tips daily for real estate agents as well as interviews with industry leaders.

Believe it or not the Print Screen button on your keyboard actually used to fire up the printer!  With the evolution of technology and cloud computing comes a myriad of useful tools and one that I highly recommend all real estate agents download is called Jing.

If you are not currently leveraging a screen capture tool for your real estate business you are really missing out.  Tech Smith is the company that first introduced us to Snag It, which many agents have come to know and love.  The downside of Snag It is that it comes with a bit of a learning curve that most Realtors are not looking to push through.

Enter Jing:  Also by Tech Smith, Jing simplifies the art of screen capture/sharing and has really big and easy to use buttons, which makes using it daily to help improve your marketing doable for all tech skill levels.  Jing has the ability to capture both simple images as well as video screen capture and has been one of the most well received tips that I have given out over the last year.

The beauty of Jing is in the simplicity.  Once you have downloaded Jing there will be a small sun that will appear at the top of your screen.  When you hover over the sun it extends and allows you to then easily crop out the part of the screen you want to focus on.  Where Jing takes it to the next level without becoming overly complicated is in that you can easily overlay text boxes and arrows.  These calls to action will really spruce up the look and feel of your marketing and can also help to increase your lead conversion.  In the example below I show a standard map view of an IDX and also one where I have used Jing as a way to “speak” with the visitor on my site or blog.  Can you see a difference?  Both were taken using Jing, but by leveraging their easy to use editing tools I was able to really make option #2 stand out and thus convert more visitors into contacts.

Option #1 – Simple Screen Capture

Option #2 – Screen Capture with Quick Editing

As you can see the 2nd option really pops off the screen and also tells the consumer exactly what the next step is, in this case to contact you!  Another useful tip would be to include any social media sites so that consumers can connect with you there if they prefer.

The basic Jing is a free download which can be used to create images, screenshots and video for your website, blog, direct mail and anything else you plan on putting in front of potential prospects.  Once you have cropped and edited the image you simply save it to your computer and can add it any- and everywhere.  Jing works for both Mac and PC users.

As is becoming commonplace with software applications, there is also an upgraded version available called Jing Pro.  If you find yourself using the free version regularly it could be worth a minimal investment of $14.95 annually.  The additional features include one button push of your newly created content to both Facebook and YouTube.  Jing Pro also reduces the size of the files that you capture which helps a ton with load speeds of the videos and images once they are placed on your website.

Check out the video below to see Jing in action.  I feel Jing is a great addition to any Realtor’s computer. What are some of your ideas for how to use this tech savvy tool?

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