A worker is only as good as his tools.
One tool I have found incredibly useful over the past year or so is a screenshot/screen-capture tool called Jing.
Jing is a desktop software that sits at the top of your screen as a little yellow bubble. When you’re ready to capture what’s on your screen (or part of what’s on your screen), just click on the bubble and click on the cross-hair icon called the “capture” button.
While this may seem like a “fringe” technology for CRE, I have found it to be incredibly useful. I often use the screen capture function to grab images that I can’t right-click and save. Images on Flash Player or other anti-right-click technologies can still be grabbed and used (non-commercially, of course).
One example is a pdf appraisal. Fairly often I will need a property photo in a situation where I have not taken the photo myself and no photo exists as far as Google Images can tell. So I will grab a pdf appraisal, click the Jing tool, capture, edit, and save the images however I want. Adobe actually has a capture tool already, but I find Jing to be easier, more comprehensive, and more robust than the intrinsic Adobe tool.
I also use it when I need to show my entire browser or an entire web page. If I am trying to show or teach how to use something in a browser, there is no way to show that with a right-click (that I know of, at least). I need to capture the entire screen and show where to click and how to navigate.
I use it to capture odd-sized or non-consecutive images. Basically, anything I can’t right-click-save-image, I screen capture with Jing.
I can also put arrows on the image to emphasize important areas.
I can put text on the images to further explain whatever point I am making.
I can highlight certain parts of the page that I want you to look at.
It is incredibly useful and I keep finding new ways to use it.
Here is the best part –
Just sign up with TechSmith, download it, and run. No cost. No hidden fees (so far).
Long story short, I love it. I use it almost daily and it has made me faster and more nimble. I highly recommend it and I hope it is as much use to you as it has been to me.
If you’ve been reading the APJ, you know that I think there is substantial room to improve the marketing and tech side of our business. There aren’t many stunningly beautiful sites or marketing campaigns for properties and portfolios that I know about.
So I think a tremendous photographer could be worth his weight in gold if you buy into Godin’s Purple Cow ideology (which you should).
Enter APG Photography.
APG is a local photography studio run by a former CRE pro. Alex (friend of the APJ) was a former analyst for Wells REIT and Piedmont REIT and has been photographing large portions of their portfolios for a couple years now.
Check out his portfolio and site here.
And then hire him! Or hire someone to take awesome photos of your properties. (***Stares accusingly at a few lazy brokers***)
Seriously, if I see another broker who uses his own images (cough, iPhone, cough) in marketing materials I’m going to punch a defenseless kitten. Let other people do what they are best at and you focus on what you are best at. If you’re a broker, then, by definition, you’re not best at photography. You go sell stuff. Hire a specialist and establish yourself as a different kind of broker who is committed to making your clients’ properties look spectacular. You’ll both make more money in the long run and you can show off your materials to your friends.
If not for me, do it for the kitten.
p.s. Check out some of APG’s previous work: