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:
The side effects of being green in a not so green place.
Kermit the Frog has never been so right. I had a day I’ll remember forever; it was a day that punished me for my attempt to be green.
My day started like any other: wake up, eat breakfast, drink coffee, shower, drink coffee, prepare for work, walk to the office, drown myself in coffee, get started. Today my morning routine would prove disastrous for my hopes of furthering my business development aspirations. Can you spot the place where I went wrong?
If you haven’t just yet, let me tell you about my calendar. I was scheduled for a lunch meeting with my boss and one of my clients. We’d leave at 11:15 am to arrive early and beat the lunch crowd. I’m beginning to prep to leave as my boss walks toward my desk at 11:10. He had nearly forgotten I was going with him as I asked about the meeting. He informs me I’ll need to take my own car … dammit?! Now do you see?!
He’s leaving for other meetings afterward and I’ll need to drive myself. I realized to make this work I need to walk home, get my car, and drive to lunch adding nearly 15 minutes to the trip. Being 15 minutes late might not sound long, but for a lunch meeting it’s eternity. I would have missed a quarter of the meeting and worst of all; I’d be late.
I’m shut out because I walked in today. We’re a sustainability consulting company and I just found out I need to be unsustainable to keep up. Atlanta is a city made by and for those who drive. There is so much pollution from cars that cities to the east (down wind) are above attainment levels. And, today I was punished for trying to do my part in reduction.
It’s all a bit melodramatic and I really should have thought ahead. But, it was a harsh reminder that all travel in this city is dependent upon cars. It’s very, very difficult to live otherwise and especially if you do any kind of sales. Nowadays I always ask –
“What if I need to drive myself?”
But that didn’t cross my mind this day. It seems silly and ridiculous to drive a half mile to work. I chose my studio apartment for the purpose of not driving. I feel like the laziest man in the world when I park my car in our expansive surface parking lot (which is nearly 3/4 empty daily) and trot the remaining 50 yards into our building. Far too often the drive in takes longer than my walk because the lights in this city are timed by grade school kids.
And again, what was I thinking? I wasn’t. This is business and there’s no room for efficiency when money is to be made. I’ve learn my lesson. I need to drive in; no matter what. Welcome to Atlanta.