Thursday, May 18, 2006

BLOGGER BLUNDER
Is Google taking its eye off the ball?

My frustration with blogspot grows

Google is a cool company. Google does some great things. If it weren't for Google I would probably never had started this blog and the 1,000 or so of you who read it each month would have a massive void in their knowledgeshere ;-)

That said, my blog is suffering due to pervasive technical "demons" in the blogspot software. For example, the entire right column has disappeared. Because it s a free service, tech support isn't available. As a result, I've purchased a domain on Yahoo and will move my blog there in the next week or so. Keep checking back.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

BLOGGER UPDATES NOT WORKING
It's time to switch

After a week of posts that continue to just not show up but ARE getting sent to my feeds, I will be switching to a new blog service. Look for a forwarding link in the next week or so.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

GET TRENDY
Intelligence for website Search Engine Optimization

Most Originator Websites are Red Ink... here's one tactic to turn the corner to black

Dave Savage beat me to the punch on spreading the word in regards to ANOTHER new Google tool that can help originators more effectively position their website for search engines.

Now, if Google can solve the problems with my blog updating randomly, and usually only every 24 t0 48 hours, I'll give them full kudos for moving forward. I guess I can't complain... blogger is free.

MAKE LOAN RESEARCH MORE EFFICIENT
Google's new NoteBook Tool can help keep track of research


Here is a great example of how you can apply new technology to streamline a process that usually is, quite frankly, a pain in the *%$.


Google this week released a new tool in the Google Labs (google labs is where technology debuts and then once it matures and is relatively bug free, it graduates "out" of the labs) called "Google Notebook." With Google Notebook, you can browse, clip, and organize information from across the web in a single online location that's accessible from any computer. Planning a trip? Researching a product? Just add clippings to your notebook. You don't ever have to leave your browser window.

The way Notebook works is by downloading a plug-in that allows your browser to maintain and icon in the lower right as well as a right click menu option. The simplest way to add a clipping is to highlight the text and/or image, right click, and then choose "Note This". You can create different notebooks for different purposes (ie-borrower research), and then add section headings to divide up the notebook (ie-borrower's name).

For Example, below is a screenshot of how I used NoteBook to catalogue some program guidelines for a client who needs to use Stated Income.

Changing the way you work is often difficult. However, for the 30 seconds it takes to install the notebook browser plug, it's worth trying out. I'm impressed and can imagine other uses for this tool surfacing in the future.

Friday, May 12, 2006

BETTER WEBSITES
Myers Updates Sites with New Tools

Myers adds a few features to beef up their offerings

Todd over at Lenderama.com gives us a heads up on new features. I'm not sure what an SEO stands for, but, I agree with Todd... blog tool would be a real killer app for them.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

VALUE CRM #2
LoanCommander... CRM/Loan Status and Tracking

Another interesting tool where the 80% is pretty tempting given the price

At only $15/mos (single user) and $50/mos (unlimited users), this is quite a value.

What I really am amazed at is the ability to create a loan status system where your client AND partners have access to the status of a loan in an online portal. Additionally, you can proactively email status reports. This is a unique feature set that isn't even included in the most expensive of CRM tools.

I'm bummed by the lack of online help or user guide and the interface needs some work, but, this is a great tool that, for pipeline management and customer status alone is worth considering. If you use a white board and/or outlook to monitor your transactions, this might be your way to go to the web.

2006 is the mortgage industry's year for CRM. Focused tools like this are sure to put pricing pressure on the larger, more complete systems.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

VALUE CRM
AllClients takes focused value to a higher level


A most affordable CRM for the Web

I've always believed ASP's should either be the most complete or the most affordable solutions. ASP stands for "Application Service Provider." Usually, these are hosted applications like SalesForce.com or LoanToolbox.com.

AllClients.com is, for all intents and purposes, one of the best bangs for the buck ($16.95) that I've seen in Customer Relationship Management/Contact Management on the web. Is it everything? No. But that's the point. Value is about hitting the 80, not the 80 and the 20. That extra 20% can end up costing you a bundle and requires justification and typically adds complexity.

While I've not used AllClients enough to give it an endorsement, I'd strongly recommend those LO's needing to simply move their systems to the web and share their data w/in a group give this tool a review. A Free 30 day trial is available w/out handing over your credit card.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Savage Insights: Two Screens Are Definitely Better Than One

Dave Savage has a great blog post about the practicality of having 2 screens to work on. Savage Insights: Two Screens Are Definitely Better Than One. With the way that screen prices have dropped in the 17 inch category (see PCWorld top 5), and 19 inch monitors (see PCWorld top 10) not too much higher in price, this is an investment with many times the return.

And, as an aside, for what is worth, MI-III is a great movie. Bad publicity aside for Tommy Boy, the movie is very different than the first two (focus on character and relationships). It reminded me of Alias to a certain degree, which is one of my weekly "Must Watch" shows. Good entertainment and a good movie.

Monday, May 01, 2006

NEW AND USEFUL
Yahoo! Tech: Reviews, help, and how-to advice for buying and using personal electronics

A site worth a look, and a second look, and a third look...

Yahoo! Tech is a great new service that focuses on How to Buy and How to Use technology. I'm very impressed. Yahoo's roots began with categorization of information... that is, until the internet really became too big to classify. Now search engines rule the roost. However, this information portal may be just the way for Yahoo! to return to it's roots and dominance.

One big departure for Yahoo! in this venture is a focus on Generating Content. Focused mostly on aggregation, searching, and tools, this is a new area for the giant.

My favorite section is the Advisors Section. Dominated by female personalities, it focuses on USE rather than TECH. Here are all the categories of products you can research:

Camcorders
Car Tech
Cell Phones
Desktops
Digital Cameras
Games and Gear
Home Audio and Speakers
Home Video
Laptops
Monitors
MP3 Players
PDAs
Printers
Scanners
Software
Storage
Televisions
Upgrades
Wi-Fi and Networking