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SlideRocket Better Than Slideshare?



Is It Better?

SlideRocket spent the last year in private beta and is now open to anyone on the interwebs. SlideRocket is a presentation creator, similar to what you would use on PowerPoint and for free, it even hosts your presentations and you can install an offline player for when you’re traveling sans wi-fi and you can import .ppt files. SlideShare is an online community where you can upload presentations and see others’, it is not a presentation creator so it isn’t necessarily better or worse (but I’ve heard people opine on which was better).

I’ve been using SlideRocket as a photo editor for most of my images here on AG lately and I especially love the font package (delicious bolded is my fave font there) and transition options. SlideRocket offers a more polished presentation creation than most and is perfect for presenting a neighborhood, a home tour or a recent local event- what will you use it for?

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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  1. Spanish Fork Townhomes

    September 30, 2008 at 9:27 am

    A lot of these video websites are getting better as technology is getting better. This is a great asset to those who are in the real estate industry as they can showcase their real estate team as well as the homes that they have on the market.

  2. Chris de Jong

    September 30, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Another fantastic presentation creator is 280Slides. It works just like Apple’s Keynote for those who work primarily with Macs and is incredibly versatile. You can share, embed, and download presentations, and it also lets you import presentations from your desktop or flash drive to edit anywhere – which is great when you need to make tweaks at the last minute!

  3. Marissa Louie

    September 30, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Hi Lani! Love your tweets btw – they’re hilarious!

    I happen to work at SlideShare right now and I tend to agree with you- it has a great community and content. SlideRocket is more so a tool, and not a direct competitor.


  4. Todd

    September 30, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Been using Slideshare for a long time because it is easy for people to make embeds of existing presentations. Also have been using and recommending Scribd ( ) for people that have existing presentations but are stuck with just Microsoft Office for creation.

  5. geovani

    September 30, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Overall SlideRocket is a very attractive and capable product that does indeed match and exceed the expectations set by PowerPoint. There’s a slew of impressive features I could mention: the ability to import your own fonts, the many different layouts, the special effects for objects such as videos and photos, and the asset library that can be searched by keyword, to name a few. SlideRocket also has pretty sophisticated analytics tool that let slideshow creators track who and how many people have viewed their shows, as well as how long each spent on particular slides.


  6. Daniel Bates

    September 30, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    One thing I don’t like about the slideshows is that you loose some of the SEO that you could be getting from all those pictures in the form of alt tags, file names, and captions. I much prefer a plugin like nextgen gallery where users can select either multipicture or slideshow mode. The slide show might be a little faster (maybe not) and more compact, I guess it’s just personal preference. Any thoughts?

  7. Paula Henry

    September 30, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Lani – It seemed to load slow for me, but I am sitting in teh middle of Phoenix using a wireless card. I can definately see some great uses for this, a listing presenatation online – for one. Thanks for testing everything first. 🙂

  8. Jay Thompson

    September 30, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    That’s wicked cool.

    And what great photos in your SlideRocket!! 😉

  9. Doug Devitre

    September 30, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Okay Lani. You inspired me. I have been using slide share because it works great with WordPress but the geek in me wanted to at least give SlideRocket a shot. My presentation did take quite a bit longer but the emphasis using video, effects, and sharing has taken it to a whole new level. My new concept will help reform REALTOR Association and the way they serve their members. Thank you so kindly for sharing this information in your post. Here is my slideshow I produced using SlideRocket.

  10. Jack Leblond

    October 1, 2008 at 6:57 am

    From an SEO perspective; Yes, it would be better to have of the individual slides broken out as separate pages on your web site. Having said that though – the primary reason for doing a slide-show is so *YOU* can present it to a crowd, not so you can post in on your site. Slide-shows are not meant to be stand-alone products (even though many people use them for that). If you post one on your site, be sure to surround it with descriptive text of what the viewer will find inside. Create an image of one of the screens to use as the link to launch the presentation (if possible), then you can use an alt-tag and proper link titles to get a little SEO back…..OK, I’ve now ranted twice about embedded media and SEO…maybe I should quit ranting and post something about how I think you should do it.

    BTW – Yes, Lani’s tweets are funny…but wait till you get a four-part DM from her that leaves you scratching your head.

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Disputing a property’s value in a short sale: turn a no into a go

During a short sale, there may be various obstacles, with misaligned property values ranking near the top, but it doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker!



magic eight ball

magic eight ball

It’s about getting your way

Were you on the debate team in high school? Were you really effective at convincing your parent or guardian to let you do things that you shouldn’t have been doing? How are your objection-handling skills? Can you flip a no into a go?

When working on short sales, there is one aspect of the process that may require those excellent negotiation or debate skills: disputing the property value. In a short sale, the short sale lender sends an appraiser or broker to the property and this individual conducts a Broker Price Opinion or an appraisal, using special forms provided by the short sale lender.

After this individual completes the Broker Price Opinion or the appraisal, he or she will return it to the short sale lender. Shortly thereafter, the short sale lender will be ready to talk about the purchase price. Will the lender accept the offer on the table or is the lender looking for more? If the lender is seeking an offer for a lot more than the one on the table, mentally prepare for the fact that you will need to conduct a value dispute.

Value Dispute Process

While each of the different short sale lenders (including Fannie Mae) has their own policies and procedures for value dispute, all these procedures have some things in common. Follow the steps below in order to conduct an effective value dispute.

  1. Inquire about forms. Ask your short sale lender if there are specific forms that you need to complete in order to conduct a value dispute. Obtain those forms if necessary.
  2. Gather information. Your goal is to convince the lender to accept the buyer’s offer, so you need to demonstrate that your offer is in line with the value of the property. Collect data that proves this point, such as reports from the MLS, Trulia, Zillow, or your local title company.
  3. Take photos. If there are parts of the property that are substandard and possibly were not revealed to the lender by the individual conducting the BPO, take photos of those items. Perhaps the kitchen has no flooring, or there is a 40-year old roof. Take photos to demonstrate these defects.
  4. Obtain bids. For any defects on the property, obtain a minimum of two bids from licensed contractors. For example, obtain two bids from roofers or structural engineers if necessary
  5. Write a report. Think back to high school English class if necessary. Write a short essay that references your information, photos, and bids, and explains how these items support your buyer’s value. This is not something that you whip up in five minutes. Spend time preparing a compelling appeal.

It is entirely possible that some lenders will not be particularly open-minded when it comes to valuation dispute. However, more times than not, an effective value dispute leads to short sale approval.

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Short sale standoffs: how to avoid getting hit

The short sale process can feel a lot like a wild west standoff, but there are ways to come out victorious, so let’s talk about those methods:



short sales standoff

short sales standoff

What is a short sale standoff?

If you are a short sale listing agent, a short sale processor, or a short sale negotiator then you probably already know about the short sale standoff. That’s when you are processing a short sale with more than one lien holder and neither will agree to the terms offered by the other. Or… better yet, each one will not move any further in the short sale process until they see the short sale approval letter from the other lien holder.

Scenario #1 – You are processing a short sale with two different mortgage-servicing companies. Bank 1 employees tell you that they will proceed with the short sale, and they will offer Bank 2 a certain amount to release their lien. You call Bank 2 and tell them the good news. Unfortunately, the folks at Bank 2 want more money. If Bank 1 and Bank 2 do not agree, then you are in a standoff.

Scenario #2 – You are processing a short sale with two different mortgage-servicing companies. Bank 1 employees tell you that they cannot generate your approval letter until you present them with the approval letter from Bank 2. Bank 2 employees tell you the exact same thing. Clearly, in this situation, you are in a standoff.

How to Avoid the Standoff

If you are in the middle of a standoff, then you are likely very frustrated. You’ve gotten pretty far in the short sale process and you are likely receiving lots of pressure from all of the parties to the transaction. And, the lenders are not helping much by creating the standoff.

Here are some ideas for how to get out of the situation:

  • Go back to the first lien holder and ask them if they are willing to give the second lien holder more money.
  • Go to the second lien holder and tell them that the first lien holder has insisted on a maximum amount and see if they will budge.
  • If no one will budge, find out why. Is this a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan? If so, they have a maximum that they allow the second. And, if you alert the second of that information, they may become more compliant.
  • Worst case: someone will have to pay the difference. Depending on the laws in your state, it could be the buyer, the seller, or the agents (yuck). No matter what, make sure that this contribution is disclosed to all parties and appears on the short sale settlement statement at closing.
  • In Scenario #2, someone’s got to give in. Try explaining to both sides where you are and see if one will agree to generate their approval letter. If not, follow the tips provided in this Agent Genius article and take your complaint to the streets.

One thing about short sales is that the problems that arise can be difficult to resolve merely because of the number of parties involved—and all from remote locations. Imagine how much easier this would be if all parties sat at the same table and broke bread? If we all sat at the same table, then we wouldn’t need armor in order to avoid the flying bullets from the short sale standoff.

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Short sale approval letters don’t arrive in the blink of an eye

Short sale approval letters may look like they’ve been obtained simply by experts, but it takes time and doesn’t just happen with luck.



short sales

short sale approval

Short sale approval: getting prepared, making it happen

People always ask me how it is that I obtain short sale approval letters with such ease. The truth is, that while I have more short sale processing and negotiating experience than most agents and brokers, I don’t just blink my eyes like Jeannie and make those short sale approval letters appear. I often sweat it, just like everyone else.

Despite the fact that I do not have magical powers, I do have something else on my side—education. One of the most important things than can lead to short sale success for any and all agents is education.

Experience dictates that agents that learn about the short sale process
have increased short sale closings.

Short sale education opportunities abound

There are many ways to become educated about the short sale process and make getting short sale approval letters look easy to obtain. These include:

  • Classes at your local board of Realtors®
  • Free short sale webinars and workshops
  • The short sale or foreclosure specialist designations

As the distressed property arena grows and changes, it is important to always stay abreast of policy changes that may impact how you do your job and how you process any short sale that lands on your plate.

The most important thing to do is to read, read, read. Follow short sale specialists and those who blog about short sales on AGBeat, Google+, facebook, and twitter. Set up a Google Alert for the term ‘short sale’ and you will receive Google’s top short sale picks daily in your email inbox. Visit mortgagor websites to read up on their specific policies and procedures.

Don’t take on too much

And, when you get a call from a prospective short sale seller, make sure that you don’t bit off more than you can chew. Agents in most of America right now are clamoring for listings since we are in the midst of a listing shortage. But, if you are going to take on a short sale, be sure that it is a deal that you can close. And, if you have your doubts, why not partner up with a local agent that can mentor your and assist you in getting the job done? After all, half a commission check is better than none!

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