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Why real estate professionals should use browser screenshots

What is a screenshot?

A screenshot is literally a capture of your entire computer screen as you see it or even an entire webpage done through various means. Users used to have to “print screen” and paste an image into an editor and if a webpage required scrolling, in order to capture it, users had to print screen multiple times and thread the images together.

Now, there are various tools to capture screenshots, most notably in the form of browser extensions that allow you to simply press a button and get a perfect screenshot or full website shot. If you’re using the Google Chrome internet browser, the “Webpage Screenshot” extension is highly useful (I use it myself). You have the option to capture either what you see directly on the screen or an entire webpage top to bottom. If you’re using Firefox, there are a variety of add ons available with similar functionality.

What the Google Chrome extension looks like:

Why should real estate professionals use screenshots? Accountability.

For those inside the real estate profession, it is common knowledge that there is a matter of risk taken in every transaction. Veterans will agree that the best way to reduce risk is to keep records of everything – phone calls, emails, meetings with notes and now, the industry is left to figure out how to document internet activity.

Considering that when an agent gets a listing in modern times, it isn’t just a single MLS data entry, there are endless places that a listing is manually uploaded now, so it is important for an agent to take a screenshot of any Craigslist ad, Postlets ad, manual upload to any site or similar such events. Screenshots should also be taken and kept for any changes made to websites.

This is extremely useful if you employ a part time or off site assistant to review all activities for compliance, accuracy and quality.

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To support the non tech savvy

If you’re not tech savvy and you don’t have an in-house IT department, it is helpful when reporting tech errors you experience to customer service of any given website or software program to attach a screenshot of what you’re describing is happening. You’d be amazed at how quickly tech issues are resolved when you supply a screenshot.

Demonstrate your efforts

If you need to demonstrate your web efforts for your listing presentation or possibly a post about your extensive marketing, screenshots are a perfect way to directly illustrate this.

If a client of yours has difficulty with your website and it is not feasible to meet in person, screenshots can assist in showing exactly what you are trying to demonstrate, for example how to narrow a search.

Picturing video

When you’re trying to get a screenshot from a video, you can take a screenshot to do a video capture. Perhaps you need an image for your blog that links to a video, this is how people create an image of a video. Another reason you may need a video capture is that you’d like to blog about a specific incident in the video rather than ask readers to view the entire video (especially if it’s lengthy).

The options are endless

Be it for accountability, to aid in blogging or to demonstrate your internet prowess, screenshots are extremely useful, so why not use the easiest tools available? What other reasons can you think of that a screenshot would be useful?

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Fred Romano

    April 28, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Wow thanks for this tip Lani!!! I didn’t know about the firefox add on, Ive been doing it the hard way LOL. This nifty plugin for FF makes it easy to screenshot the whole page at once.

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