If This, Then That is a new company with a plethora of tools designed to automate, simplify, and organize your online world.  They have broken down the code and APIs of online services including Facebook, Twitter, Google, and many others, and created services that automate many functions that users would ordinarily have to do themselves.

For a more in-depth overview of the technology, see Chris Smith’s article on Inman, “If This Then That will melt your face off“, inspired by Gahlord Dewald, which introduced me to the product.

While there are thousands of “recipes” for services on If This Then That which could be useful to the average consumer, I wanted to compile the top ten recipes that would specifically be beneficial to a real estate agent.  Getting an automatic email about Amazon’s newest Top Free MP3s is nice, but it doesn’t exactly help me close more real estate transactions.  So, without further ado:

The Top 10 Recipes for Real Estate Agents on If This Then That:

#1 Text to escape

This is my personal favorite.  Did you bump into a story-teller that you just can’t stop from talking?  Have an appointment coming up, but just can’t find a polite point to cut in and tell someone you have to leave?  Send a text to ifttt and it will automatically call your phone with your “urgent appointment” that you must get to right away.

#2 Syncing Google+ public posts to Twitter

We all know that there are challenges keeping the same posts flowing to all of our social media outlets.  By syncing your Google+ feed to Twitter, you skip one more step in your very busy day.  While you’re at it, sync your Google+ posts to your Facebook Wall as well.

#3 Note to Self

Just had a great thought, and don’t have anywhere to write it down?  Call ifttt, leave the message, and you’ll get a transcript in your email.

#4 Archive my Foursquare check-ins to Google Calendar

Have trouble remembering your past appointments and schedules?  Many real estate agents need to record mileage, appointments, and travel for tax purposes.  With your check-ins recorded to your calendar, you can go back and see where you were as often as you used your Foursquare account.  Also, save Facebook timeline statuses to your calendar.

#5 Tweet with #fb hashtag to Facebook status and remove hashtag before posting

Don’t you hate reading Facebook posts with hashtags that clearly were syndicated from Twitter?  You can create the impression of being engaged on each platform more directly by having the hashtags removed from your posts automatically.

#6 Tweet my blog post from WordPress to Twitter

Many people have another service like Twitterfeed to do this, but when you start setting up all of your services with ifttt, it just makes sense to use it here.  Have blog posts and links automatically Tweeted after being published.

#7 Receive an SMS text message before a Google Calendar event starts

This is a nice reminder function for people who just have a few events per day.  For those with a very full schedule, it could potentially be overkill, but then again it might be a lifesaver for some.

#8 Thanking people in Twitter when they mention you or RT

You’ve heard that engagement is key in creating social relationships on Twitter.  Thanking those who mention you can be a quick way to encourage others to follow you as well.  Along the same lines, send a Thanks for following! message to new followers.

#9 Tomorrow’s forecast calls for rain, send me an email.

For those of us in Seattle, this isn’t a particularly useful recipe.  For sunnier climates, those of you with brand new shoes and a shiny convertible might change your attire significantly if you were warned beforehand.  Or maybe you’d just skip getting your car washed the night before.  Alternately, add the warning to your Google Calendar, or text me if it’s going to snow.

#10 Help me find my lost phone!

This is pure genius.  When your phone is lost, just send an email to yourself with the hashtag #lostphone in the subject or body.  The phone will start ringing, helping you find it.


When Facebook profile picture changes, update Twitter profile picture

This recipe didn’t make the top 10 cut, because there is some disagreement in the real estate biz about having the same photo on all social media outlets.  Some say consistency and branding is key in your photos.  Others would argue that a professional headshot on Facebook is far too stuffy for the medium, but could be appropriate on Twitter.  To each his own.

Wake-up Call

We all have alarm clocks on our phones.  In theory, there’s no need for an actual phone call to wake us up in the morning.  However, for those of you who get used to your alarm clock sound and tend to hit the snooze, a big appointment just might warrant the ring of your phone to make you sit up and notice.

Receive a text message when mentioned on Twitter

For those of you so concerned with your online reputation that you can’t bear a generic response or a five minute delay…this is for you.

There are hundreds of more recipes available.  Give If This Then That a try, and let me know what you think.