Opening session speakers Brian Copeland (left) and Matt Dollinger

The Illinois Association of REALTORS® 2012 Fall Conference kicked off this morning with an information-packed opening session covering everything from how to build your online presence and make your real estate business more “viral” to the best online tools to help you educate sellers about the market and ultimately, set the right price.

REALTOR®, industry speaker and recent 2012 Inman Innovator winner Brian Copeland covered “Viral Marketing” while Matt Dollinger, head of industry relations for Trulia, shared the stage and reviewed some of the best tools for engaging today’s sellers with, “The Right Tools for the Right Price.”

Copeland highlighted some of the key elements that everyone’s favorite “viral” videos on YouTube have in common and how those rules can be applied to your real estate business.  Be conversational. Offer something unexpected. Evolve to the current market.  Be transparent and be yourself online.

It’s also important that you take advantage of the opportunities that technology has to offer. Everybody talks about getting back to basics when it comes to their real estate business, but Copeland said that it’s important that in doing so, agents don’t take technology out of the equation. In today’s market, agents need to be “duplicatable” and social media offers them the chance to be different places at once.

Viral marketing can be short-lived but, if done right, building your social media presence can lead to business success, Copeland said.

During his half of the session, Dollinger offered some practical online tools and tips to help agents work with their sellers before, during and after they get the listing. The biggest key: understanding and accessing the local market data so you can set the right price as it is the real differentiator between what sits and what sells.

There are a number of online tools and websites that offer market information, but Dollinger advises that you pick one or two that you think will work for you and focus on those at first.  Here are just a few of the tools Dollinger recommends: