PUBLISHING WITHOUT SOFTWARE

Just about every real estate agent needs marketing materials to promote both themselves and the properties they list for sale. Naturally, this makes desktop publishing software a popular program category within the real estate industry.

However, there are a growing number of online services that allow salespeople to create quality marketing materials without necessitating the purchase or installation of desktop software publishing software.

One such online service designed to create marketing materials with minimal effort is Imprev (http://www.imprev.net).

Basically, Imprev offers a collection of very professionally designed marketing materials that can be customized and completed while on their Web site. Finished marketing materials can be downloaded, printed or hosted on their servers, allowing for quite a bit of distribution flexibility on the user's part.

In testing, I've found that this great convenience does come with some limitations. For instance:

Finally, if you're used to working with desktop publishing software, the "fill in the forms" approach that is used to customize the marketing templates is a bit discomforting, as you do not actually see changes to the work in progress.

Creating marketing pieces can be tedious this way, especially as you're not always sure where the text you're entering will end up on the final product. Until you really get used to the system, you'll likely end up editing and re-editing some of the more complex pieces until you get the right comments in the right place.

Despite some of these limitations, what makes Imprev's offering quite interesting is the high quality of the design work, and especially the ability to create multimedia flash marketing presentations for use as web commercials.

Both print and multimedia can be either downloaded to your system so that they can be emailed, saved to disk or uploaded directly to your web site.

You may also choose to have Imprev host your finished marketing materials, in which case you are then provided with a link that can either be emailed to others or linked from your web site.

Though the interface is still somewhat immature, the quality and convenience is certainly a big plus for many users.

While a Basic membership of $199 per year may not appear to be an outstanding bargain, there's a lot of value to the service when you consider:

If you pride yourself on your desktop publishing savvy, then Imprev might not be for you. However, if you just want great looking personal and property marketing materials with a minimal amount of effort, they you should definitely investigate their 30-day trial.

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Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale