First the essentials
You may already be familiar with these tools, but are you really making the most of them? When strategically used, not only do they make your work life a lot easier, but they will help you generate new business as well.
The best smartphone for agents
Your smartphone is the one tool you’ll use more than any other in your real estate practice.
Most REALTORS® — more than half – use the Apple iPhone®, according to NAR, second in popularity is Android™. While a smartphone’s features are critical in an agents decision-making process, the types of apps it can run and their ease of use is important to consider as well. Again, the iPhone® gets the award – this time for the sheer number of apps, but the number and variety of Android™ apps are increasing.
When making your final decision, be sure to compare the audio quality on speakerphone and Bluetooth. This is important since you’ll most likely use the phone a lot while driving (if that’s legal in your area). And the audio quality between phones can vary greatly.
At the beginning of your career, you’ll probably rely on your phone to take photos and videos, take time to verify the photo and video display and resolution are high-quality. Most newer Apple iPhone® and Android™ phones do an adequate job of capturing images and video with high-quality resolution.
New smartphone apps that make work easier
- RPR Mobile – easily search properties, create and send branded reports.
- BombBomb – send personal video emails to your clients from your phone on the fly.
- Waze – up-to-the-minute traffic updates by other users, great time-saving while on the road.
- Open Home Pro – bring your tablet and get digital sign-ins at your next open house. Then follow-up with automated emails and text messages.
- Videolicious – Make and edit high-quality videos in seconds, including watermarks and logos.
CRM’S have come a long way
From day one of your real estate career, you’ll be hitting the ground, drumming up business. Unless you plan on going through piles of scraps of paper to keep track of all the contacts you’ll make, you need a customer relationship management system.
The CRMs of today are used for a number of tasks – from automating some of your marketing to keeping track of your sphere, your prospects, clients (past and present) and syncing data between multiple platforms. A CRM system has become invaluable.
These systems are offered by a number of companies but look for one with at least the basics — property blasts, email templates and the ability to monitor client activity on your website.
If you’re on an extremely tight budget you might want to start with what the NAR calls “no-frills electronic address books,” such as Outlook and Apple Address book. You won’t get the integrated solutions that you will with the higher-end systems, but at the very least, you’ll get your contacts organized. Three CRMs worth investigating further, Contractually, ZOHO, and Apptivo.
Website & blog solutions made easy
“My websites are critical to my success,” claims Minnesota’s Kris Lindahl, named one of REAL Trends’ and Trulia’s “America’s Best Real Estate Agents.”
“While they’re not the only marketing tool we use, they’re certainly the easiest. There’s a lot to be said for effective inbound marketing. It’s painless.”
Sure, your broker may offer you a page on his or her company website, but you need your own, with your branding.
You can spend a ton of money on a website, or you can do what many smart agents are doing and use a ready-made solution. One example is setting up a WordPress site, using an attractive, agent-friendly WordPress theme, such as “Curb Appeal Evolved”. This theme runs under $50.00 and offers IDX plugins, which is the most important tool on any real estate site. Or, check the selection of templates available at Theme Forest.
Additional ready-made, agent-friendly website and blog solutions worth investigating include Placester, Websitebox, Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly.
Top tech tools growing in 2018
360 Degree Cameras – These cameras create a feeling of actually being inside the property and are able to capture every angle allowing for deeper exploration. A recent study by Magnifyre showed 25% of video watchers preferred 360 videos over traditional cropped format.
3D Cameras – places you inside the property as well allowing you the freedom to look around. There is said to be a greater feeling of depth with a 3D camera. However, you are not able to capture every angle with a 3D camera as you will with a 360 camera.
Chatbots – allow you to streamline communication on your website by answering routine questions before you talk to a client. Provides the client another option for information other than picking up the phone. A few Chatbots to investigate further include, Automabots, Structurely, Botplan.
Make the most of your CRM, send a Community Newsletter from our Newsletter Series to your Sphere of Influence. Be sure to notate when the postcards went out in your CRM for tracking purposes.
PLUS: Whenever you have a moment…here are 3 things to check out that will help you CRUSH IT in 2018!
1. The Free 2018 Real Estate Business Plan
Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan – Click Here
2. The Online ROI Calculator
Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here
3. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan
The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here
Also…check these out 🙂