We’ve officially hit the first quarter — a primetime for 2017 planning. Whether you’re a solo realtor or a broker with a dedicated team of agents working for you, it’s more important than ever to have the right set of tools to maintain a competitive edge and deliver the level of service today’s clients now expect. The days of getting by with just a laptop and a digital camera are long gone. Real estate professionals need to be equipped with the technology to manage a wide variety of marketing, administrative, and sales tasks.
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
If you or your team is still managing client, leads, and contacts in Excel spreadsheets, you’re missing out on opportunities to streamline work, track your success, and automate many of the important marketing and sales tasks that important for your success. There is a dizzying array of CRM solutions to choose from, including many that are specifically for those in the real estate industry. Most are available “in the Cloud” by a monthly subscription and offer capabilities like custom dashboards and reports, integration with social media, and tools for tracking leads, clients, open houses, and promotions. Before choosing a CRM solution, research your options and ask around for recommendations to determine what will work best for your needs.
2. Cloud-Based Phone System
Thanks to mobile technology, realtors are on the go more than ever. Shifting between an office, listings, meetings, and more makes it absolutely necessary to have a reliable communication system that connects you and your team. The latest and greatest Cloud-based business phone systems offer a bevy of useful features that can jumpstart productivity, including audio conferencing and video meeting capabilities. Systems can now be managed on a PC or a smart device, making it easy to assign phone duty, manage extensions, and automate call-handling. You’ll also benefit from data and analytics to help you better manage your day-to-day phone communications.
3. App to Track Leads
There are countless apps that are developed specifically for real estate agents. Some are good, while others are just not worth the time. One that offers real benefits for brokers specifically is Curbcall. With an intelligent real-time lead routing platform, Curbcall connects agents to potential clients via an easy-to-integrate API. Agents get dashboard visibility to get an overview of all inbound leads, with valuable details like where leads are originating from, time from connection request to agent response, and which agents are working the most.
4. Comprehensive Marketing Solution
Particularly in a market saturated with real estate agents, strong marketing is a must. Yet, most real estate agents and brokers just don’t have the time to manage online and print marketing to increase visibility with both target audiences and existing and former clients. Xpressdocs is an option that offers tremendous production and distribution capabilities. From a single platform, users can access agency-quality templates to create and print collateral, order printing, and ship or mail directly to lists. Xpressdocs also offers digital marketing solutions to create email marketing campaigns and manage social media channels.
5. Time Management Tool
Distraction is a common problem for real estate professionals who have limited amounts of desk time and an increasing amount of technologies to manage. With ongoing pop-ups, dings, buzzes, and rings, the habit of multi-tasking is very common. An easy-to-use time management tool can be worth its weight in gold in helping realtors complete specific tasks within a set amount of time. Toggle and Tomato Timer are both popular time management tools that can be used to block time for specific tasks.
6. Accounting Software
Bookkeeping is rarely a favorite task of realtors. It’s no wonder when you consider all the various items that need to be tracked, including expenses, mileage, and receipts. The newest options provide easy uploading of receipts, a mobile app to log mileage from a smartphone, and the ability to track profit and expenses per listing or buyer.
7. Professional Photography
Great property photos are so important for getting a house sold for top dollar. It’s recommended you find a great photographer and virtual tour partner, and develop a lasting working relationship for future listings.
Having great selling skills and a steady source of leads is a must for any realtor. However, today it takes much more than that to make a sale and grow a successful real estate career. Having the right arsenal of tools is also necessary to stay ahead of the competition and to continue to achieve success in 2017.