A recent Harvard Business Review article discusses how investing in information technology can directly improve a company’s performance and subsequently increase their competitiveness within their niche. While this may be the case for larger enterprises, this doesn’t necessarily translate to smaller businesses or solopreneurs, particularly those in Real Estate. It also needs to be said that technology does not change the mediocre to master – it alone cannot replace the detailed knowledge or interpersonal capabilities required of a Realtor or agent. But as a supplement, the right tech application can help catapult you, your brand, and your business to the forefront of your market and the industry.
The following tech tools are our recommendations to get you organized, increase your productivity, and take your business to the next level.
Contact Relationship Management (CRM)
Instead of relying on your email platform or a spreadsheet, leverage these contact relationship management tools. In addition to getting your virtual “address book” in order, these apps come with additional functionality that provide a more all-in-one solution that helps keep all the information and functionality you need together, in the cloud.
- Insightly – A collaborative platform that gives small-and-growing businesses the information to better nurture relationships and gain further visibility into their sales pipeline. Insightly is primarily contact and project management software, but also includes calendar and tasking functionality. In addition, it can integrate with several popular email and social media platforms to provide ease of access and add more information to your contacts within the system.
- Contactually – Centered around “Network Relationship Management”, this application automates processes that foster consistent outreach and keep you top-of-mind. It helps you prioritize your contacts and determine how often to reach out. Contactually will also remind you to reach out and store the contact’s data and all your correspondence with them within the application. In addition, it provides an expansive library of outreach templates that are completely customizable, as well as the ability to integrate with widely-used software including MailChimp and Survey Monkey for ease of use.
Though time is finite, there is a way for Realtors to get all their administrative tasks, meetings, showings, negotiations done. LifeHack suggests to schedule time blocks – by specifically compartmentalizing time to complete required tasks, you gain control your time and boost your productivity. While there are many AI-scheduling apps to choose from, we recommend the following:
- Calendly – Known for its beautifully simple UI and intuitive interface – Calendly’s value lies in the features it has and that it doesn’t inundate you with superfluous functionality. It’s easy to set-up and integrate into your current workflow, and has the ability to integrate with Office 365 and Gmail. In addition, it gives you other, useful options such as connecting your entire team’s calendar and blocking out and ‘hiding’ times for yourself.
Every individual has finite energy, attention, and will-power to get things done every day. However, because Realtors are often a one-person show, they can easily get overwhelmed with to-do’s, and some can easily fall through the cracks. What’s the best way to make sure that tasks are completed on time? How can you get your team on the same page?
- Asana – It’s a collaborative task management tool that can help you and those you work with remain on task, on track, and in sync. With a simple interface that resembles an electronic checklist, the application is easy to use and is flexible enough to link different tasks and projects together with your calendar. Asana is extremely customizable – which means it can also easily get bogged down without any formatting standards. Knowing this, we suggest creating template guidelines you and your team can adhere to. In addition, leverage Templana for ideas, inspiration, and downloadable templates to help you get started or get better organized.
The home-buying process is tough enough – why not facilitate open communication by using software that are both easy and convenient for both parties to use? There are many different options to choose from and you don’t want to inundate yourself with too many applications. Of the myriad apps out there, these are our recommendations.
- Sideline – Created by the makers of TextFree, Pinger, Sideline is like a second phone in your pocket: it adds a second number to your mobile to keep your personal number private. It also includes the regular functionality of a cell phone: voicemail, caller ID, and text. You can also use this with teams and manage a set of secondary phone numbers which is a helpful way to keep your team’s work and personal calls separate.
- iMessage – There are nearly nearly 100 MM iPhones in the US and about 55 million U.S. homes have at least one apple device. That said, there’s a high probability your client will be using an iPhone and iMessage makes it easier to communicate with them on the go. In addition, it’s easy to sync with other apple products, such as iPads and Macs, so both parties can reach the other just as easily regardless of the device that’s used.
- Facebook Messenger – Facebook confirmed that they have nearly 1 billion people on their Messenger app. Based on this statistic, there’s a good chance your client will have the application downloaded and provides and additional option of communication. It also has calling and video call capabilities, giving you a few options to choose from. Due to the popularity of virtual and augmented reality (think: Pokemon GO) this could be a useful option in preparation for the future of showings: live video walkthroughs instead of in-person walkthroughs.
- Slack – “The fastest growing businesses app ever”- it’s super-intuitive, easy to use and makes online and mobile communication very easy. These days, many people are on slack for work and personal - so if they already use it, they may find it convenient to invite you to their channel and direct message (DM) you for convenient communication. In addition, there’s a reason why companies are adopting it as their primary internal communications tool: it’s worth testing out especially if you are constantly collaborating or handing tasks of to a team and/or have an assistant.
In today’s market, it’s a necessity to have your own website to properly broadcast your personal brand and business. However, it is often difficult to communicate your design and functionality needs to a programmer. We recommend the following app to bring your imagination to life and more easily provide renderings of your baby before a single line of code is written.
- Balsamiq – This company is behind a software UI design tool names “Mockups” which will help you design your website before handing off the design and functionality requests to an engineer. In addition, they also host a project-sharing space called “myBalsamiq” that allows you and your team to collaborate, stay in-step, and test alpha and beta pages. Ultimately, it eases the communication between you and your programmer by empowering you to design exactly what you want, effortlessly.
What is it about great Realtors that set them apart from the rest? For one, they have multiple tools in their arsenal: industry expertise, social selling skills and last, but not least, technological resources. Together, these tools allow them to get organized and be productive – filling client requests, conducting research, negotiating deals, or keeping their cloud data up-to-date. Ultimately, moving them and their business towards success.