A friend of mine said: “Inman Connect New York is fantastic at the big-picture stuff — I just wish I could leave the conference with a few more practical ideas that I can go back and implement right away.”

A friend of mine said: “Inman Connect New York is fantastic at the big-picture stuff — I just wish I could leave the conference with a few more practical ideas that I can go back and implement right away.”

Fair point. After all, at the end of the day, we attend conferences to learn about ways to improve our businesses and (perhaps more importantly) our bottom lines. This was my answer to him:

Jeff Lobb’s 5 in 5 — “firehose-style,” Lobb discussed five tools that agents can use to grow their business, right now.

Simple premise, right? Only instead of deep-diving into the tools themselves, he focused on the how.

How can real estate agents use these tools to make a difference and differentiate themselves from their competition? How are agents going to use these tools to make more money?

1. Big data. “We are sitting on more money in our database now than ever before.” But, Lobb asks, are agents using big data to its fullest potential?

By harnessing the power of a tool like Revaluate Pro, agents can “create the person behind the email.” Over time, the always-accruing data will inform the agent who in their database is ready to make a move.

2. Emotional marketing. Agents need to connect with clients by being: memorable, mobile and visual.

By creating a video using a tool like Animoto and sharing it via text or email with potential clients, agents can stay top of mind with their sphere of influence.

They can improve their tracking capabilities by integrating the videos into an email system like BombBomb. Lobb suggests agents go a step further and share them socially. The best part is, the video sharing can all be done on your mobile device in minutes.

3. Retargeting. Lobb state that many agents use retargeting tools completely wrong and with false expectations.

Retargeting is not meant to be a lead generation platform. Retargeting is a branding platform and if used strategically, getting listings is huge opportunity.

He poses the question: “Are you using AdWerx? HOW?”

The next time an agent goes on a listing appointment, they should show screen shots of their listings being shared on websites like CNN, Facebook, USAToday and more.

If that doesn’t help an agent beat out the competition, they are not using the tool effectively.

4. Open houses. What is the point of an open house? Agents know there are two reasons: appease the seller and get leads.

Lobb suggests you try this: Digitize your open house prospecting by using a product like AM Open House. It’s a simple shift from paper flyers and sign in sheets.

When open house attendees want more information (for example, when the house sells) use the app to capture their contact information so that you can provide the requested information. People are often more receptive to using a tablet these days. Take advantage of it.

5. Automated relationship building. One of Lobb’s hot buttons is people trying to automate relationships. He feels it is against his relationship-building principles.

However, a lot of tasks, such as organizing a database, can be automated. Agents can create Zaps with Zapier (little recipes) that can be applied to many of the tools and online resources they already use.

Content can be shared across multiple platforms. For example, every time a lead comes in, it can automatically be put into a Dropbox folder. If a Facebook lead comes in, it can also automatically send the lead an email via the agent’s Gmail account.

Lobb notes it is also a practical way for agents to become more organized and stop duplicating data entries because they are now all coming from one source.

Agents can have the shiniest tool box out there.

But it’s never about the tools or what they have. How are they using those tools to impact their business and stay ahead of the competition?

Tracy Freeman is a Broker, Sales Associate at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage – Maplewood, N.J. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Email Tracy Freeman

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