Inman is interviewing real estate professionals in every area of the field to talk about technology use. Here’s Melinda Goodwin, an author, coach and thought leader for Internet marketing and online conversion funnels — and an Inman contributor.
Is your phone an iPhone, Android, Windows phone? What model? Why?
I use a Samsung Note 4. I have just recently traded my Droid Razor Maxx in for the Samsung. The reason I traded was because when I look at listings on the MLS, I need a bigger screen. I also like the better camera. I am on the go all the time, and I like to have quality photos at my fingertips.
What are your top three apps on your phone?
The top three apps I use currently use are Karl’s Mortgage Calculator, Jefit (for my morning workouts), and I really cannot forget all forms of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Instagram).
How do you split your digital time: how much mobile, how much desktop?
I got a great tablet for Christmas. Honestly, I thought I would use that at presentations, or showings, but the reality is I just use my phone. I am on my phone approximately 80 percent of the day. I use it for both personal and business. I rarely use my laptop, but when I do it is for downloading, writing articles and blogs, and printing. My kids use it to watch movies on long trips.
Describe your job. What do you do every day? How does technology support (or not support) your daily job description?
I have an interesting job. Not only am I a full-time Realtor, but I also write, produce and host a local TV show. Not to mention, I work with other companies in increasing their word of mouth on social media by designing, implementing and managing a brand ambassador program for their business. I use technology every day.
As a Realtor, I use technology for marketing, communicating and research. As a professional in the video media, I use technology to shoot video, upload video, and I also promote all of our sponsors online via all social media platforms. As a brand ambassador manager, I use technology for online marketing, communication and, well, really everything!
Do you consider yourself an early adopter of technology? Or do you wait to see what’s working for other people?
I explore all types of technology. I really do not call myself an early adopter, but I do take my time to explore, master and promote technology that works best for me.
What’s the biggest technology-related challenge you face today? How do you solve it?
The biggest technology-related challenge I face is that it seems to take a lot of time making sure that all avenues are covered. The reality of that is, I could either be sleeping or marketing online. I most likely use my time more wisely with technology.
What do you think is the biggest overall challenge facing the real estate industry? Will technology be able to address it?
I think that the biggest overall challenge facing the real estate industry today is that older agents who are accomplished in the industry will see a fall in their production as the technology world takes over. If they are not online or if they do not hire someone to help them with an online presence, they will suffer. Technology will not address it, because it is the cause of it.
How do you feel technology is changing the real estate industry? Are these changes making the industry better or worse? Why?
Technology is changing the industry faster than most agents can keep up. It is becoming easier and easier for clients to find that perfect house without even contacting an agent. I think that we will find that the agents who are great talkers, but not great doers, will slowly fade out of the industry. You have to have presence online, and you have to be actively searching for your client. Currently, if I send a new listing to a buyer before they find it on their own, I then earn their work. No longer can we just send weekly or monthly updates. Clients now are looking online EVERY DAY!
I think that it is better for the industry. Technology will decrease the number clients who are looking for months or years. They will be able to look online, so when they are serious they already know what they want. I also think that technology will decrease sellers’ overpricing to some extent. For instance, I have a listing right now that is a little overpriced, despite my educating the client. I send her daily listings, in her neighborhood, as they come up for her to compare her home to what is on the market. I think that when I talk to her about adjusting her price, she will have knowledge of current prices.
What email system(s) do you use? Which one is your favorite and why?
I use Gmail only. I read a few days back that if an agent uses Gmail then they are not taken seriously. Honestly, it’s easy to use, and no one cares anymore about email domains.
Which CMS (content management system) do you use? What do you like about it, and what feature do you wish it would add in the future?
I use a new system for CMS that is out. It is for gaining online Facebook sellers. I am a little unfamiliar with it. What I really would like to see come up is a referral data entry and communication system. This way if I get a referral from another agent, they can see everything I am doing to take care of their client, how the deal is going, and when it closed. This would keep agents honest with referrals. It would also allow the referring agent an opportunity to see if they referred their client to the right agent.
Do you use a calendar app? Which one? What do you like about it?
I use Google Calendar for all my scheduling needs. It communicates with everything I use, as well as with everyone I work with in all industries.
Do you use digital documents, which one? Why?
I love DocuSign. I think that it is easy to use, understand and work.
Do you own a camera? What kind? What do you like about it?
I own a great camera that we purchased from a professional photographer. I will take exterior pictures of a listing, but never interior. I always hire a professional photographer, no matter the price.
What kind of laptop or tablet (or both) do you own?
I use a Toshiba laptop and an LG tablet. I never use the tablet!
Do you play games on any of your devices? Which ones?
I have to admit, I do play games on my phone. “Candy Crush” and “Soda Crush” — that is it, I promise!
Which websites do you visit every day? Why?
Every day I use all social media websites, msn.com, google.com for images, MLS. I also go to Inman.com, and to Brandon Blanchard as well.
Where do you get most of your leads? Portals or other sources?
Most of my leads come from referrals, although I do get a few from my statement of intent (SOI) on Facebook and Twitter. I use that new social media service (SMS) for seller leads. That is going well.
What is your favorite technology, one you actually get joy out of using?
I love my phone!
What is your favorite “unplugged” activity?
My favorite “unplugged” activity is anything active. I like playing softball, hiking, going to the beach, kayaking, spending time with my kids at their sporting events, and anything else that is outdoors. Oh, and I love lying out by the pool!
Read Melinda Goodwin’s article, “Will people pay to attend an open house?“
Would you like to participate in Inman’s technology profile series? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.