• When used correctly, technology allows you to serve your clients better and focus on relationships.
  • The right technology will save you from the high overhead of staffing employees, a cost that most larger businesses must maintain.
  • Technology that is set up properly will make you look like you have your act together.

When it comes to technology, the real estate industry is a cornucopia of products and ideas. I get at least one call a day asking me to buy a new $39.99 service to make my life easier. It can be overwhelming, to say the least. But finding great tech time-savers reminds you of why it’s worth it.

I hear agents complain all the time that the business has gone too technical, and they espouse the theory that real estate is a people business. They go on to say that we have left what’s most important in building those relationships.

Then, on the other hand, you have some agents that you literally cannot get on the phone because they are too virtual, and the entire transaction and process is managed and negotiated via a text message conversation.

These same agents would say that the relationship is irrelevant, and it’s all about selling the house. Like many debates in life, the truth is somewhere between the two extremes.

It has been my personal experience that technology, when leveraged correctly, can not only help you focus on the relationships with your clients, but it can also supplement your workflow and your personal shortcomings in a way that reflect a full-fledged business running like a well-oiled machine.

I have found the list below to help me consistently save time and move into a new dimension of my business reflecting well-run operation.

1.  YouMail  

YouMail has been around for a while, but only power users of the service get the full benefits. A couple of key features I’ve found that change your image to potential clients:

  1. Live connect: You can setup “Press 0 to reach my assistant or office.”
  2. Auto text: Miss a call from a number not in your contacts? This feature will send an auto text telling them that you will call back soon with a link to a profile page in the text.
  3. Transcriptions: It transcribes voicemails so you can read them and also forward them to people via email straight from the app.

2. Homesnap Pro

Rapid CMA has saved my life. If you know what a home price range should be, this feature in Homesnap Pro allows you to create very slick CMAs and convert them into PDFs in seconds. They look so nice that I’ve been printing them and bringing them to listing appointments.

3. FiveStreet  

I have a team of 14 people. I purchase a bunch of leads coming from Zillow, realtor.com, Trulia, Homes.com and many other sites. When the lead comes in, my email auto-forwards to my FiveStreet account.

From there the lead gets a text from me and an email that I customized. I have it say something general but just specific enough letting them know I am busy and an agent from my team will call soon.

This plan works if you don’t have a team, too. But with the team, the lead then goes to all 10 buyer agents, and whoever is free claims the lead via text. From there the agent calls the lead.

4. RingCentral

Import any number into its service and when someone calls, you can have it ring on several different phone numbers that allow you or your office to answer the phone. This service is great if you have a phone that won’t stop ringing and you don’t want to miss leads or if you just want a day off.

5. Keynote for iPhone or iPad

Free features allow your phone to control your iPad. If you do your listing presentation on an iPad (which you should), you can control the presentation from your phone while the seller can hold your iPad.

The fact that you’re running the presentation from your phone reflects a high degree of technical skill that will set you apart!

Finding the right tools to help your business run more effectively is almost entirely subjective and must be tailored to suit your individual needs.

My hope for you is that you won’t be satisfied with the way things have always been but that you always strive for better solutions to meet your clients’ needs and give them the best experience imaginable when buying or selling real estate.

Barry Jenkins is the Friends in Real Estate Team owner with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. Follow him on Facebook or connect on LinkedIn.

Email Barry Jenkins.

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