Cars can drive themselves; shoes can tie themselves, and people can now take vacations on the moon. OK, maybe the last one is a few years away still, but technologies are quickly changing the way we interact with the world, and the real estate industry is evolving with it.
Staying on top of the latest tech trends is critical to starting and maintaining a successful career. That’s why now, more than ever, new agents need to keep up with emerging technologies if they want to be competitive in real estate.
But with the thousands of options between apps, podcasts, tablets and social media outlets — it might seem a little overwhelming for someone just starting out.
But don’t get frustrated, implementing new tech into your workday can be a bit confusing for even the savviest agents. Is Twitter better than Instagram? How do virtual reality tours work? Can podcasts make me more productive? All good questions that can make a difference in how you run your business.
So if you’re wondering where you stand with the latest tech trends, check out this list of hopefully helpful tips to get your business off to a strong start.
By now pretty much everyone has a smartphone, and most people have a tablet. But these two ground floor tech items are helpful, if not essential, to running a successful real estate business.
They’re the modern day Swiss Army Knife. It’s your personal GPS for traveling to and from properties. It’s a camera for taking pictures and video.
It’s your link to the internet, and it’s still a phone when you need to reach out and talk to someone. The smartphone has seemingly unlimited capabilities to help you in business and life.
These are quickly phasing out the laptop as a must-have road companion — at least when face-to-face with clients.
It’s much easier to walk around and share a tablet with clients as you show them properties. Clunky laptops are heavy and create a barrier between you and your clients. A tablet brings you closer together.
Here are a couple you might find useful in your career if you don’t already use them:
Managing and organizing all your contacts and marketing efforts alone is hard. But a good customer relationship management system can help you stay organized and focused on your business.
Try a free app such as Streak to manage your business, or choose from many other paid software products available.
This app makes it easy to figure out the monthly payment on a property right from your phone.
When you’re showing homes to clients, you can quickly and easily find places within their budget without having to do all the calculations yourself.
The days of the fax machine are over. Now you can simply point your camera phone at a document then save it or send it to the office in seconds.
This app allows you to store, share, annotate and manage your documents wherever you may be.
Excel and Word
Excel and Word have been around for decades helping make daily work life easier. It was only a matter of time before these helpful tools found their way to smartphones and tablets.
Everything is on “the cloud” these days. And Google Drive helps you keep all your files and documents in one place so you can access them from any computer, phone or tablet anytime you want — with an internet connection that is.
Access all your contacts, calendar events, email accounts and files in one convenient place to help you stay organized all day long.
The virtual revolution is upon us! Virtual reality is making its way into the mainstream and real estate agents are making use of the technology for their businesses.
For years now, people have been able to go online and take virtual tours of homes they’re interested in buying from their personal computers.
This saves buyers and agents time helping to narrow down the selections and cuts out unnecessary drive time.
Virtual reality is a reality. With virtual reality headsets such as Google Cardboard, homebuyers can tour properties from anywhere and feel like they’re actually there.
VR headsets can even show spec properties that haven’t even been built yet to pique the interest of investors and homebuyers.
Your time is valuable. Sometimes outsourcing tedious work can let you focus on more important things. With sites such as Upwork, you can farm out office tasks, get help with lead gen or even have someone manage your website while you’re out in the field.
There are also many other virtual assistant apps to help you stay organized throughout your day.
Building an online presence is important. Potential clients will check social media sites to see what type of agent and person you are.
If they see positive interactions and feedback, they are more likely to get in contact with you. And on the flip side, negative comments online can kill your business. Make sure you’re using social media appropriately and to your advantage.
An oldie but a goodie and the No. 1 platform, Facebook is perfect to stay connected with clients, family, friends and your community online.
You can also use Facebook to find new clients in a specific area with targeted ads that show up in news feeds.
Use Pinterest to your advantage by “pinning” relevant and interesting videos, articles and pictures your audience wants to know about.
Pinterest is an excellent way to show people you’re a knowledgeable agent who keeps up with the latest trends.
Snapchat isn’t just for making funny videos to share with your friends. It can also be a fun and creative way you can send quick “self-destructing” messages to an attended professional audience.
Try engaging your more tech-savvy clients to stand out above the rest. You can also use the geofilters to throw an open house and target appropriate homebuyers.
The more inside information you share about your business, the more trustworthy and personable you’ll seem.
When potential clients see pictures of you hard at work, showing homes and closing deals, the easier it will be for them to picture themselves working with you.
Blogging about relevant topics can help you build your online credentials. It also allows you to come across as an informed leader in your field.
WordPress and Blogger are two popular blog sites you can check out when you’re ready to share your wisdom.
Twitter is a great way to post articles and share content online without having to blast people regularly with emails. It also gives you the potential to reach new people outside of your personal contacts and allows you to select an audience by region for more targeted messaging.
Video is a fantastic way for potential clients to get to know you before they meet you. YouTube has over a billion users and almost one-third of all people on the internet. People are watching hundreds of millions of hours of video on YouTube daily.
YouTube on mobile alone reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S. What better way to reach out to millennials and build an online persona.
This Twitter-owned company lets you stream live video allowing you to host a live open house over the net to as many people as you’d like. The video will be accessible for 24 hours on Periscope, but you can also save it to your computer for future use.
Technology helps shape the way we think, and podcasts are a great way to learn just about anything.
You can find all sorts of podcasts to help you with your real estate career — including tips to staying motivated and keep up with market trends.
Here are just a few podcast suggestions to help you on your journey:
The Ziglar Show | Motivation & Inspiration to fuel your life and success
Zig Ziglar is one of the most well-known motivational authors of all time, not a character from “Boogie Nights.”
This podcast breaks down some of his and other influential people’s messages to help you reach your maximum potential.
BiggerPockets Podcast: Real Estate Investing and Wealth Building to Help You Get Bigger Pockets
The name pretty much says it all on this one. Its focus is mostly on real estate investing, but it talks a lot about the market itself to keep you informed on how well the industry and economy are performing.
Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield
To make it in real estate you need to be a good marketer, especially on the web. This podcast shows you how to grow your online presence and gain the trust of new clients through proven marketing methods.
Real Estate Sales Show with Danny Morel
This show teaches real estate sales professionals how to reach their fullest potential and make the most out of their careers. It’s hosted by a proven sales agent, and he interviews other top salespeople and asks them how they achieved their success.
The Productivity Podcast: Ideas and Tools for Personal Productivity | Time Management | Goals | Habits | Working Better
Good work habits are key to a successful career. This podcast helps you organize your life so you can produce the best possible results by practicing good productivity tactics.
There it is. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use some of these tips to help you manage and grow your new career.
But remember, trends will change, technology will keep evolving, and industries will continue to adapt. So make sure you stay up-to-date with all the latest technologies that influence the real estate industry and your new business.
If you’d like to share what tech has helped make your daily work life easier, please feel free to post your experiences below.
Charles is the copywriter for Allied Real Estate Schools.