Back in the day, I cannot truthfully say I was a fan of plain potato chips — with one exception.
I liked a little sizzle or barbecue heat. Despite my resistance, the Frito-Lay mantra, “Bet you can’t eat just one” had me and my thunder thighs hooked on plain Lays.
Have you ever noticed that some technology is the same way? You are happy with the overall tools you are using, but try as you might, there are some tech apps that are simply irresistible and add to our productivity.
David Welch of Re/Max 200 Realty in Florida attested, “When I started, the contract was one page, legal sized with the standards on the back. We used a carbonless (tech of the day) copy, and you had to press hard to go through all five copies.
“There was no email, and you could not fax the multipart form. We actually drove the offer to the other agent’s office and went over it in person with them.
“Now, our contract in Florida is 12 pages long, but I can write it up and email it straight to my customers for e-signature in about 20-30 minutes.”
Welch concluded, “Technology has really made aspects of the business move more quickly.”
Here are 10 tech tools that different agents around the nation agree you will be hooked on once you see the effect in your real estate business.
It can be nerve-wracking and a little embarrassing to be out with a client, spot a house for sale sign but not have any data on it. Perhaps the lawn sign just went out after you prepared for your showing appointment.
Do you risk looking unprepared? Homesnap can help you maintain your composure and professional image by giving you data on homes that are and are not in the MLS with just a photo snap.
“Homesnap is fun because with this app, not only are you able to see what’s on the market around you, but also what’s off market and the estimated value,” said Bernadette Coates of Coldwell Banker in Maryland.
Coates continued, “When I was having coffee downtown Annapolis one morning, I got into a conversation about Annapolis and shared the [Homesnap] app with the tourist. They thought it was awesome that they could walk past any home and get the price or estimated value, especially the historic homes.
“I constantly receive notices that I have a new client on Homesnap.
“If you want details on a home, there is no logging in. Just pull up the address through Homesnap, and there it is.”
Save face and gain leads with Homesnap. Those are definitely irresistible qualities every real estate agent wants.
Here is another one for Gmail users.
If you have ever been burned by giving a team member or an assistant your login information to only have them quit, leave or just be tech-challenged, then Hiver is especially for you.
In Gmail, you can easily manage and make assignments for your team.
Boomerang allows you to finally clean out your inbox.
Write emails now that will be sent later. Archive emails today that can pop back up in the future at a point when you are able to deal with them.
Get instant help on what words should be removed or added to your email to convert sales leads with the feature called Respondable.
And if you are a Salesforce CRM aficionado, Boomerang integrates with it.
Boomerang has price points for everyone, ranging from free to $50 per month.
Bored with basic slide shows? Check out these virtual tour technologies
For the past several years, Matterport has brought the look, feel and comfort of using Google Street View to the inside of your listings.
In the rapidly changing world of technology, this might be considered by some an “oldie,” but it is still a mainstay goodie.
“I use 3-D virtual tours for both domestic and global millennials. I find the tours give a better feel than just photos and for buyers in other countries — sometimes it can drastically reduce the number of properties they visit when they arrive,” explained Rich Dun a NYS Associate Real Estate broker working at the American Homes Group.
If you have a WordPress site, then another tantalizing technology is WP3DModels, which helps give your Matterport tour a personalized and information-packed look.
Combine that with being MLS-compliant and throw in lead capturing call-to-actions, and this is a tech tool that has Matterport-lovers salivating.
This is truly the year of live video. There is nothing worse than broadcasting live to the world a listing or open house and seeing comments that undermine your client’s negotiations.
“Realync has enabled us to host live virtual showings or create and share video tours for our prospects. This has greatly increased our conversion rates and touring efficiency.
“In many ways, Realync has changed the way we connect and interact with prospects,” said Matt Mehon, regional marketing manager of Waterton Associates (Chicago).
If 3-D tours are currently out of your marketing budget, do not feel relegated to the same basic slide shows. SpeakingPhoto.com allows you to tell a story with each room and photo of your listings and marketing.
Prospective homebuyers might not yet feel comfortable calling you, but SpeakingPhoto.com is a great way to remove their walls of discomfort and help them establish a connection. Stories help turn a house into a home, so start narrating with this handy mobile app.
“I can’t run my business without Realtyzam,” said Nikolas Allen, a Realtor in Mt. Shasta, California.
He further expressed, “Realtyzam is a financial tracker that allows you to enter listings, buyers, expenses and income.
“It’s easy and fun to use — not overly complicated like some apps — and it has a one-click P&L statement [profit and loss] that you can print and hand over to your accountant. At $8 per month, it’s a tiny investment for a great reward.”
Why would I include Facebook, which is such a well-known tech tool?
Well, have you yet to see a lead for your business from Facebook?
If your answer is no, I want to encourage you to tweak your Facebook lead generation methods. Facebook is currently one of the most inexpensive ad platforms that can generate bona fide sales leads.
Want those results in your business? First, be sure to have a Facebook personal page (that’s standard and free when you create an account) so that you can stay in touch with everyone you know from the various walks of your life.
Liane Jamason, a Smith & Associates Real Estate agent in the top 1 percent of Tampa pros, affirmed that she received a listing just from connecting to a contact on Facebook:
“There was a guy who I put in my CRM two years ago when he had two of his investment properties expire on the MLS. I called him and emailed him — no answer. Then I found him on Facebook and sent him a friend request and a message.
“He didn’t respond to my message but friended me.
“Two years later, last week, he sends me a message on Facebook and says, ‘Please call me.’ I did, and he explained he’d had a falling out with his prior long-time Realtor, and he wanted to use me because he loved everything I was posting on Facebook and said the quality of my listings’ marketing was superb. I got a $550,000 listing from Facebook!”
Second, having a Facebook business page for your real estate business will allow you to find your ideal clients, whether buyers or sellers, among strangers and friends alike.
If you want to work with a specific price-point and neighborhood, or just want to know those who are “most likely to move” (this is tracked by Facebook), Facebook can help you target each demographic (because it tracks everything everyone posts).
You cannot do this detailed level of targeting by just clicking the “boost post” button while you are creating a routine post.
Instead, become a guru (or hire a guru) at using the Facebook Ads Manager and Power Editor (you must have a business page to use these features).
Leads from those whom you do not know are very much attainable from Facebook, so do not give up.
What tech tools do you use in your business that you can’t get enough of? Please share in the comments section below.