Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.
In the past few weeks, Zoom has shown us that a good portion of the business world can function while framed in a monitor.
It’s hard to call anything a silver lining, but we’ve learned that the real estate industry might finally be able to function completely online. It’s not a risk to claim we have breached the gate, and that, from pupa to butterfly, real estate can now be done entirely online. The final pieces are in position.
Stage-by-stage of the sales cycle, here is a breakdown of technology solutions agents can use to pocket a commission, from lead generation to funds transfer.
Know that the following tools and tech are not an exhaustive guide for each category, and some readers have had varying levels of success with each. In other words, there is no perfect solution for every agent or brokerage.
There is also a good deal of overlap here, but not every multiuse solution is good at everything, and this list is meant to offer a diverse selection. We will continue to add to this list as we review products.
Track down new business with this array of web-based lead identification and attention-getters for your personal brand.
Auto-generated Facebook Ads for Real Estate and Dynamic Video ads with retargeting.
Predictive listing analytics powered by a big-data machine. Farm smartly.
Yes, it does a bunch of stuff, but among CRMs, its Google and Facebook ad campaigns are hard to beat.
Content and ads created for you, the tracking tools are super granular, and it keeps you consistent on multiple platforms at once.
Yes, it offers printed and mailed postcards, but you can order and manage mailings online. Oh, and consistent direct mail works.
Lead capture (and nurture)
Different than lead-gen, these tools help agents keep leads on the hook and, eventually, land buyer and listing agreement signatures.
A smart, half-human, half-automated lead engagement app. It’s light, works with your CRM, and it used to be called Agentology.
Got a listing appointment? Use Studeo to show them how much cooler their home can look when you’re in charge of selling it.
The fusion of Inside Real Estate and Kunversion is having good results for customers. Behavioral response automation and follow-up.
The Machine’s “nurture for life” plans will keep your outreach as energized as the company’s CEO.
It pulls in, processes and keeps a pulse on every lead from any source. Old-school calls, direct mail and digital lead nurture.
Customer relationship management
Keep leads, clients, and everyone else who matters in the loop before, during, and after the deal. Also, the most confusing, problematic and over-indulgent category of real estate technology.
Affordable, quick to innovate and one of the first to prioritize text communications.
Its super-sharp user experience and innovative ways to know who needs to be contacted help put Chime near the top.
The most innovative use of geo-location mobile tech out there. Manage the who and why by the where and when.
It’ll swallow leads from everywhere, and its Smart Lists that prioritize leads are super helpful.
Assuming it keeps its good parts after the merger with Realvolve, Firepoint is a lesser-known name with big-brand chops.
Price it right, get that house on the market quickly and in front of the potential buyers who need to see it.
This Inman Innovator Technology Award finalist is waiving all costs for its super-savvy price fixer until Aug. 1.
The pictures you take aren’t good. These guys fix them for you, fast and affordably.
This camera and app combo fits in two front pockets and will give online homebuyers more than enough information to make an offer from afar.
Now under HomeSpotter, this top-of-the-open-house-heap tablet app can do virtual open houses, too, and it makes sure you stay in touch with who watched it.
Brokers and marketing managers will no doubt elbow-bump at the level of collateral brand control offered by this highly advanced (but easy to use) online InDesign killer.
Fixture debates, buyer credits, addendums and now delayed appraisals, this is where your money is made.
Yes, it’s owned by Zillow. And yes, it’ll help keep you, your buyers, your vendors and the paperwork on track, and well, in the loop.
The new companion app (PreClose GO) lets you chat your way to the end of the deal, and there’s also the opportunity to work with its national team of transaction coordinators.
A clever, simplified way to stay on top of transaction tasks with contextual-logic lists and clutter-free user experience.
A light, fast task and time management tool for ensuring everything that happens after the offer is accepted gets done and everyone who should know about those things does.
Tons of integrations, business insights for brokers, and easy to follow and quick forms deployment.
Once the place where digital deals came to die, closing through the web and on your mobile device is advancing quickly as banks and title companies work together and remote online notarization grabs hold of the industry.
Notarize announced recently that its suite of e-closing products has facilitated more than $1 billion in deals since its launch.
This title software firm is working to close the gap between agents and tech-savvy title companies with a tool that helps real estate professionals engage with vendors who use their product.
This mobile-first (iOS and Android) digital closing app is a title and escrow company backed by $30 million of First American’s cash.
Developed by a team of real estate and mortgage pros, eClosePlus offers both hybrid (paper and digital) and fully digital closings through its e-signing software and has an integrated RON component.
Guild Mortgage recently partnered with this e-closing provider, making its efficiencies available to buyers in 30 states.
Real estate agents are being treated to technological sea-change that’s coming more like a tsunami than a rising tide. That is, there are some drawbacks to software’s rapid rise. Consumers need to be ready, for one. As do brokers and franchise owners.
Again, the above list is not comprehensive. The products represented help demonstrate what’s available to agents at each stage of the deal, and you can argue for nuance in that respect, as well. For example, there are apps to map buyer tours, apps for scanning documents, flyer design tools, back-office accounting platforms, and virtual staging tools, among many others. However, there is also significant redundancy, and a lot of business functions that have been online for a decade or more.
Go, do business.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe
Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.