Brian Rayl works in Dallas, one of the Top Markets For Real Estate Agents, according to a recent special report from Inman News.
Brian Rayl, a Realtor®, e-Pro with Keller Williams Elite – Dallas/Park Cities, is a tech-savvy agent with a human touch. Based in North Dallas, Rayl, is a registered nurse/real estate agent who splits his time between saving lives and selling homes.
Rayl sees social media as a way to enhance human relations, not replace them. His Google Calendar keeps him in sync with his family and eEdge helps him access “everything, everywhere.” Rayl shared with InmanNext what makes content king and how blogging has generated more leads than most other techniques, combined.
What is the #1 tech challenge you are faced with?
The number one tech challenge for me is the variety of technologies that are out there. There are so many that it is difficult to know what works best, what to use, and when to use it. Do you want to be an early adopter for technology, i.e., iPads and Google+? Or do you want to wait until it is proven, before you use time, resources and dollars that may never become productive? There is a very fine balance.
Are you involved in social networking — i.e., Facebook and Twitter? If so, briefly tell us how you use it to build your business. If you are not please tell us why.
I am involved with Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, etc, though I focus mostly on Facebook. I have my blog set up to automatically post links to my new articles on all of those, but mainly I use these platforms to develop my relationships with friends, family, coworkers, etc. I also use it to advertise my listings through certain Groups that are set up, ask other agents for hip pocket listings if I cannot find something for my buyer, etc. To me, social networking is something that is used to promote relationships which will then generate business or referrals.
Do you use tools to work “paperlessly” like Docusign or DotLoop? Why/Why not? How important is that to you?
I am with Keller Williams, and they have recently introduced eEdge, which was voted as the top technology innovation for 2011. I have used eEdge’s DotLoop functionality to have clients sign documents electronically. I love that feature, since many non-business people do not have ready access to a fax machine or scanner to be able to send documents back and forth quickly. I had used Docusign prior to DotLoop.
Tell us about your website and/or blog – how many leads do you generate from your site on a monthly basis? Is that an important part to your business?
I need to spend more time writing than I currently do, but right now I (try to) post a minimum of two posts per week. I have generated several leads from my blogging, including my most recent closing. I think blogging with be an integral part of my business long-term and short-term, and I intend to devote more time on it as it has been one of my best lead generators.
How important do you feel content creation is to your business — I.e., social media posts, blogging, email newsletters? Do you create content yourself or do you outsource part of it?
Content is King. I have written posts over a year ago that still get heavy traffic to this day because they cover a common question that people are talking about. I use tools that automatically post links to my blogs to all of my social media accounts. I have several sources for the information that I write about, but always rewrite it to make it my own thoughts and opinions. I do repost content on occasion with credit given to the original author of the article, but even then I will give my opinion or thought on the subject at the same time.
How do you balance your time? Are there any tools you use to make juggling everything easier?
Time is a very precious commodity! It can be difficult to balance all aspects of work, family, and self. I use technology to make juggling everything easier. My iPhone allows me to respond to emails or phone calls just about anywhere. Google Calendar allows me to sync calendars with my work and family so that everyone knows my schedule (and can add their own items that I need to be aware of). DropBox allows me to access any document on any computer. eEdge also gives me the availability with DotLoop to keep track of contracts and send contracts to clients and other agents from anywhere. Having access to everything everywhere is a must in this day and age.
What is the most important tech tool or app you use on a daily basis?
Hands down, my iPhone. It’s got access to the Internet, a camera, GPS, calendar, alarms, scheduling, Facebook app, banking apps, music, email, note taking, etc. etc. etc. Oh yeah, it is a phone too.
What type of smartphone do you use? iPhone, Droid, Blackberry?
iPhone. I have used a Droid in the past, but didn’t like it because it wasn’t as user friendly as the iPhone in my opinion. But I do miss the availability of Flash. The iPhone 5 due out this year is supposedly going to have Flash, and I may have to look at upgrading.
Do you use a tablet device? How has it changed your business?
I use the iPad for listing presentations, buyer presentations, home search on the go, etc. It has not changed my business really, since I carried a laptop for much of this already, however it has lightened my load significantly.
What is a specific lead generation campaign that you did in your local market that worked well and why?
I have tried several lead generation ideas and campaigns, but honestly what I found to work best was blogging. I have generated more leads from my blogging than most other lead generation techniques combined. The power of the internet and the power of Google cannot be understated. I have held First Time Home Buyer seminars where I had 15-20 people present. I can post a First Time Home Buyer article on my blog that will have 15-20 hits PER DAY. Of course, you cannot discount the fact that the face to face seminars generate better results, but long term, the blog post will generate more leads and more sales simply because it will ALWAYS be on the internet.
Interested in seeing more “Agent Profiles” at InmanNext? Please leave us a comment.