Stephanie Crawford works in Nashville, one of the Top Markets For Real Estate Agents, according to an Inman Special Report.
With one of the most elegant websites in Nashville and nearly a decade in the industry Stephanie Crawford, Zeitlin & Co., Realtors, knows what works. Crawford sells real estate in one of the top markets in the US and she does it with style.
Crawford’s success is based on her personal blend of technology and tried and true sensibility — she still generates a monthly newsletter , and she tweets. Crawford reminds InmanNext that email isn’t new, but that it works. Plus, she tells us why she thinks electronic signature products are transforming her business.
What is the #1 tech challenge you are faced with?
Price and too many choices. It’s hard to figure out where to place your hard-earned money with so many “experts” spouting that their tool is the best.
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 use all the social networks. You have to be where your prospects are. I like two technologies best: The Roost app is great for scheduling posts in advance. Twitter and Facebook are also great places to post a monthly online newsletter. For me, it’s all about driving traffic back to my personal website with a hub and spoke model.
Do you use tools to work “paperlessly” like Docusign or DotLoop? Why/Why not? How important is that to you?
Absolutely. Docusign is the best thing since sliced bread. You’ll earn back your investment the first few times you use it, in time alone. And clients are really impressed with the technology.
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 generate perhaps 40 new leads a month from the IDX on my website. Generally speaking, I only capture email addresses. I follow up with a welcome message and a copy of my most recent newsletter.
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?
Unique content on your website is the best way to earn placement in the Google search engine. Clicks from Google for long-tail searches account for about half of the visitors to my website. I also have a small target Adwords budget.
How do you balance your time? Are there any tools you use to make juggling everything easier?
I do a lot of my blogging and website maintenance in the evening with my laptop while watching TV. Smartphones and iPads can also help you stay on task – provided you don’t get distracted by games.
What is the most important tech tool or app you use on a daily basis?
Email. It’s not new, but it is my main method of communication with prospects and other agents.
What type of smartphone do you use? iPhone, Droid, Blackberry?
I have a Droid but I wish I had an iPhone. My carrier still doesn’t offer Apple phones.
Do you use a tablet device? How has it changed your business?
I have an iPad2. I use it in the field to stay on top of email mostly. I also use it for GPS navigation and to pull up nearby properties during showings. I don’t use it as much for contracts and signatures as I thought I would. I can write a contract ten times faster on my actual computer. Right now, not all of the technologies work well together. For example Dropbox and Docusign aren’t currently compatible. In the future I expect they will be.
What is a specific lead generation campaign that you did in your local market that worked well and why?
I’ve been sending monthly online newsletters to my database once a month, every month for years. The newsletters themselves might not create a lead, but they do give me social proof, keep me “top of mind” and they give me great content to syndicate throughout my blog and social networks. I use the newsletter to post: new listings, mortgage news, new condo/housing developments, local events news, and links to my most recent blog posts.
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