Custom or Out-of-the-box solution?

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Dynasty

  Just recently I reviewed what I did the last six months of 2010 and was surprised that I spend a lot of time on unproductive work that I should eliminate or outsource. Previous when I have a new listing, I would spend a few hours to get the pictures and build a custom flyer. Now I use a templated flyer from my MLS, get the PDF, and then modify it a little in Photoshop to make it nicer. Result is a better looking flyer that I can send out via email or use for just listed doorknocking in a third of the time. Another is a drip campaign email system. Previously I was spending time trying to create an email system to send out emails to contacts on my database on different interviews. I found out that there are actually companies that created programs already that charge about $30 - $50/month. It might not be the perfect program but at least it get the work done so I can spend more time doing lead generations and get more contracts signed.

   Another thing to consider when deciding on using a custom or Out-of the box solution is support. It might be easier to find tech support or questions in forums with users having similar problems. The disadvantage would be that other people might have access to the same program. Example is that Top Producer is a great customer relationship management program, but there are thousands of people who have access to the program.

   We have to view our time as important otherwise how would we expect others to value our time. Since I been implementing solutions that reduce my time tinkering with untested software, I have increased the time I have for lead generation and working with my clients, which I started seeing better results on my conversion rate and bottom line,

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