Must-Have Tools of the Trade

By
Real Estate Agent with www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 228209

Must-Have Tools of the Trade

 

Tech reviewsAs others have mentioned in their posts on this topic, it really does take a lot of thought to narrow down our favorite tools of the trade to only two.  Yes, the phones, tablets, laptops, etc. are all imperative to our businesses but, there's so much more that we feel we couldn't live without.  Just think about all of the tools we use on a daily basis that we lived without years ago - it's staggering to think how far we've come with technology!

I really don't think I could live without DropBox, ZipForms and DocuSign - I use them numerous times each and every day. WordPress and IDX, ActiveRain, FollowUp Boss and GoogleMaps; Google Sheets, Google Docs, GEO portals, Listings2Leads, Realbird and so many more key tools to our trade. I am absolutely in LOVE with my ListingPages but, their spaces are filled and they are no longer adding new clients. Can you remember how our businesses were run without them?  


Who knew when we became real estate agents that we would ever learn HTML code or how to build our own WordPress website?  My, how things have changed!

Since we each run our own businesses, we're free to try new and different tools and I have experimented with many different tools, as I'm sure you have.  I have to say that two of my must-have tools of the trade that I could not live without are my CRM (Brivity) and BetterVoice mail.


 

I've tried several CRMs and won't mention the ones that I've used but, have to plug my absolute favorite - Brivity!  I've learned through the years that if a real estate agent either comes up with the idea or develops it, it's a keeper - most of the time!  Brivity, for me, has certainly exceeded my expectations!  The system is so robust and I'm still learning all of the many incredible tools that Brivity has to offer.

For starters, within contacts, the option to add information birthdays to pet names, anniversaries to children and a system to alert you when it's time to send out that birthday or anniversary card.  The system sorts leads from sphere and past clients from current clients.  

Working with lots of web leads?  You can set each lead to a specific action plan.  That in-turn, sets a task for my agent who works the leads for me.  It makes both out lives so much easier - no more 'reminder' emails, no more sticky pads or notebooks filled with notes about each lead - it's all right there!

Customer Ratings
Within Brivity, you can create glorious landing pages and if that's not enough, you can keep up with all of your current clients' documents, photos, etc.  If you represent sellers, a designated web page just for that listing is created when you add your listing to MLS and other internet sites.  Sellers LOVE these pages and it helps with your SEO when you add a link on that page back to your own website!

Post your listings directly to Pinterest, FaceBook, Twitter, Google+, Craigslist and ActiveRain - SO easy peasy!  Schedule postcards - just listed, pendings solds and more; send out newsletters - there's just SO much you can do with Brivity!

We haven't even carved off the tip of the iceberg yet with Brivity either!  Our team's motto for Brivity is from Dr. Seuss  - "Oh the Things You can Do" with with this system - it is so robust, will we ever know all of the ins and outs of, what we think, is the best CRM out there!  

Oh, and with 5 of us playing around in the system and learning the ins and outs of it, we've reached out to support several times.  I cannot say enough wonderful things about their support - they are AMAZING!  THE best customer service I've ever had with a product - EVER!  A thank-you hardly seems enough, @Ben Kinney & Bob Stewart!

Have a look at Brivity...

 



BetterVoice mail has been a staple of mine for several years - in fact, I think I may have been among their first customers.  There's so much to love about BetterVoice but, the options that I utilize the most are call forwarding and the texts sent as a result of someone going to my voicemail, showing the voicemails that were left for me.  


Here's what happens:

Customer reviews of BetterVoice mailI'm in an appointment and someone gets my voicemail, they have an option to leave me a voicemail or can dial a number to get to other members of my team.  For example, I'm not available, they hit 1 for Christina, with whom they have spoken in the past or may need someone immediately.  I then receive a text that a caller (name and number) has gone to Christina.  I know to follow-up with Christina if I don't hear from her first, to find out what "Joe Smith" wanted.

If they leave me a voicemail, I receive a text and an email with the recording and the text of the conversation.  I'll admit, sometimes I don't understand by reading but, when I'm out of a class or meeting, I can press the 'play' button and listen.  I don't have to go through an entire group of voicemails, listening on my phone, making a list of call-backs, etc.  If it's important, I have an 'URGENT' folder in my email that I share with Christina - she will move that email with the voicemail message to my urgent folder.  

Callers also receive a text message from me when they leave a voicemail, letting them know that I'll be right back to them.  If Christina or Elizabeth haven't gotten back to them, I will find that message in my urgent folder and know to respond immediately.

BetterVoice is another product that offers world-class customer service - I've never waited for a response and if you can't figure something out while working with their online support, they'll pick up the phone and call you!  

Here's a quick video explaining BetterVoice:

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the challenge, ActiveRain!  It certainly does make you think how grateful we are for all of the cool tools on which we rely so much on a day-to-day basis!

 

© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | CharlotteBroker@icloud.com |Must-Have Tools of the Trade

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 03/03/2017 02:00 AM
Topic:
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Rainmaker
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Alexander- Slocum
Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington - Vancouver, WA
Realty Team- Vancouver WA Real Estate

Hi Debe, it is indeed staggering how many tools and applications have come along to help us out.  Your experiences with Brivit and BetterVoice are greatly appreciated!  John and Kat

Mar 01, 2017 04:23 PM #21
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi James Dray!  We learn something new every single day here, don't we?! Hope you had a great Wednesday!

Mar 01, 2017 06:47 PM #22
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi Gabe Sanders!  I'm confident that you'll love both of them!   

Mar 01, 2017 06:48 PM #23
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi Joe Pryor!  I know you'll like their system - it is really something that I can't imagine doing without in my business!

Mar 01, 2017 06:49 PM #24
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi Jim Cheney!  I can't say enough wonderful things about Brivity - it's worth the cost is all I can say!  ;-)

Mar 01, 2017 06:51 PM #25
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Great Les Peralta - I think you'll be pleased at how they stack up to what you're using!

Mar 01, 2017 06:51 PM #26
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi Tammy Lankford, - Can you believe it?  It's certainly nothing that I ever thought I would be doing - EVER!  Life throws us all sorts of curve balls but, thankfully, this one brought me to you and a lot of other amazing Rainers! :-)

Mar 01, 2017 06:53 PM #27
Ambassador
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Thanks, John & Kat!  If you give either or both of them a try, please let me know your thoughts!  Have a great evening, Alexander- Slocum!

Mar 01, 2017 06:56 PM #28
Rainmaker
2,733,990
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Tools of the trade phone to the same category as my last post about why you need an agent… :)

Mar 02, 2017 05:13 PM #29
Rainmaker
557,116
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Thanks for sharing these tools with us, Debe Maxwell, CRS 

Mar 03, 2017 05:45 AM #30
Ambassador
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Thanks, Laura Cerrano - Happy Friday to you!

Mar 03, 2017 05:53 AM #31
Ambassador
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

You're welcome, Nathan Gesner!  I hope you have a fabulous Friday!

Mar 03, 2017 05:53 AM #32
Rainer
54,023
Virginia Youngblood
DO-STAGE! LLC - an ASPM® Home Staging Company - Charlotte, NC
DO-STAGE! LLC - Home Stager - ASPM®

WOW!!  This blog was packed FULL of very helpful info for the Realtor and business owner!!

Thanks, Debe, for sharing this with the AR family!

Mar 03, 2017 08:23 PM #33
Rainer
470,902
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Not sure if the cost for Brevity is beneficial enough to change CRM, however, BetterVoice and its toll-free benefit seem more than reasonable. Thanks for sharing this information. 

Mar 04, 2017 12:55 AM #34
Rainmaker
761,447
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

I'm not in the market for a CRM but you make Brevity sound great, maybe I'll check into it after all.  We don't have the option on our phones to dial another person on our team (that sounds great!) or send an auto text with a message, but we have the feature where we can read the voice mail message (though it's not always accurate we usually can get the gist) and just press play to listen instead of going back through all our messages.  That feature alone changed our lives! -Kasey

Mar 08, 2017 02:24 PM #35
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Well, thank YOU, Virginia Youngblood!  Both of those and several others are absolute game-changers for me...especially the voicemail - I love it!

Mar 08, 2017 03:56 PM #36
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Kimo Jarrett - You'll definitely want to give it a try - it's one of those things that completely changes your business!

Mar 08, 2017 03:57 PM #37
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi Kasey & John Boles and the team at Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - yes, that single feature was my very first 'love' with BetterVoice!  I love chatting on the phone with my computer in front of me and being able to read a voicemail to see how quickly I need to respond to that call - or, perhaps text an assistant to phone them while I'm still on the phone with the original caller! 

We have 16 homes in escrow right now so, the phone rings non-stop M-F between 9:00 and 5:00 and having that feature alone, has definitely been a life-changer, as you said!

Mar 08, 2017 04:01 PM #38
Rainmaker
298,139
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) www.Progressive-Realty.info - Boise, ID
Owner,Broker

Brivity sounds expensive, but if it allows you to save paying an assistant $15 an hour for 7 hours a week, you are money ahead.  I will be looking into it, thanks!

Mar 09, 2017 10:38 PM #39
Rainmaker
966,485
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great post!  It's always a good idea to see what others are using so thanks for sharing.  Especially about Brivity. Unfortunately, I've just invested in a different CRM before Brivity came out, otherwise I'd dive in.  I'll have to write about mine! 

Mar 13, 2017 12:08 PM #40
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