3 Tech Tools That Aren't a Waste of Your Money

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3 Tech Tools That Aren't a Waste of Your Money


In today's real estate industry, there's a high level of competition for your dollars.  Whether you're a lender, real estate agent, or other industry pro, there are dozens of companies competing for your bucks with promises to help your business, take you to the next level, 10X your production, etc - the list of promises is never ending, and it's not difficult to find a vendor willing to sell you a magic pill.

 real estate technology

What is difficult is sorting through the noise - avoiding money wasted, and even worse, spent time on a system or technology that bleeds you dry of time, energy, and financial resources that could have been better spent elsewhere.


While there are many great vendors, they're tough to sort through, and while many offer benefit to some demographic, I want to focus on the tech that offers benefit to the masses (ie anyone and everyone effectively running a business).  Here is the technology that I'd argue you need to have at your disposal:



Your CRM


There will be plenty of people that say "humbug!  I have my handy, dandy, spreadsheet that's worked for me since 1980!".  Well, let's race - you and I, let's send an email announcement to 500 contacts, set tasks for the day and week, log notes to avoid missing any follow up, and set notifications to keep us on track.  I'm willing to bet my CRM frees me up in about 25% of the time it takes you without one.

The "which CRM is best?" question is played out, and there's not a perfect system for everyone, but for everyone, there's certainly a system which will keep you more organized, improve your customer service, improve your "top of mind" reach, and most importantly, save you time.  That time, when done efficiently, is worth more than the pricetag of any CRM system.

Personally, I use Jungo (ijungo.com) to keep organized, on task, and ensure I don't miss anything, ever.  It also ensures my business is 100% mobile.  The return on cost is incredibly high, and for sure a need for anyone needing to run a client-centric business.



Your website


If you don't have a website, you're missing out on opportunity.  Plain and simple.  A good website is a spot to house evergreen content, direct your customers to learn more about you (they want to learn more about you before they talk with you), a place to show people how to reach you, and a landing spot to direct your efforts and continue to effortlessly (after the content is created and placed) expand your database, a requirement of growing a business and becoming more profitable.

Websites are tricky.  They can be extremely ineffective or the foundation of 6-figure+ revenues.  If you're using a 'template' provided by someone else with no unique content and a brand page only, you're not doing what needs to be done.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can dump thousands of dollars into the development of a site that will also prove fruitless.  The trick is to invest your time and expertise into your site.  Learn how to direct traffic to your site and how to convert that traffic to warm, organic leads. 

Your website is your business that is working for you 24/7 while you're doing the more direct prospecting activities you need to do.

There are a lot of good website providers (and more terrible ones), but regardless of who you go with, ensure that you have these abilities with your platform:  the creation (and editing) of content that will be indexed across search engines, lead capture, and content-rich pages that establish you as the expert consumers need.



Your data platform


While a CRM and website may seem like "duh" facets of a business to point out in 2020, a data platform is one that many still don't have, and don't understand.  If there was a 'word of the year' in real estate in 2019, it was 'Disruption'.  Big tech companies are pouring millions into the real estate game, and they're doing it with data, and they're being successful because they're simply giving the people what they want - access and transparency through that data.

Data can not only improve customer service, increase your market share, and add a level of transparency to your business, but it can perform an even more important function of making your fintech competitors irrelevant and rendering them invisible to anyone working with you.

Data platforms offer local market data, neighborhood info, and even specific property history.  The wealth of knowledge available within these platforms gives today's consumer what they want - knowledge.  And the marketability of these products as your own branded offerings gives you an edge over not just your local real estate office competition, but over well funded but less nimble (and certainly less knowledgeable) fintech operations.

As a lender, I'm not certain of the various real estate agent focused technologies, but I know the power of IDX lead capture, and platforms we offer as cobranded projects with our real estate partners - tools like MBS Highway (local market trends and financial data), Homebot (neighborhood specific information and links to listings), and ListReports (on demand marketing and market data in a consumer friendly presentation) give consumers value, and a professional the ability to provide levels of service and amounts of information never before assessible to consumers - and the reciprocation thereof will be real estate business.



In the real estate profession, every dollar counts.  Dollars spent should always come with the expectation of return.  Technology suites aren't cheap, and when used inefficiently, can drown and agent in terms of both dollars and time.  When used correctly, however, technology can leverage your time and money in a way that allows you to grow your business and income to new levels.  It's all about knowing what you need, don't need, and implementing the technology in a way that it's your teammate, and not a burden.



Curious about the technology we use to provide consumers a next level experience and an edge for our real estate partners?  Give me a call at 484.680.4852 or shoot me a message here.


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Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Congratulations! Your post has been featured in the BananaTude Group. 

Thanks for caring about the members on ActiveRain enough to help in areas of technology that can make a significant difference in the New Year.

Jan 06, 2020 05:06 AM #4
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi John... I have all three. I've had a CRM and website for some 20 years and don't know how agents manage their businesses without them. And it's a continual exercise to keep refining all three.

Jan 06, 2020 06:18 AM #5
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

You summed it up perfectly, John:
It's all about knowing what you need, don't need, and implementing the technology in a way that it's your teammate, and not a burden.    

Jan 06, 2020 09:49 AM #6
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi John - while perfection may be elusive, finding the ideal tech match can be extremely helpful - thanks to Carol Williams and her SCS Second Chance Saturday post, I missed this the first time(somehow) but "found" it today.  I hope your 2020 is off to a great start.  

Jan 11, 2020 05:41 AM #7
Sharon Kowitz
CRS-SRES-ABR-GRI-E-Pro-CREN Fonville Morisey Cary, NC - Cary, NC
Cary, NC Relocation Specialist ~ Buying or Selling

I use all 3 tools and they have brought me the most referrals - of course you have to keep up with your clients :O) Have a great 2020

Jan 11, 2020 08:00 AM #8
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hi there, John. Makes sense. The money we put into our tech tools should be money well spent. These three are critical. D 

Jan 11, 2020 08:03 AM #9
June Piper-Brandon
Long & Foster Hampden - Baltimore, MD
Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time

I missed this the first time around and had to read it twice.  I'm not a techy but I do embrace technology.  I wasn't even sure what a data platform was.  Great information, thanks for sharing. 

Jan 11, 2020 09:55 AM #10
Stephen Turner
Gemcraft Homes (TriCorner Realty) - York, PA

Great info. And I can't live without my CRM. It truly is the heart of my "Business"!

Jan 11, 2020 10:47 AM #11
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Great advice for 2020, John. I have been working on my website and on my blog, plus updating all my profiles. I may be changing brokerages so I can envision a lot of administrative work in the near future, but a good opportunity to get in touch with a ton of people.


Jan 11, 2020 11:06 AM #12
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Very good question John Meussner .  I get conflicting comments on my website.   Need to sort it out. Someone is not correct. 

Jan 11, 2020 12:01 PM #13
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

To me it all starts with the CRM. We use Saleforce, it is expensive but the leader in AI.

Jan 11, 2020 12:50 PM #14
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

The amount of date to be found and shared is exhausting. I'll look into both the platforms you mentioned - Homebot and ListReports.

Jan 11, 2020 03:02 PM #15
Rick Frissell
HomeXpress Realty - Valrico, FL
aka "The Red Baron of Real Estate"

Excellnte, bravo!  Well done post.  I love it when I find new kernals of information

Jan 12, 2020 04:52 AM #16
Realtyna Inc
Realtyna - Newark, DE
Realtyna- MLS RETS Integration software & services

Super article, John Meussner! Of course, these tools are not just about speed and information, but analytics. I think agents should prioritize CRM and website patforms that allow them to generate reports, learn what works and optimize their marketing approach.

Jan 13, 2020 02:22 AM #17
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Enjoyed reading your blog and can say I totally agree.  I have a CRM and have had numerous websites since 1994 as well as ListReports and I am signing up for HomeBot this week.  So glad I read this report as I was debating about Homebot! Thank You!  John Meussner 

Jan 13, 2020 06:27 PM #18
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I've been long sharing data (with permission) under my brand and it certainly has served me well.  And I was CRM holdhout for a   long time.  Steno girl was what I was.  And I still don't send mass emails because it's just NOT my style, but I do use a CRM and I was the first person in my market to have a website and I'm happy to say that URL turns 22 this year.

Jan 13, 2020 09:20 PM #19
Cheryll Woods-Flowers
Cheryll Woods-Flowers, Mt. Pleasant Home Team - Charleston, SC
Home Grown on Charleston's Shore

I investigated Hombot and it looks like you have to have a lender co-sponsor...Am I correct?  Unfortunately, I don't know a lender that will co-sponsor at this time.

Jan 14, 2020 04:50 AM #20
Cheryll Woods-Flowers
Cheryll Woods-Flowers, Mt. Pleasant Home Team - Charleston, SC
Home Grown on Charleston's Shore

I am interested in information about a big data platform centered around Realtors...particularly with local info and the best CRM and website developer/hosting.  Any ideas?  I just feel like everything that I am doing is stale.

Jan 14, 2020 04:53 AM #21
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Thank you for sharing the information. Choosing a website company has been a challenge for me. We chose to go with a franchise and what a huge issue that was. We are now with a website company we like

Jan 14, 2020 11:05 AM #22
Greg Mona
Revelation Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
At your service!

Great post, John Meussner, and very timely for this time of year. I have a giant mountain to climb back up, as the past 15 months with big changes in my real estate business really messed things up. The very good news is I have a plan of action for 2020 and beyond to get right back on track! This post will prove to be most helpful while implementing the new tools. Thank you! 

Jan 14, 2020 02:54 PM #23
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John Meussner

#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852
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