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.
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:
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.
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.