There’s no question about it, the real estate business is competitive. With so many agents working in the industry, you must constantly expand your knowledge and skills in order to get and stay ahead. By staying apprised of the latest real estate tech trends and learning from seasoned pros within the industry, you can work to set yourself apart. We’ve gathered a list of the best real estate resources to help you increase your clientele, improve your efficiency and enhance your knowledge of the industry.
The 4 Best Tech Options For Real Estate Agents
It’s no secret that the real estate brokerage industry tends to be a bit behind the times when it comes to new technology. However, if you’re looking for a way to get ahead of the competition, incorporating new software and apps into your everyday business practices can make a huge difference. Here are some recommendations for the best technology resources to impress your clients and enhance your productivity.
If you’re looking to improve the way you communicate with customers and maximize your use of data, RealScout is the right software for you.
“RealScout is a listing system. It syncs with the RLS, the virtual equivalent of an MLS in NYC, and allows us to enter customer profiles and automate email alerts to them,” says Ari Harkov, licensed associate real estate broker and co-head of the Harkov Lewis Team at Halstead Real Estate. “The system ‘learns’ based upon customer preferences and provides some introductory language at the top of every customer email. Although the emails are automated, these features make them feel more personalized, and the format of the emails is clean and appealing.
“In addition, we are able to see our customer’s activity on our backend and communicate with them within the system,” he says. “Customers can mark properties they like and dislike, and the disliked properties will be removed from any future emails to them. We have found it to be an effective and simple tool to help us better provide listings to our customers and communicate with them throughout the search process.”
As the world becomes increasingly digital, the nature of transactions will continue to evolve. Using DocuSign can speed up your processes and enable you to close deals online.
“Since the acceptance of digital documents, technology has saved real estate agents countless hours driving back and forth for signatures,” says Ronald Humes, REALTOR® and VP of Operations, Southeast Region for Post Modern Marketing. “Initially, it was facsimile copies that provided the convenience. Today, digital signatures software, such as DocuSign, have become integrated as a critical part of a real estate agent’s work process.”
He adds, “If you do not belong to an association that provides access to this software, make the investment. You will not regret it, nor will your clients!”
Any agent who’s tried to sell a listing without furniture knows how challenging it can be. Buyers have a hard enough time envisioning themselves in a home when it’s furnished, let alone when it’s unfurnished. In order to get buyers interested in listings that have been cleared out, many agents turn to home stagers. However, stagers often come with a hefty price tag.
If you want to help buyers visualize an empty space on a budget, download the Roomle app. Roomle is one of many virtual staging apps that you can use to add furniture and decor to a vacant home. The app allows you to draw out scaled floor plans quickly – or have them created for you with a new room scanning feature – and stage them by choosing from a wide variety of furnishings and fixtures. Once you have finished decorating the space, you can convert the 2D layout into a 3D floor plan, so your customers can see the space from all angles.
Social media has become a necessary platform for agents to market their services as well as their listings. However, not all posts are created equal. In order to make the most of your marketing efforts on the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., you need to make your posts stand out. The best posts are both professional and visually appealing.
To help you take your social media profiles to the next level, download Canva, an app that provides you with the graphic design software necessary to create beautiful posts. They offer a vast variety of templates and stock images, but you can also design your own canvas, upload photos from your smartphone and edit them directly in the app. The best part about Canva is that you can use it for all of your graphic design needs: greeting cards for the holidays, brochures for showings, presentations and reports for pitches, and newsletters and postcards for mailers. Name a marketing need, and Canva can help you fulfill it!
The 4 Best Podcasts For Real Estate Agents
If you’re not listening to podcasts already, you should be. Podcasts make it easy to learn more about the ins and outs of the business during the time you spend commuting or doing chores. There’s a wealth of real estate experts out there who share their experiences working in the industry and provide tips for enhancing your business methods. Get your smartphone ready because these four podcasts are worth the download.
1. “The Tom Ferry Podcast Experience”
If you’ve seen his YouTube show, you know Tom Ferry has over 20 years of experience coaching real estate agents. Now, his podcast offers the opportunity to gain useful information about how to increase your motivation and achieve your full potential four days a week, with new episodes available every Monday – Thursday.
“Tom Ferry loves to interview successful realtors, asking their advice, strategies and assessments of the current real estate market. Tom Ferry helps agents ‘think outside the box,’ in terms of marketing. His conventions also bring like-minded real estate entrepreneurs together,” says Benjamin Ross, REALTOR® and investment specialist.
“Tom Ferry is also good at getting real estate agents pumped up, which is very helpful when you are in a slump. He is just one small part I would add to anyone’s real estate diet.”
2. “Think Like A CEO”
As the founder of Keller Williams, one of the largest real estate companies in the country, Gary Keller has a lot that he can share with real estate agents who are interested in taking their business to the next level. Keller’s podcast, “Think Like A CEO,” creates a platform in which he can share the lessons that he’s learned about business.
Angela Hornburg, REALTOR® and team leader at The Hornburg Real Estate Group, recommends Keller’s podcast because of the way he speaks to agents’ state of mind: “I personally love mindset podcasts because real estate is a rollercoaster every day. Because of the volume I sell, the mindset piece is most important to me throughout the day, which is why I love podcasts that are focused on being your best self.”
3. “Good Morning New York, Real Estate With Vince Rocco”
This podcast mainly focuses on the industry within New York City, but what agent couldn’t learn from the wisdom of power brokers working in the luxury real estate market?
“ ‘Good Morning New York, Real Estate with Vince Rocco’ offers agents and the world real feedback, news and data from agents that are on the street every day, experiencing the industry,” says Matthew Cohen, licensed real estate salesperson with Halstead Real Estate.
Through his podcast, Vince Rocco, a Manhattan broker, educates agents by interviewing a wide range of real estate professionals, from real estate brokers and attorneys to mortgage bankers and stagers. Through these interviews, Rocco illuminates all stages of the transaction. If that’s not enough to pique your interest, he also opens each episode with a rundown of the local and national markets.
If you’re looking for insight from someone who travels around the country to speak with leading real estate agents and investors, look no further than Trevor Mauch’s podcast, “CarrotCast.” As the CEO of Carrot, a software company that aids agents and investors in generating leads, Mauch teaches listeners how to utilize inbound marketing to attract clients in an efficient, simplified way. Furthermore, he provides a slew of tips for how to increase motivation, productivity, revenue and flexibility.
“While ‘CarrotCast’ is tailored to real estate agents and investors, Trevor really homes in on what it takes to be successful. He covers topics like marketing, conversations, sales, mindset, failures, habits and culture creation,” says Shawn Breyer, owner of Atlanta House Buyers. “Trevor provides you with the tools to become a more well-rounded person so that you can build a business that serves you, your family and your community.”
The Best Real Estate Resources In Front Of You
Although it’s great to use new tools and learn from new sources, don’t forget to make use of the information around you. Sometimes the best real estate resources are the most basic.
There’s no tool or tip that will be more beneficial to you than a solid understanding of the market. Keeping up to date on current listings and sales through your local MLS can only tell you so much. You need to go further to ensure that you have a grasp of the larger picture.
“I read industry news daily to stay informed on the market, in addition to monthly market reports and local economic news,” says Harkov. “Agents need to be highly informed on their local market and local trends.”
Being knowledgeable about both the local and national markets will help you impress clients, price listings and fuel your negotiations. So, while you’re downloading the latest tech and listening to your favorite new podcasts, always keep your ear to the ground. And check out the Zing Blog’s Industry Insider section to learn about additional ways to expand your business.
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