What technology should real estate agents be experts in
As a real estate agent, it’s important that you become comfortable with the latest technology. This is especially true if you’re an older agent changing careers. After all, many of the other new agents you’re competing with are just finished school, and already know their way around technology. If you want to compete, you will need to beat them at their own game. Here’s a list of the tools you should master to be a great real estate agent:
1. Mobile Devices
There are a lot of statistics out there to show just how central mobile devices are becoming to our daily lives. Smartphones now account for over 50 percent of Malaysian usage and mobile Internet traffic is predicted to eclipse desktop traffic sometime next year. Tablets like the iPad are also growing quickly, with shipments
2. Local Search
Due to the widespread use of mobile devices, people are constantly searching for local information. In fact, nearly half of consumers say they use their smartphones to research local businesses. As a result, search engines are doubling down on local search, integrating local listings and maps into their results. To capitalize on local search, make sure your real estate business has a local presence and that your property website appear in the Google search results.
3. CRM (Client Relationship Management)
It’s not hard to see why: real estate agents have to account for dozens of clients and leads, all in different stages of the buying or selling process, all at the same time. CRM applications keep track of all of these people, helping you stay in touch with past customers, monitor current customers and deals, and nurture leads who may become future customers. Real estate CRM systems can be used for a variety of tasks, including marketing automation, customer service, and, of course, storing all relevant contact information.
4. The Cloud
Doing business on paper can be very annoying for real estate agents, who need to be mobile and able to retrieve relevant paperwork at a moment’s notice. The costs of printing add up quickly, and organising records can be time consuming. Plus, these documents take up a lot of space, and chances are you won’t have more than a couple file cabinets at your office. Luckily, there are several services out there that allow you to store your files on their servers and access them from any machine. With “cloud” solutions like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Apple’s iCloud, you’ll get more storage space and fewer hardware and software costs. Plus, you’ll also have continuity across devices, meaning you can start a task or document on one device, and finish it on another.
5. Transaction Management and Paperless
Official contracts and transaction records are also starting to make the online transition. In fact, some agents put paperless and transaction management tools as the most important technologies in their business. With apps like DocuSign, you can securely transmit binding documents for clients to sign with their smartphone or tablet. If the idea of storing signatures and sensitive financial records in the digital ether makes you a little scared, consider this: a 2012 study revealed that your data is better protected in the cloud than it is on your hard drive or on-premises server.
While these technologies are invaluable for real estate agents, you shouldn’t let them distract you from your goals. Remember that these are just tools for running your business, not the business itself. “Real estate will always be a relationship business, but technology has changed how we create and maintain those relationships,” .
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