I love good technology. I love tools, software and hardware, that will help me be more efficient or better than I would be if I didn’t have that tool. With that in mind, here are a few tools for my Realtor friends (clients may very well get great benefit from them as well).
Zoom Video Conference software
This is such a great tool – I use it to meet with Realtors and clients near and far. If you have an out-of-town client who you want to meet face-to-face with before they come to town to start looking at homes, it’s hard to beat Zoom. The software is free (there is a paid version but I’ve never felt the need to upgrade to it) and it has lots of features. It allows you to share screens with each other as well as for either of the people on the call to take control of the other’s computer. If you have any need for video conferencing, check out Zoom.us.
Google Drive / G-Suite
I’m a big Google fan. I use gmail and all of the related software including Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Contacts, Calendar, and the list goes on. For $1.99 per month, you get 100 GB of storage on Google Drive and you get the ability to share stuff with clients, lenders, title companies, etc. via and email link. It’s a great way to store contracts and related documents and have easy access to them in the cloud from any device no matter where you are. For $10 per month, you get G-suite which provides 1 TB of storage and a host of other things for business owners. If you have your own domain, G-Suite allows you to use gmail and set up your email so that you can have an email like this: email@example.com. If you don’t have a domain, you can get one through google domains very cheap. Check out G-Suite for the cheap storage alone; you’ll be impressed with all the other stuff you will get.
Realtors tell me all the time how they hear that they need a website. Back in the day, with good SEO (search engine optimization), websites were a good lead generation tool because relatively few Realtors had good websites that were ranking high in google searches (or any search, for that matter). Today, most agents have websites in some form or another and the lead generation utility of websites is saturated. That said, I still think it’s important to have a good website. By this, I mean a site that you can build (or have someone help you build) and then manage it the way you want – it should be your website, not a company website.
You may want to look at your website not so much as a lead generation tool but as a bucket that holds all of your media content that makes it easy for you to share. For instance, building my website is a continual process and every post I make is a media asset that I can share across social media platforms any time I want. By having my videos, blog posts, spreadsheets and other media pieces in one place, it makes it easy for me to find any and all of the marketing I’m looking for – I don’t have to remember where I saved a given piece that I want to share with a client (although I do have copies of most of my stuff on external hard drives and Google Drive – I like redundancy) or on social media; I know it’s probably available on my site. Evergreen pieces (content that is good across time and is not based on a specific occurrence at a specific time) are available for me to share whenever I want, whether it’s a holiday piece that I’ll share every Christmas, or a spring-time home-buying piece or whatever, having my media on my website allows me to be very efficient with how I share it and who I share it with.
Finally, as much as possible, try to create original content. I can’t tell you how many times I see Facebook shares from Realtors of the exact same article – and I’m not talking about an article they are sharing from a media source like Forbes, CNN, or a similar outlet. I’m referring to articles that are on their websites – you’re probably familiar with the various options that Realtors have to purchase websites that are built for Realtors and all the content is included in the price so that they don’t have to do anything. The problem with that is when a client signs up for a home search on your site and does the same on a few other Realtors’ sites and then gets the same content from each place (I’ve experienced this personally), it’s a real turnoff because we know that the Realtor isn’t putting forth any real effort.
I use Word Press – it’s far more than just a blog and is very versatile. I have one site for my mortgage business and another site for my music production stuff. I love the ability to change anything I want, whenever I want. The flexibility is fabulous.
Other tips and tricks:
There are many other tips and tricks that I can share with you to help your business look and be successful. I will probably put these things in another post, but if you want to get a jump on what some of them are, feel free to contact me and arrange a consultation.