In recent years, perhaps no industry has seen as much sudden change caused by technology as real estate. Veteran real estate agents tell stories of keeping prospect information on 3x5 inch cards that they kept in small metal file boxes. Schedules were maintained in large calendar books or day-planners, filled with scrawled notations and Post-It notes. These days, such practices are practically unheard of.
'Back in the day', keeping organized was critical to being a successful real estate agent. And while technology has changed many aspects of the real estate industry, organization has only become more critical to an agent’s success, from researching properties to the closing process. The game has changed, but the win conditions have stayed the same.
Potential and active real estate clients appreciate agents who are organized, efficient, and keep them informed every step of the way. If you don’t want to miss your next opportunity, check out the top tools that modern real estate agents use to make technology work for them and increase their win rate.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Once reserved for large companies who could afford expensive software, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are accessible and affordable for any agent or brokerage. There are even some free applications available to get started. CRMs can range from relatively simple client and prospect data management (names, birthdays, employment, family etc.) to much more advanced functionality, such as offering complex workflows and advanced reporting for scaling your business.
Check out these leading real estate CRMs:
Looking for more information? Take a look at The Close's Best Real Estate CRMs for 2019.
The right software can make lead nurturing and qualification almost effortless once it is in place. Agents should stay connected with generated leads and develop them into qualified prospects. Most lead nurturing software makes it easy to set up automated drip campaigns that qualify and engage your prospects to keep them educated.
Check out these top lead nurturing solutions:
Document Signing Software
How many hours have real estate agents spent tracking down clients to get a purchase agreement ratified? Even with email and PDFs, there are often issues with printing out documents and getting them returned in a timely fashion. Clients still have varying skills when it comes to printing out documents in different formats and may not even have access to a printer. However, document signing software solves these problems and makes the process so much easier for both agents and clients. Purchase agreements can be signed with a click of a button (or two) and then returned to the sender.
Start here for document signing software:
Content Marketing Technology
There are three misconceptions I often hear when it comes to marketing: (1) it’s too expensive, (2) it’s too time consuming to produce, and (3) it’s too hard to keep organized with everything else going on.
Technology has actually made marketing more cost-effective, less time intensive, and simpler to manage than ever. From YouTube to social media to blogs, agents have the ability to position themselves as experts right from their fingertips. Short YouTube videos can be created on a cell phone,and there are online freelance writing websites that can produce content for blogs. Any content created can then be promoted on social media to help position and build a brand.
When it comes to managing all of the content and leads they may produce, a CRM or marketing automation system, as mentioned above, is invaluable in helping you stay organized with your digital marketing efforts.
Here are some of today’s leading content marketing solutions:
Transaction Management For Real Estate Teams
Top real estate agents know the importance of organization, especially during the busy season. Since getting to a ratified purchase contract involves a lot of moving pieces and often a lot of paperwork, transaction management tools can help keep you and your team on top of the latest for all your listing, sales, and leases in one place.
Transaction management resources for your real estate team:
Closing Collaboration Platform
On top of staying organized, real estate agents need to have the ability to look at real estate transactions from the viewpoint of their clients. This means using technology to create a pleasant experience that is straightforward and easy to follow. From level of communication to digital document signing, you'll be judged by the overall experience, including the closing process. If the client is confused or unsure any step of the process, it’s a reflection of the agent.
More and more agents are now sending clients to online collaboration platforms that handle everything from ratified contract through closing. Before these portals, real estate agents were constantly playing telephone between their client, the title company, the lender, and the other various parties throughout the closing process, trying to keep everyone up-to-date and on the same page. Not only was the experience frustrating and time-consuming for real estate agents, it was confusing for their clients who had to try and make sense of the multiple people, online portals, and vendors involved.
The Qualia dashboard keeps everyone in the closing on the same page in one simple snapshot.
With Qualia, everyone in the transaction can communicate and coordinate action items throughout the closing in an easy, straightforward way. In addition to seamless coordination, collaboration platforms allow for sensitive information to be securely sent and stored -- protecting your clients from the rising risks of wire fraud. Qualia is SOC 2 Type II and ISO 27001 certified to give your clients airtight security for what is likely the biggest transaction of their lives.
Streamlining Real Estate Transactions Through Technology
Many potential home buyers and sellers view the real estate process as a lengthy, hassle-filled experience. According to NAR, nearly 40% of home buyers rank understanding the closing process and related paperwork as the top challenge when buying a home. Real estate agents can help change this perception with efficient technology that can streamline the process. Technology like a CRM, digital document signing, and real estate transaction management software can go a long way to building your client base and providing your clients with exceptional service.
About the Author
Anthony Gilbert is the owner of The RealFX Group. Anthony specializes in real estate lead generation and digital marketing.