Kerri Standerwick is a broker with Harcourts The Garner Group Real Estate in Bend, Ore. Prior to her real estate career, she held executive-level positions in banking, which has given her the business acumen, contract negotiation, and finance skills needed to advise her clients through every step of any real estate transaction. thegarnergroup.harcourtsusa.com
4 Simple Tech Solutions For Brokers
Sometimes the most useful technology isn’t that complex. In fact, it might be a platform you’re underutilizing.
December 14, 2015
Yesterday, I managed my client e-mail outreach, tracked contacts, analyzed data, and launched a new marketing initiative — all from my iPhone.
I’m not a technology guru; I’m a real estate broker. But each day, I use more technology-based solutions to manage business activities than ever before.
My locally owned firm, Harcourts The Garner Group, joined the Harcourts franchise family a little over a year ago. Since then, I’ve taken full advantage of the company’s proprietary apps and programs, which help to streamline my workflow. In fact, Apple Inc. recently featured Harcourts for its innovative, industry-leading suite of iOS-based apps.
But any real estate broker or agent can integrate technology into his or her daily workflow to be more efficient and reach more customers. Here are my top four ideas:
Franchise-Specific Technology: Most of the larger real estate franchises offer technology solutions to their franchisees. Take full advantage of these offerings; they often go underutilized. There are solutions that help track contacts and clients, push out regular communications, and even track open house traffic. If you are part of a franchise, make sure to explore the technologies they have available, and managers should train new agents to use these resources.
Social Media: In my market, Facebook has proven to be the most valuable tool for reaching new prospects, showcasing listings, and engaging with new buyers and sellers in an unintimidating environment. It can also be a great platform to learn about community service opportunities. Explore your community on social media. Find out where the conversations are happening, such as community-related Facebook pages or groups, and join them. People like to meet on their own turf, where they feel comfortable — and social media is now part of that turf.
E-mail Communications: Our Harcourts platform allows us to plan and schedule regular e-mail outreach to our contacts. A great way to stay top-of-mind and build trust with your clients is to offer advice and tips, help clients understand the market, and update them on the latest market statistics. You can easily use any number of e-mail marketing programs to do this, but ideally you should find one that links back into your sales and CRM database.
Mobile: Ho hum, mobile is old news, right? But if you and your team have the right mobile apps for real estate on your phones, then you access data, manage client interactions, and pull up listing info and marketing materials on the fly – even from an open house. Many CRMs and transaction management systems offer a mobile app to subscribers. We use proprietary apps in our real estate practice, but you can do some research and check online reviews for apps that any agent can use. Here are a few ideas: Evernote, DropBox, realtor.com, RPR Mobile, and GoConnect.
Even if you start with just one initiative, it can help your business. For instance, I recently received a Facebook message and subsequent offer from a person who saw my ad on Facebook and contacted me directly. His offer ended up fueling a multiple offer situation and bringing my seller a much higher sales price.
There are simple technology solutions available today to help grow your brand. Take a look at your goals, identify tasks you want to make more efficient, and put those lists side-by-side with the apps and programs you want to implement. This will help you find the best products to serve your business and customers alike.