Vanessa Sibley is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Wash., and a former editorial intern with REALTOR® Magazine.
Tech Talk: Striking a Balance
Real estate practitioners share their thoughts and tips on technology.
September 1, 2001
RE/MAX Valley Properties
Morgan Hill, Calif.
My specialties: Ranches and land. As a native of the Azores [islands off Portugal], I’m fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, which enables me to serve a more diverse clientele.
How I use technology: Gingerly. I capture the attention of prospective clients with Internet advertising and stay connected with my cell phone. But once I establish a relationship with a client, personal attention is essential to success.
Tech tip: The bottom line for success is to take good care of your customers. Stay connected but don’t rely too much on technology. By striking a balance, I grossed more than $12 million last year.
Software I can’t do without: WinForms lets me complete the necessary real estate forms directly on the computer, avoiding a paper shuffle.
Favorite Web site: www.intelitouch.com. It shows you how to use technology as an empowering partner for management and productivity.
Just a thought . . .
My market: Commercial broker for land, offices, warehouses, and retail space and builder of apartments and condominiums.
Tech tips: Use the Internet to enhance your availability. I send a “Thought of the Week” and a monthly newsletter to all potential clients. It keeps me in the forefront of their thoughts.
Secure a permanent Web address using your name and connect it to your e-mail. Clients will have an easier time locating you and keeping in touch, and even if you change location, you’ll be easy to find over the Internet.
How technology works for my clients: I’ve compiled a reference page for my clients, filled with links to helpful Web sites for everything from appraisal services and tax information to publications on Florida real estate.
Favorite software: I use ACT2000 for my database, Eudora for my e-mail connection, and WinFax for the monthly newsletter. I reach more than 800 people with each mailing, and these programs really keep my cost per contact low.
My market: I work with families of all income brackets and first-time buyers. Since I launched my Web site, my client base has expanded to cover the entire state.
How technology makes me a success: My Web site has allowed me to reach places that were previously out of my reach and to stay ahead of my competition. (REALTOR® Magazine found me through my site.)
Favorite software: QuickBooks Pro 2001 keeps all my accounting organized and easily accessible, giving me more time to acquire new business.
Favorite Web site: realtor.com has an excellent database for referral purposes and keeps me updated on new legislation, technology, and current trends in real estate.
Internet marketing tip: Collect e-mail addresses and market yourself over the Internet. Keeping in touch by e-mail is cost-effective, delivery is immediate, and client satisfaction is high. No more snail mail.
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