Posts Tagged as technology

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Mobile Technology for Real Estate Agents

Mobile technology is particularly exciting for real estate, because it allows the agent or broker to operate in real time, providing top notch service and response.

Real estate professionals have never been, as a whole, early adopters of technology, despite proven benefits. But falling behind when it comes to applicable technology can cost you money, and a lot of it. Mobile technology for real estate agents is a hot, growing field. What do you know about it?

The average real estate agent is in his or her mid-50s (57, to be exact). This is a contributing factor to the prevalent use of outdated technology in the business. But realtors are adopting mobile technology. Smartphones are commonplace. Tablets and iPads are growing in popularity. These devices enable location aware applications at very reasonable price points, designed for use on systems most people are already familiar with. It’s win-win-win-win!

Mobile technology is particularly exciting for real estate, because it allows the agent or broker to operate in real time, providing top notch service and response.

Handy SMS mobile tools like Smart Lead Capture allow real estate professionals to market their listings and capture leads over mobile devices. With smart lead capture, agents and brokers can capture leads by offering their clients the ability to “text for more information” about a property listed for sale or rent. The system stores and displays all of the property information and displays it to the prospects in a manner that best fits the user’s mobile phone. Information can be sent as a text message or over the internet via a mobile browser.

You can also ensure you never miss a text lead by setting up SMS Auto-Responder technology. Similar to email auto-responders, SMS Auto-Responders allow you to send an automated response via text message as soon as a prospect utilizes your text for information service provided by Smart Lead Capture. You can write custom messages for each of your listings, and they’ll be sent automatically.

Over half of prospects (56%) expect to be contacted within 30 minutes of expressing interest in a property, according to NAR statistics. This kind of high expectation leaves no margin for error. Taking advantage of the many affordable mobile technology tools now available to real estate professionals helps you close the gap, more and more.

Mobile applications like Lead Alert send instant leads via SMS (text) message, so that follow-up can happen in real time. Respond while a prospective buyer’s interest is at its peak – while they’re standing in front of the property or clicking through its individual property website.

We could spend weeks covering mobile technology for real estate professionals (and maybe we will!), but this is a great place to start. There is no shortage of awesome applications and new developments. Just a little investment will take you and your real estate business a long way.

Buyer Feedback is Essential

Buyer feedback: Few things are this important to a real estate professional when it comes to the sale of a home.

Buyer feedback. Few things are this important to a real estate professional when it comes to the sale of a home. Buyer feedback is essential. It helps you to know what you’re doing right and what you need to change or improve.

Indeed, says Properties Online CEO and co-founder Amanda Cornelius, “One of the most important questions you can ask a potential buyer who has just finished viewing a home is, ‘What did you think about this house’?”

Make a habit of asking other agents and open house visitors several questions, including:

1. What was your overall impression of the house or property?

2. What did you like most about the home?

3. What did you like least about the home?

4. How do you compare this home with others you are viewing and considering?

5. How do you feel about the price? Is it accurate? Underpriced? Overpriced?

6. What would it take for you to make an offer today?

It can be challenging to ask these questions face-to-face. For one, it would be tremendously time consuming. For another, open home visitors and brokers may feel put on the spot, preventing them from being completely frank in their replies.

This is yet another way single property websites save the day.

A built-in property feedback system enables you to send a feedback request form to agents and to open house visitors, soliciting their feedback about the property.

This free tool allows you to obtain critical buyer feedback – a great way to help you negotiate needed changes with your sellers.

Home sellers often don’t realize how important it is to have their agent who can tell them the truth about their property – the good, the bad and the ugly. There will be no sale if a listing agent isn’t honest with their client about what will make the home more appealing to buyers, and an agent can gather this critical information simply by using a property feedback system.

Setting Goals for Your Real Estate Business

Maintaining business momentum and achieving new successes – your real estate business needs both. Setting goals for your real estate business is a simple but effective way to keep you on track, capitalize on the wins you’ve made, and strive for more – more leads, more clients, more listings, more home sales, more income. You set the goals. Let your ambition lead the way. Your goals will help you to measure your progress.

Whether your goals are short or long-term, you’re chances of reaching them increase when you name them and specify a plan of action, in writing. Your motivation, which probably lags from time to time like mine, can be given a major boost with some careful goal planning. It’s a great way to get inspired.

Check in with yourself on a schedule – daily, weekly, monthly, whatever suits you – and see how your goals are tracking with the specific action steps you laid out when you wrote them down. This will highlight any roadblocks and provide great motivation as you start to see things moving along.

Try not to get stuck if things don’t go exactly to plan. Successful business people – real estate agents, brokers and others – all share the ability to be flexible and quick to respond to change. The ability to be agile will aid your goal setting tremendously.

Not sure where to start with your own goal setting? Well, NAR statistics tell us that both home buyers and sellers wish the agents they worked with were quicker to respond to their queries. Seventy-seven percent of sellers expect a response from their agent within 30 minutes and 88% of buyers expect a response from their agent within 1 hour. But the vast majority of agents don’t live up to that expectation. Do you? If not, there’s your first goal!

Technology can be a huge enabler of your goals. For instance, investment in mobile technologies can dramatically increase your response time, and automated systems can reduce or eliminate a lot of the demand and hassle involved.

Then there are actual goal setting and tracking software programs you can use online.

Declare-it will assist you in creating, tracking and being held accountable to your goals, and develop a support system.

Goalgenius.com is a rewards-based system that provides a complete and comprehensive system designed to keep you motivated and organized so that you achieve your most important goals.

Goal-buddy.com is a free online tool that helps you set your goals, manage your tasks, build new habits and stay accountable.

Goalenforcer.com promises to help you set your goals, plan faster and accomplish more.

Good luck!

Why You Should Use QR Codes as a Real Estate Agent

QR Codes or Quick Response Codes are a quick & easy way for real estate professionals to drive mobile traffic to their website. It allows a person to scan what is effectively a barcode with their mobile phone, accessing online information instantly. Here’s why you should use QR codes as a real estate agent:

How would this work for real estate, you ask? In seconds, with the use of a smart phone, a user can scan the code and be redirected to a designated website, where they can find additional details and photos of a property listed for sale. Services like ListingsUnlimited.com provide a built-in tracker that will tell you how many people used the QR Code to visit your property site.

In real estate, there are three popular uses for QR Codes:

1. QR Codes in print media. This enables homebuyers who pick a flyer to quickly get to a website filled with rich information and color photos of the house. The idea is that instead of typing a long web address into their phone, the prospect can quickly and easily get to the same place and get all the information they need. QR codes beautifully connect offline with online, making the most of what modern technology has to offer, and – most importantly – engaging leads.

2. QR Code on yard signs. Typically, the prospect sees the home and the sign, and while they’re still there, they can quickly access the property site,full of information about the house, including a link to the agent’s email. It’s a great way to capture a lead that otherwise might have just moved on and forgotten about the house.

3. QR Codes to capture leads. Different from a traditional QR Code that sends prospects directly to the property’s website, QR Capture Codes first route the potential buyer to the agent’s SMS (text message) gateway capturing their phone number as they go. This service is a new and unique way to capture mobile leads from a QR scanner/reader.

If you’re a real estate agent, you should be using QR Codes to market your properties. They’re free, innovative and simple to add to your traditional marketing materials, such as business cards, flyers, newspaper ads and more.

Update Your Real Estate Technology

There are some 2.8 million real estate agents in the United States, and arguably most of them are using outdated equipment and technology. Agents, by nature, cannot work chained to a desk. Software designed for desktop computers is passé and not effective. But most agents haven’t made the switch. Is it time for you to update your real estate technology?

We’ve explored some related statistics before. The average agent, according to NAR and other research firms, is between the ages of 54-58 – not exactly the demographic known for its early adoption of real estate technology or technology in general. But technology is making huge inroads, as portable and mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones grow ever popular, helping to meet the need of buyers who are doing property searches in real time from their mobile phones, every day. Apple’s influence, with the iPhone and iPad, has practically revolutionized parts of the real estate industry.

Today, there is a firm niche for real estate software designed and developed specifically for mobile devices. These location aware apps and systems are available at a much lower price point than their desktop-based predecessors and cost a fraction of the money. Real estate agents now have the capability to work in real time, with all their business productivity software, no matter where they are.

Real estate agents can manage their businesses, from contracts to documents, listings, transactions, and more using mobile solutions, such as:

SmarterAgent. Suite of mobile MLS apps.

Cartavi. Simple document management and eSign designed for real estate agents.

PropertyCapsule. Property portfolio management software for iPad.

Open House Manager. Streamlines, synchronizes, exports, integrates and reports – for a complete mobile open house management solution for iPhone and iPad.

Skyslope. Mobile transaction management software for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry.

Mobile Lead Capture. Automated, real time SMS lead capture.

TouchCMA. Mobile presentation tool for real estate agents.

Reesio. Mobile workflow and transaction management software for agents, brokers and transaction coordinators.

Dotloop. Links people, paperwork and tasks seamlessly, for real time collaboration from anywhere.

What’s your favorite real estate mobile app?