Are you one of those real estate agents who try to generate leads, market your business, market your listings, keep up with past clients and wear all the other hats in your business – simultaneously – while trying to also help your clients, be with your family, take care of yourself and generally live your life?
It’s exhausting just writing about it; I can’t imagine living it. Wait… I did live it. And I distinctly recall that it sometimes felt as if I were a hamster on a wheel, going endlessly in circles.
Thanks to the wonders of physics, the hamster wheel never runs out of power, easily accommodating you on 16-hour days, going around and around.
It’s the trivial, everyday stuff that gets the attention while you’re on the wheel and the important stuff gets short shrift.
It’s time to give the hamster his wheel back and focus on how you can leverage real estate technology and tools available to allow you to spend more time on the truly important aspects – the money-making aspects – of your business.
Don’t be a tech laggard.
Small businesses that leverage new technology make more money than businesses that are “tech laggards,” according to research from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
In fact, “leaders racked up annual revenue-growth rates 11 percentage points higher than laggards,” according to BCG’s report.
But, don’t waste your money on new tech until you have your office outfitted with the basics. This includes a CRM, cloud solutions and a killer, lead-generating real estate website.
Put a real estate-specific CRM at the top of your list. Even if you don’t use ours, a CRM is an absolute necessity.
It’s where you’ll store your leads, keep track of where they are in the sales funnel, and target them with appropriate marketing. In other words, a robust CRM is a relationship managing super-solution.
If you’re just starting the hunt for the ideal real estate CRM, here’s what to look for:
- Tracking capabilities – “Recent contacts are there as soon as you log in. I can see what they have been looking at so I can call them with intelligent conversations,” says agent Margaret Bzdewka in a review of Market Leader’s CRM on G2 Crowd.
- Continuous training – “Market leader training provides excellent webinar-based training,” raves Dennis Shew, also on G2 Crowd.
When shopping for a CRM, ensure that it offers at least the following:
- The ability to manage all of your leads in one place
- Mobile technology
- Ease of use
- Built-in marketing tools
The importance of a user-friendly, do-it-all CRM for the real estate agent can’t be overstated. Don’t believe us?
When 89 percent of homebuyers and 67 percent of home sellers say they would definitely use their agent again, or refer that agent to others (NAR, 2017), NOT staying in touch with them is business homicide.
Use the cloud for all it’s worth.
The use of cloud-based services for everything from storing real estate documents to transaction calendars will reduce your time on the hamster wheel exponentially. When this information is stored online, it’s accessible to everyone involved, from other team members to clients.
Examples of popular cloud services for real estate agents include:
- Market Leader Professional
- Dropbox and Google Drive for document storage and sharing
- iCloud for Apple users
- Huddle for security-conscious agents’ document collaboration
Invest on sprucing up your online curb appeal.
Your home on the internet is where potential clients will come to search for homes for sale, learn about the buying and selling process and neighborhoods and to learn more about you.
It’s up to you to help them find you online and, once they’re on your site, to convert them into leads. Keep the layout clean yet customized to fit your brand and ensure that navigation is a snap.
Take a look at Market Leader’s layout options and how they can be customized to fit your brand. Then, start blogging to increase SEO and boost your real estate website traffic.
Get off the wheel…
I once watched a video starring Tic, a furry hamster who lives in a laboratory. During one of his morning exercise routines, Tic stumbles and is pulled into the rotating hamster wheel, “completing nearly 12 revolutions in about four seconds before ignominiously dropping out of the wheel.”
The text accompanying the video explained how this happens. “The faster he spins, the more his inertia pushes him into the wheel, the more it pushes back (Newton’s Third Law) and the more he is stuck in his dizzying rotation.”
But, when the wheel begins to slow, the force on Tic disappears and he’s able to escape.
By leveraging real estate tools available to agents, you can slow down that wheel long enough to escape and spend more time on the tasks that actually make money for your business.