We are in the 21st century and we are right in the midst of an unprecedented wave of various innovations and discoveries. Virtually every aspect of the way we live has been changed by the rapidly evolving world of technology. What used to take days and weeks to get done can now be done within a day. Our activities have become easier to track and out tasks have become easier to handle.
While this surge in technology-related innovation has cut across our personal lives, may people still find it difficult to apply these same tools in their businesses. Businesses are entities too – they live and die, they fall sick and recover – they respond to whatever they are fed with, either it’s good management style or poor handling of finances. A lot of Realtors and brokers are failing to handle their realties and brokerages in ways that would ensure continued growth. One of such is embracing new tech tools.
While it is good to use tried and trusted principles in running your business, the truth is that the methods and tools you will have to use will vary considerably with time. In this post I want to outline 22 essential tech tools Realtors and Brokers are failing to use but which are essential to their continued profitability and ultimately, their continued existence (I have separated these 22 tools into 10 categories). The old methods may work fine at the moment, but it’s only a matter of time before the people that use them get left in the dust.
Social Media Profile Management
In the times we find ourselves in, it’s simply difficult to live without interacting with one social media platform or the other. If you’re not catching up with friends on Facebook, you could be pinning your favourite pictures to boards on Pinterest, you could also be building your professional network on LinkedIn or you could find yourself tweeting a newsworthy article you just came across.
The good thing is that people who are interested in buying or selling homes also use these platforms and therefore it has become easy to get across to your targeted audience. As a Realtor or broker you should set up both personal and professional profiles for yourself and for your businesses respectively. On Facebook you can create and manage all your profiles from a single account.
That said, it is important to note that not all Social Media channels are born equal, and it’s not every social media platform that will align with your business. From experience, I have discovered and I will advise that you should focus on Facebook marketing (more on this later). Facebook has a mammoth amount of data that other platforms simply cannot match at the moment. If you are looking to build a brand, you should also use the other social media outlets.
Recommended Tech Tools (Social Media): Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.
File Storage & Sharing
Since you would be involved in quite a bit of movement because of your job, it is advisable that you have access to your important files on the go. It might be difficult to carry all you files or all your devices along with you every time. For instance, you would not want to keep carrying a laptop, a smartphone, and a tablet together at the same time. So I recommend that you sign up with various file storage and sharing services that will make gaining access to your files a breeze.
Dropbox will give you 2 GB of free space when you sign up and they will give you 500 MB of space for every contact you refer. In all, you could get up to 18 GB or 22 GB if you help them reach more people and if you do certain things like installing Drobox on your smartphone. Google Drive also gives you access to 15 GB of space, it comes bundled with every Gmail account you set up. Box is also a good alternative to both these tools. Although Evernote will not give you gigabyte worth of space, it would help you take down notes very quickly and you will be able to access them from any place and at any time. You can also save images and voice notes.
Recommended Tech Tools (File Storage & Sharing): Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote
Video Creation & Hosting
Another option that Brokers and Realtors alike are failing to take advantage of is video creation and video hosting. Within the next 3 years, you should look at video seriously. For instance it’s been projected by Cisco that in 2019, 80% of all consumer Internet traffic will be from video traffic, also it has been reported that Facebook presently drives 95% of its organic traffic to videos. This should tell you that video is the way to go if you are serious about being at the forefront of what’s coming.
You don’t need to pay huge amount of money before you can start making videos, all you need is a smartphone with a decent camera and a happy face. If you check out my videos, you will notice that a good number of them were recorded in my car. You don’t need to be in a studio to record something. Alternatively, you could hold a live call session on Google Hangouts and record it. If you want to record a walkthrough of the home, you might need some help though. When you are done recording, you can upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo.
Recommended Tech Tools (Video Creation & Hosting): Smartphone, Google Hangouts, YouTube, Vimeo
Photo Hosting/Photo Sharing
Similar to your use of videos to get your message across, you should also make use of images. In fact, images take less space than videos and they could help you convey your message almost as effectively.
I believe you already take pictures of the houses you put on sale, so I will just add that you should consider creating albums for them on Instagram or you could use Flickr too. Both will work just fine, but since Instagram is inherently a Social media platform, your pictures have a higher tendency of gaining more attention. You have to find out what works for you though.
Recommended Tech Tools (Photo Hosting & Photo Sharing): Instagram, Flickr
Blogging Platforms/Content Management System
Do you want to go beyond other Realtors or Brokerages? Do you want to create a brand while educating your audience? Do you want people to consider you as an authority in your niche? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then you should seriously consider owning a blog. This would clearly place you on a different level to your competition. This would help you to add more value to your audience, and this could mean more business too.
There are quite a number of blogging platforms like Drupal and Joomla, but neither of them comes close to WordPress. WordPress has a clear advantage and I don’t see why they should soft-pedal any time soon. There are tons (and I mean tons) of free plugins to use with WordPress and WordPress itself is free. If you’re still on the fence and you need a little bit of motivation before considering it, then you should know that Modern Moguls Marketing is also powered by WordPress.
Recommended Tech Tool (Blogging & Content Management): WordPress
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools
If you are a Realtor that makes just a handful of deals annually, you might not need to worry about having a CRM. But if you always have your hands full with clients or you find it difficult to remember who a client is or what you discussed with them, then you should get a CRM software. It would make your planning and execution a breeze.
There are CRM software that give you the chance to take down action notes so that anybody can take these notes and know what was discussed and what needs to be done. It would make it possible for you to bring anyone into your business without worrying about updating them about every single client. Your notes will tell them what needs to be done. You can also set reminders of meetings you have or of a call you are supposed to make. A good number of CRMs also make it possible for you to send emails to clients. But I advocate using tools that are more focused on email marketing for this. More on this in the next category.
Recommended Tech Tools (Customer Relationship Management): Salesforce, HubSpot
Email list Building & Email Marketing Tools
Contrary to whatever you might have heard, email marketing is not dead, it’s not dying anytime soon. In fact, if you are not actively getting people to subscribe to your email list so that you can send information to them, then you might be missing out on the chance to double your income. I’ll briefly tell you why.
When it comes to marketing and sales, people’s email addresses is a form of currency, they have to see value in what you are offering them (even if it’s free) before they release their emails to you. People have become wary of people who look like they have something worthwhile to offer but who will start sending them junks after they’ve subscribed. So, you have to give them value in return for their email addresses.
There are various things you can offer people to make them subscribe, it could be a free video, it could be an eBook, it could be a checklist, but it must be valuable and it must answer a particular question. It must meet a specific need your clients have. Such a product is popularly referred to as a “Lead magnet.” The Lead magnet doesn’t have to be big, in fact the less (and more specific) it is the better. People have low attention spans and as such they might get bored with your product if it’s tiringly long.
With this free offer, you can quickly build your email list, afterwards, you can keep sending them informative emails while also marketing your products or services. Most people need to see your name (or the name of your brand) multiple times before they make a purchasing decision. So, you should keep sending those emails even if it’s 1 email per week or fortnightly.
Recommended Tech Tools (Email List Building & Email Marketing): MailChimp & SumoMe
Social Media Advertisement
If you are interested in building and scaling your business fast just like I am, then you should be advertising your services. If you want to advertise on platforms used by your potential customers, then you should consider social media adverting. Finally, if you are looking for a social media platform that knows more about your audience than any other, you should choose Facebook advertising.
Facebook advertising is simply in a class of it’s own at the moment and it’s because Facebook has so much data about each and every user of its platform. The amount of data is massive. With Facebook advertising, you have the ability to filter ads so that they target a single neighbourhood, or you could focus on home owners that are likely to move. The options are endless. And if you get your marketing right, you can be able to get an insane amount of sales from very little money in ad spend. For instance, one of our clients (a new agent) used our system to generate $34,714 in income from $49 she spent on Facebook Advertising in less than 90 days. Another of our clients spent under $10 and got 61 leads on the very first day he applied what he had learned. That is why I always tell clients that Facebook is for building businesses, while most of the other social media platforms are perfect for building brands.
Recommended Tech Tool (Social Media Advertisement): Facebook Advertisement
Smartphones & Digital Devices
I previously made mention of smartphones and for good reason, smartphones (and tablets) have simply become necessities, they aren’t luxury items anymore. With your smartphone and digital devices, you can keep tabs on almost anything, you can quickly check on the state of a Facebook ad campaign you are running or you can set reminders for a meeting, you can quickly take notes and send them off to someone or you could use your Dropbox or Google Drive app to retrieve a file you didn’t bring along with you to a meeting. Alternatively you could use your phone to record a video or you could make a video call with Skype, Google Hangouts or Facebook Messenger. What about emails? Of course you can check them with your smartphones.
Your smartphone has the ability to carry out various tasks so you should see it as an important part of your business. And seeing that the world is going mostly mobile, you are always in good company.
Recommended Tech Tools (Smartphones & Digital Devices): A smartphone with a good camera
Sales Funnel Creation
If you are not using sales funnels in your business, then you are leaving a lot on the table. What is a sales funnel you may ask? Good question. A sales funnel is simply a set of steps you put in place that will take totally new visitors and help them become buying customers. It usually begins when you offer them a lead magnet in exchange for their emails addresses and the first cycle ends when they buy something from you. I said “first cycle” because this cycle can be repeated many times over.
The truth is that once you’ve sold to an individual, it becomes even easier to sell to them again, this is because buying is a psychological process, and people have to trust you enough before they can decide to purchase your product. As a Realtor or Broker, you might be tempted to ask how a sales funnels applies to you. Well, much in every way. First, you need to get the contacts of people who are likely to buy from you, this means you should be offering a lead magnet. In the end, some of these leads you generate will end up buying or selling a house through you. That makes a complete cycle.
To find out how we’ve successfully helped loads of Realtors, Brokers and other clients generate insane results, you really should check this out.
Recommended Tech Tool (Sales Funnel Creation): ClickFunnels, Instapage
I have seen so many clients who have achieved phenomenal results within weeks and months using Social Media and a couple of other tools. They don’t have to wait too long before they begin to get phenomenal results. This is due to our innovative approach to marketing. To find out for FREE, check out this page.
Also, if you have questions or contributions, let me know you thoughts in the Comments section below. I’m waiting to hear from you. And please share this post so that others can also learn. Thanks.