Real estate is a challenging business. Agents and brokers need all the help they can get for the greatest efficiency. Having the right tools will simplify and streamline workflow. Such tools can help in marketing, accounting and customer management. Here are six tools every real estate agent and broker must have.
1. Market your business with a website:
Real estate agents and brokers need websites because they are a potent marketing tool. You have all the flexibility you need to determine your best content. It is the place where you put your listings. You also need it for lead generation and data collection.
Brokers and agents can also use a website to become thought leaders, with content generation through blogs. With the right SEO techniques, the real estate company will increase its exposure.
You have many tools for setting up a real estate website, including Ylopo, Agent Fire, Union Street Media and ProAgent Websites. Consider hiring a web designer for a more professional look.
The cost of setting up a website will depend on the designer or website builder. You must also invest in building traffic to your website. Once you do, you will have a powerful, flexible and cost-effective marketing tool.
2. Manage your books with accounting software:
Real estate agents and brokers need a way to manage their finances, something to help track expenses and expenditures. The software should be user friendly and easy to access online.
Other features you should get include:
- Banking features for transactions and reconciliations
- Automated payment reminders
- Recurring invoicing
- Inventory management
- In-built reports receivables, trial balances, general ledgers
- Report generation
- Ability to integrate it with other third-party apps including CRM and payroll
You have options with regards to the best accounting software in the market. These include QuickBooks, Freshbooks and Realtyzam and Xero. But the best accounting software will be of no use to you and your team if you do not know how to use it.
Look for those that will make it easy to onboard the team. When you plan to introduce a new tool to your team, make sure that they’re well-equipped to use it. You can train your team if you’ve been using Xero for a while or signup your team for classes for QuickBooks if you don’t know much about the tool as well. Preparing and learning how to use the software will lead to better efficiency and fewer human errors.
3. Divide and track jobs with the right task management tools:
There is a lot that goes into showing a listing. From identifying the property, consulting with the owner, viewing and advertising, to marketing. It helps if there is a system for managing such tasks without a lot of back and forth.
You want to be able to collaborate with the team members wherever they are. The platforms should allow you to divide tasks and keep track of them without too much fuss. You want to know that your client’s needs are being taken care of at all times.
The right task management software should allow you to get updates anytime you need them. The platform you go for should be easy to use.
You have plenty of options with regards to task management software. They include Trello, Basecamp, monday.com and Asana. Read customer reviews to determine how each of them performs.
It is important to have a good understanding of your business needs before signing up for one.
4. Generate leads with the right customer relationship management (CRM):
Good relationships are critical in the real estate sector. Real estate is very much about direct customer relationships. You have to manage clients well every step of the way. It determines whether they will end up buying the property you are listing. The right customer relationship management software will make your life so much easier.
You do not have to worry about forgetting particular tasks, making life so much easier. Your team members will also know what they need to do every step of the way. Customer relationship management tools are fantastic for collecting and converting leads.
Other important features you get include ad-targeting. You can also include video features in emails and texts, thereby improving open rates.
Some CRM tools you can consider include Liondesk, Hubspot and Apptivo. Other options include Zillow Premier agent, Streak CRM and Contactually.
5. Manage your social media platforms:
Social media management is critical for any business. Agents and brokers must pay attention to the different platforms. With the right techniques, they are a fantastic marketing tool. They also help with building brand awareness.
Social media platforms are also a source for leads generation. Managing the platforms can be difficult and time-consuming. You invest time in coming up with relevant posts. It is important to schedule them to ensure consistency.
Target the communication to ensure the right audiences receive them. Finally, analytics is important to know what is working and what is not.
With so many platforms, it can get challenging to know which one to concentrate on. Even when you decide on the one you want to use, you still need to give its management time.
There are several tools you can use to make the process easier, including Hootsuite, Do Share and Feebly. Others include ManageFilter, LikeAlyzer, Bitly and Curalate.
6. Take your office wherever you are with portable office tools:
Real estate agents and brokers do not have time to sit in the office. You are always on the move and it helps to have your office with you.
The platform you choose must give you enough storage for your documents. You want to be sure of online security wherever you are. You should also be able to share and access documents with ease.
Some platforms will allow you to set up meetings. Other tasks include plan presentations or work on documents online. Others give video conferencing options so that you can communicate wherever you are.
The latest entrant is Zoom, which can thank the pandemic for its popularity. Many people, including real estate agents, have had to work from home. Other tools to consider include Google Workspace, Microsoft Onedrive and iWork.com.
Real estate agents and brokers need the right tools to help manage tasks. Determine what your business needs are, and then look for the right software. Regardless of the type of software you choose, make sure you have a complete arsenal at your disposal.
This article was commissioned by Simon Sez IT.