Real estate tools and technology are no longer optional for Texas real estate agents and real estate brokers. Clients expect Realtors to have access to the latest and greatest technology tools to make buying and selling their home easier and more effective. Realtors that have access to the latest tools and technology have a let up over their competitors. When thinking about joining a brokerage and looking at where to get your brokerage sponsorship, make sure you are going to have access to the best suite of technology out there.
One common mistake many real estate professionals make is they assume a big box real estate sponsor has the best technology. This simply isn’t always the case. Sometimes, when organizations grow to be so large, they lose their ability to adapt and be flexible with their technology offerings. One thing we know for sure is that in the real estate business, technology is constantly changing and evolving and as real estate agents, we must be able to change and evolve along with it.
For example, home-buyers don’t have time for your open houses anymore — not even with cupcakes. Realtors have had to deal with an entirely new market in the last decade, thanks to emerging real estate technology.
New home-buyers want to stay home and shop for their next house; no one wants to spend hours with a realtor being dragged from property to property.
Even sellers have changed the face of real estate. Instead of inviting over potential realtors to provide a CMA, they want an automated valuation result before even talking to an agent.
In a data-driven world where clients demand effortless solutions to their real estate needs, agents need to keep up with the best technology tools.
7 Real Estate Technology Tool Must-Haves
You could spend your next 10 commission checks on tech gadgets before you’ve even earned them. But if you’re serious about doing business in the increasingly fast-paced world of real estate, these are your seven critical go-tos.
1. Listing Platforms (not just the MLS)
While your local MLS is your first stop for listing properties, not all agents are NAR members and may not have access to the MLS.
Some property listing sites, like Trulia and Zillow, access feeds from the MLS. But look at other listing tools and take advantage of any opportunities to get your properties in front of more buyers.
Homesnap Pro is an easy-to-use app accessed by millions of potential buyers every month. For agents, Homesnap offers leads from these searches, matching you up with qualified buyers.
Homesnap also offers tools to serve your listings and ads to top-trafficked real estate search engines. You’ll also receive scheduling tools, market alerts, and a fast-track CMA tool that lets you produce and share a report with clients in just a few minutes.
2. Real Estate Video Marketing 2021 Style
A high-end property deserves an exemplary user experience when it comes to integrating real estate and technology. For luxury properties, the right presentation can increase the sales price and your commission check.
TruPlace offers everything you need for professional-quality real estate videography, including floor plan tours, HD photographs, and bird’s-eye drone tours for your potential buyers. Interactive platforms for selling real estate can increase buyer desire, especially when they include virtual staging tools that let buyers “see” themselves in the home.
While your listings definitely need your attention, you need your attention as well. Video marketing is no longer as optional as it used to be for real estate agents. Video marketing on social media platforms like TikTok can be huge for your business. Remeber this viral real estate TikTok? How much credibility would you generate if you got even half this exposure? Nervous about video marketing yourself? Don’t be! Most people genuinely want to get to know the real estate agent or real estate broker they choose to work with. This gives you the perfect platform.
3. Website (more than just a website)
Real estate technology has finally come into its own for creating broker and agent websites. Real Geeks was one of the first entries into the market and integrates all the necessary tools, from IDX feeds to contact management and email drip campaigns.
Real Geeks’ websites take it one step further by offering an in-house marketing team to manage your Google and Facebook PPC ads. One of its most intriguing tools is its property valuation tool, which provides an automated CMA to reel in potential sellers while capturing them in your lead management system.
Other options maybe even better. Kunversion is the choice of Broker Breakup. Kunversion is one of the top tools for independent realtors and corporate-affiliated realtors alike. Kunversion offers website design and hosting and so much more. They have in-house advertising and lead generation and are considered a one-stop-shop for your digital marketing efforts.
4. Lead Generation Tools for 2021
Whether you’re advertising on social media or setting up landing pages, the one place where technology in real estate really shines is lead generation.
Chime lead generation taps into those niche and hard-to-satisfy markets, using artificial intelligence to help you target your ads more effectively.
Chimes lead generation uses multiple channels of online ads and extracts social and identity data to help you appeal to your most receptive buyers. It’s actually a bit unfair. It takes most of the guesswork out of optimizing your PPC campaigns.
Other options for high-producing agents like Follow Up Boss are great for teams or agents who are using VA’s to help manage their lead flow and pipeline. One thing is for sure, the days of keeping track of leads in a notebook or even an excel spreadsheet are the days of the past.
When you work in real estate, time management can be a huge obstacle to success. Showing Time is a complete solution when it comes to choosing real estate scheduling tools.
Use the app or desktop platform to view scheduled showings, and let the coordinators on staff field phone calls and ensure those showings run seamlessly. Best of all, it provides automatic follow-up for feedback from potential buyers.
With nearly a million agents relying on Showing Time to manage showings and provide access to listing to other agents, it’s a tool you need if you want to manage more listings.
5. Customer Relationship Management
Selling is all about relationships, and IXACT Contact offers the tools you need to keep in touch with clients and prospects in amazing detail.
IXACT lets you build a lead generation website you can customize with SEO for real estate in your farming niche. You’ll be able to customize your home page to suit your brand, add drip campaigns, automate newsletters, and sync with other tools like Google and Outlook.
If you’re a busy broker and need an assistant to remind you when and how to follow up with leads, IXACT has you covered.
Capterra users give IXACT 4.4 out of 5 stars, with most lauding the mobile app and wide selection of features.
Don’t look at just one place for your CRM. Mojo gives great options for real estate agents who are big on cold calling while managing contacts through the real estate sales cycle.
6. Paperless Contracts and Digital Signing
As the industry has migrated to online platforms, more agents find themselves working with remote clients. This means you’ll need to process contracts with paperless transaction tools.
DocuSign is one of the oldest and most trusted of these services, and still considered the best. Agents on ActiveRain give it a solid 4.69 out of 5 stars. Its popularity stems from its intuitive and easy-to-use functionality, even for the non-tech savvy.
In Texas, we all have access to zipforms which is free with your membership with the Texas Association of Realtors. Since you already are a member, you might not have to pay for another third party solution unless you prefer the features and benefits of a particular offering.
7. Safety Tools (Don’t Overlook!)
With the migration of real estate lead generation to anonymous online contacts, many agents feel uncomfortable meeting new clients in remote spots.
Forewarn offers an application that helps you vet your prospects before you meet them at that old abandoned bank sale. Forewarn boasts that it can identify more than 80 percent of callers using their incoming phone number.
Along with checking on their possible criminal history, it also checks and verifies property and vehicle ownership. You’ll be notified of previous bankruptcies and liens. So, even if your physical safety isn’t your top concern, you’ll know if your seller actually owns the listing or whether they’ll be tough to qualify.
Inman awarded Forewarn a solid second runner-up position in its 2019 awards for innovation in real estate technology.
Get Ready to Put the Best Real Estate Technology to Work
The ability to leverage new real estate technology will be the defining measure of success in the upcoming market. Even new agents and brokers can get a leg up on old pros by broadening their sphere of influence with the right tools.
But if you’re tired of investing money and time in the latest technology tools and still paying big cuts to your broker, maybe it’s time to strike out on your own. Contact Broker Breakup now to find out how to get the 100 percent commission cut you deserve.