Aug 07 2013
Technology Tools Every Agent Should Use

5 Technology Tools Every Agent Should Use

For the last couple of years, real estate technology tools have been rolling out at a fast and furious pace. As a real estate professional, I eagerly scrambled to keep up as a slower market afforded me the time and opportunity.

However, earlier this year as the market began to improve and my time was limited, I found tech tools taking a back seat to working in and on my business.

So many of my real estate agent friends have been overwhelmed with tools they have felt necessary. Tools they thought they needed to master in order to be successful. I look at technology in a different way. I believe the tools you choose should actually support “doing business” rather than shifting your focus away.

Below are my top five favorite technology tools every agent should use to enhance their business without creating additional distraction.

Top 5 Technology Tools You Should Use

  1. Digital Signatures

No matter which digital signature program you choose, the benefit is still the same. Digital signatures provide a convenient, time-saving way for real estate agents to have documents signed. But have you considered the benefit to the customer?

Your customers have spent days on end with you looking for the perfect home. Do you really want to take up more of their precious time meeting face-to-face and asking for signatures on a stack of paperwork? Probably not. Learn to use digital signatures as a service to your customers.

  2. Evernote

When customers in the pipeline, current clients, past clients, cooperating agent contact information and the paperwork involved in a transaction leave you scattered, turn to Evernote. It not only serves as enhanced brain storage, but it also allows for extreme organization.

How many times have you finished a listing appointment, put the sign in the yard and gone back to the office to find out you forgot to put the lockbox on the door with the spare key? Create a listing checklist in Evernote, and never be embarrassed again.

How about the last time a past customer called you and you had to pretend to know who they were and what house they purchased? Create customer notebooks with detailed checklists along with conversation notes and then share it with your customer to keep all parties on the same page.

A quick web search for “Evernote for Real Estate” will provide hundreds of ideas to help ease your stress and become more efficient.

Image representing Evernote as depicted in Cru...

  3. Cloud Based Document Storage

There are several options available in this category, but my favorites are Google Drive and Dropbox. With their smooth accessibility across platforms, including mobile and easy-to-use share features, they gained my favor a couple of years ago and have kept me on as a raving fan.

The importance of cloud based document storage is simple; you need to be able to view contract details on the go. It’s available. It’s easy. Use it.

Image representing Dropbox as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

  4. Mobile App

A mobile app you can use while showing homes is priceless. Get to know it well and learn how to navigate it smoothly.

While an app provided for customer’s use is nice, I don’t feel our customers expect one from us. However, while you are in the car showing homes it will come in handy when driving by a home that’s not on your list. Being able to provide a quick detailed description to your clients will make you look all sorts of smart.

  5. Tablet/iPad

Let’s face it; the versatility provided by an iPad or Tablet makes it a must for your business. The above tools can be used without one, but life will be so much easier for you if you add one to your everyday life.

Go ahead, clean out that car and get rid of all those paper files cluttering your life and replace them with this small wonder.

With 12 years in real estate, it is obvious that I have a passion for the business. Within the last few years I have learned to combine my social media and tech skills with real estate. The way this business has evolved makes it just a pleasure to get to come to work every day.

I have also found a true love of teaching and assisting our agents with the latest and greatest apps and tools available to them.

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Comments

  1. Scott Sowles says:

    Completely agree! However one word of caution – Dropbox does not have telephone support. Ironically they think this is humorous and is actually something they’re proud of. If you’re dependent upon having someone to talk to when there’s a problem – and there will be problems occasionally – you may want to check out other companies.

  2. Joanna,

    This is great advice, we use all of these in our business and it really helps. I don’t believe we have used Evernote to it’s full extent and probably need to do a better job with it. Thanks!!

  3. Thanks Scott! I haven’t had the ‘opportunity’ to deal with Dropbox support yet, but I’ll keep that in mind when recommending to others.

  4. I must have jinxed myself because I now find myself trapped in the very situation I warned you about. I opened Dropbox.com to retrieve a file. Suddenly, without any command on my part, Dropbox began “moving” my largest file. I’ve been working with Dropbox support for the last few days trying to get them to rescue me. I still haven’t been able to fix the problem….and there’s no one to call. Not fun to cozy up to your Inbox hoping they respond…

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