By Kelly Spors
Real-estate agents are under great pressure these days to engage clients in new ways. With so much information now readily available at buyers’ and sellers’ fingertips, agents must find unique strategies that create value and help them grow their business.
Thankfully, some new technologies and tools can help you expand and improve your company’s client-engagement efforts, be more efficient and offer greater value. As your business uses technology to grow, make sure you have the right amount of coverage to support that growth. (We’ve created a full list of risks for real-estate agents to consider as they grow.)
Here are four types of technology to consider, along with specific tools that can help you grow your business:
1. Lead-generation tools
Continuously finding new clients and prospects is essential to growing your business. Some tools are making lead generation easier. Curb Call is an app that lets prospective buyers request showings on specific homes from agents who are available. It’s a convenience for buyers, but it allows you to connect with buyers who’ve yet to engage their own agent. Doorsteps, owned by Move.com, is a site that lets you answer questions that future homebuyers have about the home buying process and, in the meantime, generate potential client leads.
2. Data-gathering apps
Providing clients with the data they need to make informed home buying and selling decisions is a pivotal part of the real-estate business. Homesnap Pro is an app that allows you to glean more insights into homes on the market. You can use it to read remarks on homes from other agents and find out about commission splits. You can also create Multiple Listing Service (MLS) profiles of homes for clients that can be shared electronically.
RPR Mobile, created by the National Association of Realtors, is an app that combines GPS, camera technology, voice recording and text messaging. You can get current and historical MLS data on homes, but also get valuation, school, assessment and foreclosure information. The app lets you create home reports that can be shared with your clients as well create personal audio notes about homes.
3. Video-production technologies
Attractive videos of home listings are par for the course these days, but you may be looking for new ways to use video in your agency. SpeakingPhoto allows you to snap photos of homes (or whatever you want) with a smartphone or tablet and quickly turn it into a video that can be shared via social media, email or wherever you’d like. An audio feature allows you to record a voiceover, too.
Matterport is a 3D camera technology that allows you to take impressively real video footage of homes and upload the video online within a couple hours. The video can be shared via a link and added to a home’s MLS listing or easily embedded on a web site.
4. Efficiency tools
Several apps can help real-estate agents work more efficiently. CamScanner lets you snap high-res photos of documents and share them. Dotloop is an online collaboration tool that allows you to create “loops” with individual clients that remind them about key steps they need to take in the home-buying or selling process and discuss progress toward those steps and share and sign important documents.
While maximizing technology to grow your real-estate agency is important, don’t forget the essentials – like making sure you have the right protections in place. Having the right coverage will help you feel more confident as you grow your business.