10 Must-Have Technology Tools

Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on November 6th, 2007

A decade ago, technology had very little to do with a Realtor’s® business. Today, however, technology is essential to an agent or broker’s success.

How does one go about choosing the right technology tools?

10 Must Have TEchnology Tools

Without over-paying for the latest trendy gadget, below is a list of 10 devices that all 21st century real estate professionals should use. Based on feedback from HomeGain agents, these devices will help increase your business’ effectiveness, efficiency and competitiveness.

Top 10 Technology Tools for REALTORS®

1. Website

Website is one of the most important marketing tools an agent can have. It’s not just a way to tell potential homebuyers and sellers who you are and what you offer, but it essential for lead generation. How so? If you set up a form on our site, most likely on your home page, the more motivated consumers will provide you with their contact information. And voila, you have a new lead. Set up auto-responder emails to thank a person for visiting your site, give your contact info, and tell them a realistic amount of time when they should expect a return call or email from you.

2. Laptop

A laptop allows you to take your office with you anywhere you go. It is a terrific way to give a listing presentation to a seller. You can bring it with you for a flashy PowerPoint presentation, delve into MLS stats right there at the home of the seller, and dial up the MLS either to help price a property or locate a new one. A wireless connection is a must.

3. Mobile Phone & Accessories

Consumers prefer to have instant contact, and a mobile phone is the answer to having them reach you at their convenience. Most have a built-in camera, Internet access, text messaging option. The Blackberry™ or TREO™ and even the latest iPhone™ are more powerful alternatives to the more standard cellular phone. There are real estate applications made for TREO, and other benefits include using the device as a “key” for secure access to listings or providing on-the-fly calculations for mortgages or seller net sheets. Don’t forget a Bluetooth headset so you can talk on the phone while driving and keep both hands on the wheel. Some vehicles nowadays are equipped with Bluetooth technology through the stereo system.

4. GPS Navigation System

Although the majority of homebuyers use the Internet to find homes, you still need to do a lot of traveling to walk clients through homes, to transport documents, and to meet people face-to-face. Unless you only sell in one area, which you know like the back of your hand, you will need to navigate your way to unfamiliar areas. With the costs of gas remaining high, and with little time in your busy schedule, a GPS navigation system in your vehicle will get you where you need to be quickly and efficiently.

5. Automated Marketing & Lead Generation Solutions

Some of the larger brokers or top producing agents have people who can monitor new business in the office while they are out. Most real estate agents still need to do both – drumming up new business while attending to active clients. There are companies that provide lead generation and marketing services for agents and brokers for this reason. HomeGain is a good example.

  • The AgentEvaluator program connects agents with homebuyers and sellers in specific ZIP codes.
  • BuyerLink™ increases traffic to your website.
  • AgentView features exclusive agents in one area through HomeGain’s instant home valuation tool.
  • AIMSdelivers you a free website and 20 guaranteed buyer leads per month.

All of these programs allow you to focus on closing business, while generating new business specific to your market areas to build into your long-term pipeline.

6. Zipforms™ and DocuSign®

If you have gotten away from all the paper and are doing contracts online, Zipforms will enable you to write and email contracts online. Contracts get automatically updated and you can type on it like a writable PDF. It’s easy to use, avoids the messy look of a fax. Using DocuSign in conjunction with Zipforms enables you to insert electronic signatures. Combined, it can be a convenience for clients who are more tech savvy and don’t have fax machines.

7. Digital Camera

A digital camera can be used to take photos of the inside and outside of homes, the surrounding area, and anything else that could help sell a home or purchase one. Photos can be placed on your website, posted on listing sites or MLS, used to build a virtual tour, or emailed to clients. As a HomeGain member, you can post your listings for free at www.homegain.com/homescout/mylistings.

8. Homefeedback.com

Homefeedback.com is a service that efficiently automates feedback from buyer showings on your hard-won listings. It makes it easy for the buyer’s agent to communicate their results faster, and helps you respond more quickly to your sellers, keeping communication lines open. Armed with information from this site, you can easily present your seller with showing results on a regular basis while helping you bypass the fear of contacting your seller with little or no good information. When used consistently, it can help you win listings, go for and get price reductions, and keep your listings until you get them sold.

9. Instant Neighborhood Services

Finding the right neighborhood is at the top of the list for most buyers. There are numerous sites that allow you and your clients to search for neighborhood characteristics, schools, demographics, statistics, resources, and more. HomeGain offers an instant home valuation service, and then lists additional neighborhood information in the results. Once you find the site you prefer most, keep it handy so that you can pull it up on your laptop or handheld device to quickly show your clients information about the homes for sale you are showing them.

10. USB Flash Drive

This handy little device is more powerful than it looks. For any large files, images, documents that you need to back up (to ensure that you never lose the file) or transfer to another computer, simply plug the USB drive into your computer and download/upload it. Some files are too large to email, and sometimes you don’t want to bring your whole computer with you. Opt for the 1GB versions to ensure that you have plenty of room for all your files. Oh, and you can even hang it on your keychain for convenience.

 

For more information about Realtor® marketing solutions, visit www.homegain.com/realestateagent.

REALTOR® Magazine Online recently posted “Your Best $1000 Investment”.

Founded in 1999, HomeGain is located in the San Francisco Bay Area in Emeryville, California and has a nationwide following of real estate agents, real estate brokers, and real estate professionals.

Share

Comments

6 Comments on “10 Must-Have Technology Tools”

Brian LeBars

Good of you to point out Doccusign. IT IS A MUST. International clients love the level of service it provides. I wrote an article earlier this year on it at my site.
http://www.GreenMortgageGroup.com
I pointed out the GREEN contribution it adds.
= )

Reggie

Hi Jessica,
Great List, I agree with each item you’ve included. Have you seen the new Verizon USB727 Modem? It’s really cool and optimized for Verizon Wireless’ EV-DO Rev. A network, plus it has a 4GB of built-in microSD memory. It’s the perfect device for document storage and combined wireless broadband.

Jim Cronin

Jessica,

Great list.

I’m certainly partial… but I think that the website itself, without the blog is starting to become obsolete. Businesses need a voice, especially Realtors, and their blogging efforts will help set them apart from the cookie-cutter sites of the past 5 years.

Louis Cammarosano

Jim

I agree that Realtors should have blogs on their sites. It can help show off their local knowledge and portray an engaged professional.

My concern is that many realtors have false expectations that their blogs will get them new customers. That’s Homegain’s job :-)

From speaking with Realtors very few are actually successful in using their blogs to get new customers. The ones that are successful, have a natural aptitude for writing, enjoy it immensely and spend a substantial amount of their time blogging.

With less than full time effort Realtors can create a good blog that may not help get new business, but can help keep Realtors stay in touch with their current customers and prospects.

Similarly, HomeGain uses this blog, not as a means to get new customers but to keep in touch with our current customer base.

I’d like to hear from our customers who are using blogs, for what reason, and to what success.

Ken

I think the navigational system is definitely a must, not only for business but for personal use as well. Not only will you be able to save on gas and paper, but it is safer. With voice guided directions, you do not have to take your eyes off the road to look at the directions.

scott schmitz

I would suggest that you really need some kind of contact manager or organizer. In todays market it really pays to track every lead and incubate as long as necessary. People are sitting on the fence longer and some are looking to rent and then eventually buy and such. So, it pays to track all of that and keep in contact with you leads.

Scott Schmitz
RealOrganized, Inc.
http://www.realtyjuggler.com

Leave a Comment

 

For Real Estate Agents

Online Marekting Solutions

For Home Buyers and Sellers

e.g., 1250 S Main St, Burbank, CA or 91506
     Search Foreclosures    Search New Homes    Search Rentals    

Blog Categories

Blog Archives

Real Estate Blogs

Top Articles

Recent Comments

Guaranteed LeadsReferral Lead ProgramListings PackageVisits to your WebsiteFind REALTOR®Homes For SaleHome Values