Technology and the internet have changed the way consumers think and act in nearly every industry imaginable and the real estate sector is no exception. More than 90% of home searches start online and 50% of buyers use a mobile website or application in their home search according to a recent report released by the National Association of REALTORS®.
Going digital becomes a necessity for real estate agents looking to maximize exposure and explore new lead generation avenues. But more than that, adopting online solutions allows real estate pros to accomplish more in less time, whether dealing with operational or administrative tasks.
Here are 8 essential online tools that can help you work smarter and faster.
1. Use Point2 Agent to get more leads and close more sales
When juggling between client meetings, open houses, and property closings, it’s often hard to devise and carry out sound marketing strategies on multiple platforms. Here’s where Point 2 Agent can be of real help – it provides you with the tools that will do the multi-tasking for you. With Point2, you can easily:
- create mobile-friendly real estate websites
- syndicate listings to over 50 real estate search portals
- manage customer relations
- automatically add your listings to your Facebook business page
2. Get your name out there with PR Underground
Whether you’ve just closed on a property, won an industry award recognizing your achievements, or created an insightful report on recent market trends, PR Underground will spread your news on social media, search engines and the web.
The company promises transparency and effectiveness and, as a proof, they will even tell you when not to use their service for news releases.
PR Undergound releases are published in Google News within minutes, and syndicated to 100 online news sites including Boston.com, SiliconInvestor.com, AZCentral.com, HousingWire.com, LA Daily News, Cincinnati.com, DealBreaker.com, & the Miami Herald.
To further boost exposure and increase your visibility on the web, PR Underground will send links and summaries of your press release to different accounts on 15 social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, del.icio.us and StumbleUpon.
A user review sums it up pretty well: “every time I submit a press release on PR Underground, traffic more than triples. They are top of Google rankings in minutes and being reposted everywhere”.
3. Leverage networking on BiggerPockets to grow your business
Founded in 2004, BiggerPockets.com is one of the most respected online real estate networking and information resource platforms. It’s the one place where investors, homeowners, real estate agents, and other industry professionals can have their questions answered on the spot through real estate forums, articles, member blogs, podcasts, and the BiggerPockets Blog.
Navigating the world of real estate becomes a whole lot easier with the BiggerPockets guides on how to:
- rent your house or buy rental properties
- start wholesaling
- screen tenants
- flip houses
- find good investment deals in particular areas, and more.
4. Go paperless with digital signatures: DocuSign
Using a digital service for signing documents can make things easier for many types of businesses, not just real estate.
How would you like to have access to all your documents anywhere and anytime, and be able to securely sign, send, and manage your paperwork online? With DocuSign you have all of that. With one account and one secure login you can start signing, sending, and storing documents from your desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone.
Additionally, integrating digital signatures in your work processes will help you cut time out of the deals, as you’re no longer tied to the office, nor do you have to drive back and forth to customers’ businesses. Your clients – both buyers and seller – will love it too as they will be able to sign documents safely wherever they are from an iPhone or iPad. DocuSign allows you to move the paperwork more quickly, and so efficiently that you might even gain an extra day per week.
5. Boost social media engagement with Buffer
Are you ready for multi-platform social media use? To reach a wider audience you need to become active on more social media channels and Buffer is your best bet if you don’t have any time to lose. Buffer allows you to post from a computer or mobile device to multiple networks including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and App.net, virtually cutting your sharing time in half.
With one click, you or anyone in your team can share content and schedule updates for any time in the future. Plus, you get access to detailed social analytics which will give you clear insights on what’s working and what’s not.
6. With TruPlace, your properties will stand out among the crowd
If you’re looking for a sure way to make your listings stand out among the competition, TruPlace will help you get there fast with stunning professional photography.
It’s no secret that warm and inviting photos are the first step to winning a new customer to your business. In fact, according to the tool’s developers, a real estate listing with a TruPlace tour sells, on average, 67% faster than listings without it do, primarily because you’re providing your buyers with access to a 24/7 virtual open house.
Your TruPlace virtual tour will include interactive floor plans and high-resolution photographs, giving buyers a real perspective of the home and helping them visualize themselves living in it before they walk through the front door.
7. Capture real time showing leads via Curb Call
Homebuyers might come upon their dream home unexpectedly and you want to be there to welcome them in, right? Well, you can do that with Curb Call, a smart mobile app that connects residential real estate agents with homebuyers in real time.
Prospective clients who are outside of an interesting home can use the Curb Call app on their smartphone to find the nearest available real estate agents and request a showing from them instantaneously. The selected agent can then contact the buyer to arrange a showing ASAP.
The Curb Call app is available to homebuyers through Google Play and iTunes.
8. Find out everything real estate with PropertyShark
One of the best things about PropertyShark, if we do say so ourselves, is that you can find out all there is to know about a property in one convenient place online. Serving all sectors of real estate, the service provides reliable property reports that include:
- detailed information on residential and commercial properties all across the U.S.
- ownership records
- up-to-date sales data
- property value estimates
- information about current zoning and air rights
When using PropertyShark, real estate professionals get actionable market insights and essential data on pre-foreclosure and foreclosure listings, sales comparables, and in-depth ownership information.
We will even show you how to get ahead of the competition by finding motivated home sellers in tight markets, how to generate turnkey mailing lists with owner names & addresses, as well as branded reports to strengthen your advertising strategy. Branded reports will place you on the cover page of the information customers peruse when making important buying or selling decisions.
What other digital solutions are you using to streamline your real estate business?
Disclaimer: Point2 and PropertyShark are part of the Yardi family of companies.