2014 Tech-Savvy Agent Starter Kit
In an ever changing real estate market, where realtors have to constantly be on their game, it seems like answering the “what is new- now- next” is a question that savvy agents and brokers constantly have hanging in the balance.
Going into the new year, take look back at some of the amazing things that the AG staff have brought to the table as insight to keep you on the top of your tech-savvy game, and seek to discover new things whenever you can.
Prepare for the boom of the beta-broker
You’re here now, so it looks as if you might be looking for some information on what beta-brokerages are doing to stay on the up and up in the 2014 Market. Good for you, that is already a good sign, because there are still agents out there who are sticking to the old school methodology of waiting for things to change and come to them, and well, you know the saying… if ya snooze… ya lose.
If you follow me online, you probably already know that I’m up here in the DC Metro area, Northern Virginia to be exact, and I happen to be a part of a boutique brokerage that I like to say, we may be small, our combined knowledge and savvy is quite powerful.
Having been a part of the Better Homes and Gardens Beta-Brokerages to watch, at Arbour Realty, we’re always seeking out what we can do to stay on the forefront of technology. Our firm is interesting because we’re not a team, we are actually a small firm that just so happens to be competing as the top in the Virginia market in terms of volume and transactions, which is pretty darn nifty considering that we are in the running with firms that can boast having over one hundred members to their firms.
How do we do this? Well, the individual knowledge-base is solid, but we also like to mix it up with our software and hardware, such as making sure we have some of the most useful apps that will keep us and our clients in the know, as well as constantly linked.
For instance, I take my iPad (you can get a tablet of your choice) with me on all of my appointments now, I email the client their listings before we go out, so they know what we’ll be touring, but then we utilize the iPad to stay as paperless as possible. I’d love to get to the place where I can give my clients their own iPad for tours – maybe 2014 is the year for that? We shall see.
For those of us who are design-impaired
The iPad (or a tablet in general) also allows the free-flow of ideas and creating projects on the fly… It is also great tinkering with some of the lovely marketing tools out there that designers create and put out there for those of us who might not be the most design-centric. The fellow amazing staffers here at AG clued me in to the Canva site a few weeks back, which allows for awesome presentation design and and even more wonderful… simple social media background design.
Since you’re already reading AG, you probably have an inkling of this, so, not to beat a dead horse, but having a supremely strong social media presence in 2014 is going to be something that tech-savvy agents really need to be on top of their game with; my broker can attest to this. He has utilized some of the wonderful tools such as Canva to produce the sleek header and background designs.
Recently, I also found the app for making my presentations stand out (simplified, yet beautiful) Haiku Deck. Consumers want the details, but they want them broken down and easily accessible.
Make yourself available
We have found that accessibility on our sites through tools such as home evaluations direct from our website has been a hugely powerful tool this year, and we will continue to hone in on that this year. As a savvy agent, you can expect to spend six to twelve thousand dollars on an a totally brand new site and between two to three thousand dollars on an updated website with the home evaluation (smart)tools.
Speaking to accessibility, having a website, but not having a mobile enabled website is a huge misstep. Get your website up to speed with your developer and even if it is a wordpress based site, get it looking sharp on mobile.
Any way you cut it, the latest stats show that home buyers and sellers are starting their search for real estate professionals online these days. Not in the “majority” percentile… but in the full scale, nearing 100 percent. Interesting. In the past, the stat had been in the high nineties, but now, consumers are starting their search completely online. If that is truly the case, we best all be on our game.
Quick tip for some of our “old” favorites for apps:
Since you’re in the mood to be tech savvy, be sure to check out Takes (short videos put to music for listings), Capture (your videos straight to your youtube channel), Glympse, Magic Plan, HomeSnap… The list goes on.
We look forward to seeing you up your game while we up ours – tell us in the comments what tech tools have been added to your toolbox to improve your practice.