Five Tech Tools for Your Toolbox
September 12, 2022
From smart phones to doorbell cameras and virtual assistants, technology has transformed – and continues to transform – every aspect of our daily lives at home and at work. Whether you’re an early adopter or a reluctant participant, here are five great tech tools tailor-made for REALTORS®.
1. Social Media Management
Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram top the list of social media platforms REALTORS® prefer. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 2022 Member Profile found that 72 percent use Facebook for their professional work followed by 55 percent using professional networking website LinkedIn, and 49 percent using Instagram. Creating, editing and posting content to multiple sites can be time consuming. Social media management services like Hootsuite and Sprout Social help you create and manage posts across multiple platforms and provide other tools like analytics to evaluate your reach. Both services offer free trials.
2. Open House Management
Instead of deciphering signatures from a notepad at your next open house, Open Home Pro allows guests to quickly sign in on an iPad or Android tablet. The paid version of the app allows follow-up emails and lead tracking. A similar app, Open House Toolkit, also registers interested buyers at open houses. The app can automatically send a form or personalized email as an open house follow-up, and sends sellers and REALTORS® a summary of the open house.
3. Document Storage and Sharing
The cloud, even if you don’t really understand what it is, can be your best friend when it comes to managing documents and large files like high-resolution photos and videos. Dropbox allows you to create documents on your desktop or laptop computer but store them in folders in a virtual file box that can be shared or used to collaborate with others. Dropbox is a lifesaver if you lose your computer or it is damaged.
Likewise, Google Docs frees up valuable hard drive space on your computer by storing documents in the cloud. The free service allows others to collaborate on a document without having to transmit it back and forth. One winning Google Docs feature is the ability to modify documents online rather than on your desktop.
4. Document/Signature Management
Real estate documents, from offers to closing statements, are more complex and voluminous than ever. Thankfully, services like HelloSign and DocuSign allow you to obtain legally binding signatures either through secure cloud-based on-line document sharing or on your smart device. E-signatures became more important as pandemic concerns led to fewer face-to-face meetings. Most e-sign services integrate well with document storage services like Google Docs and Dropbox.
5. Customer Relationship Management
Generating leads and cultivating contacts to become clients as well as tracking ongoing communication with current and past clients are the goals of customer relationship management (CRM) software. LionDesk and Wise Agent boost communication with your leads and contacts using customizable emails and text messages and keeping a history of all your communications in one easily accessible location.
CRM programs vary in cost, ease of use, and customer service support. Look for a program specifically tailored for the real estate industry with 24/7 customer service.
Try Before You Buy
Almost all tech tools now offer desktop and mobile web versions or apps making it easy to try them out on the device you use most. Take advantage of 14-day or 30-day trial periods or free software versions first to see if a tool fits well in your tech toolbox. If the product is not right for you, remember to cancel before the trial period ends.