November 2017 — From virtual tools to tangible gadgets, there are some things every real estate professional should have on hand at all times. Learn which ones can help carry you to success, from a vibrant online presence and abundant, accessible internet file storage to the right mobile apps and more.
New technology has made it easier than ever for real estate professionals to help keep up with the latest industry trends, schedule and track meetings, connect with clients instantly and resolve customer service issues swiftly—and that's just a sampling of the offerings available to make business less of a chore.
On the Road:
Think about all the time you spend in your car, driving back and forth from showings to open houses to client meetings. In fact, you probably spend so little time in your office that being prepared for any and all business dealings while you're on the road is a smart move. Here are the latest tools that will serve you well and make every on-the-go minute count:
Maximize voicemail, minimize effort with Slydial. Need to get in touch with a client, but only have a couple of minutes before your next appointment? Simply dial 267-SLYDIAL. After the prompt, dial your client's phone number and you'll be sent directly to their voicemail.
Stay safe on the road while responding to new leads. We all know texting and driving is not the best course of action, but, admittedly, it's tempting to try and work while driving. Your solution? DriveSafe.ly. This ingenious app will read your text messages and emails aloud while you drive. When you get in your car, activate the app, then toggle it off when you exit.
Track your mileage with Milog. This mobile app helps you stay abreast of your mileage for reimbursement or tax purposes.
Store receipts and business cards in Shoeboxed. This app avoids paper clutter by allowing you to scan a variety of materials from your phone or computer and documents them in a secure online account. What's more, for less than $10, you can mail in an envelope full of receipts, and the app will scan, upload and shred the originals!
Scan documents with your phone with TurboScan. Need to submit a document but you're away from your office? With TurboScan, you can scan a variety of documents and reports on the go.
Your mobile office is complete with EuroSmartz. Connect to any Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or network printer with an app that allows you to access your Google Docs and print them from any location.
The following "basics" are worth remembering:
A USB mobile device charger – A necessity, as none of your mobile devices will work without "juice." These devices are inexpensive—often less than $10, a small price to pay for not having to worry that your phone or tablet will fizzle out during an important transaction.
GPS navigation and paper maps – You probably already have a GPS on your smartphone, but consider using a dashboard GPS, as well. It's easier to view, which could save you time when navigating unfamiliar territory. And, just in case technology fails you, be sure to keep a paper map on hand.
Local business flyers and brochures – By collecting information about an area's most popular businesses, like retail stores and restaurants, you can show potential clients that you know a lot about your market.
Think about your clients, too. Show you're always keeping them top of mind by stocking up on items like folders (for feature sheets), pens, notepads, waters or even protein bars!
Additional Tools to Give You an Edge
The real estate industry is highly competitive—so much so that even the most established real estate professionals hit a slump. That said, there are a variety of gadgets and tools to help you push through the competition and better manage clients.
Camera drones – Ever since they were approved for domestic use, these aerial photographers have become an integral part of the real estate industry. They can be used to create a room-by-room video guide for potential buyers, as well as provide aerial footage of homes, even in the most difficult to reach locations.
Internet-based file storage – Like many business people, real estate professionals are overwhelmed with documents—and the more documents there are, the harder they are to locate and organize. But now, with Dropbox and Google Play, you can pull up documents whenever and wherever you need them.
Task managers – These time-saving tools, like Evernote, help you keep your appointments, as well as your clients, straight. Never miss potential opportunities again. Simply input reminders, your to-do list and schedule, and any other documentation to help you stay on track. A popular task manager like Basecamp can help you collaborate and keep back-and-forth communications going with colleagues.
Home warranty account – Registering for a home warranty account allows you to manage your plans online and on the go.
Set yourself apart, save massive amounts of time, grow your business and stay top of mind with clients and potential clients by utilizing the tools mentioned above. With more and better technologies emerging every day, the real estate market is definitely your oyster.