Selecting Real Estate Technology Tools: Insights from Seth Price
By Matthew Bushery
About Agent Basics
Putting the right real estate technology in place at your agency isn’t something that will happen overnight.
In fact, most agents spend weeks analyzing their REALTOR® tech options to ensure they buy the right tools.
Top producers don’t settle for just any marketing and sales software solutions. They use only the resources that will help grow their business efficiently.
To provide some guidance for your real estate tech tools search, Placester’s Seth Price offers his expert advice.
Watch his video for exclusive tech tricks of the trade, or read the transcript below to get his detailed insights.
Just getting started as a real estate agent? Learn about your must-have real estate technology options first.
It starts by taking an assessment of your business. I don’t want to get too in the weeds of creating a business plan, but you need a business plan to start:
- Where do you want to be in the year to come?
- How many more transactions do you want?
- If you want to double your business, what does that actually look like?
- How many showings do you need to do?
- How many people do you need to speak to on a daily basis?
- What type of marketing do you need to implement to make that happen?
That’s the beginning: figuring out what your goals are. Because without goals and some accountability, you can have lots of ideas of implementing technology, but it may not be aligned with the outcomes that you’re looking for.
Once you have a plan, what’s great is you can think about mentors to model: folks that are doing things in a way that resonates with you.
The next step is follow some technology blogs that are focused on real estate that understand the pain points that you’re going through. Follow REALTOR Magazine, which does some great writing. Inman News also does some great writing.
These are some resources for you to see what’s happening in the industry with technology and new companies that can help you transform your business.
And then thirdly, social media is a great place for listening to see what’s going on with other agents. There are great groups on Facebook where you can be with like-minded folks, and have discussions and listen in on what people are using and what’s working for them.
Already a top producer? Focus on finding some next-level real estate tech tools.
Top producers have a unique opportunity. One, if you’re a top producer, you’re already running from a PnL (profit and loss analysis).
What that means is you understand the cost of acquiring a new customer, retaining that customer, and creating some repeatability to the process that you have for sales.
That’s number one: really focusing in on your business process:
- Getting someone from not knowing who you are to deciding to work with you — whether that’s buyers or sellers
- Getting them through the transaction, having a great experience with you
- Following up so you can stay in touch with that person.
Now, once you have a handle on that process, then what you’re looking for are real estate tech tools to make the process of staying in touch and converting customers that much easier.
A good place to look sometimes, if you’re a top producer, is outside of the industry. Following any sort of tech blog that’s outside real estate can sometimes give you perspective on what things are working.
Today, we’re seeing a lot of AI that helps you respond to customers in a meaningful way, that can take away some of the heavy lifting of staying in touch with everyone in your database.
Real estate technology constantly changes, but here’s what Seth has to say about where it’s headed next.
Many things will change in technology, but one thing that won’t change is your need to organize all of the information you have about an individual contact, such as:
- Their preferences
- Their likes, their dislikes
- The ways in which they communicate
- And then the tool to communicate with them.
Right now, email is probably the easiest real estate tech tool; SMS is the next-easiest. Technology has made CRMs (customer relationship management systems) new again, meaning they’re smarter, they’re more responsive, they’re more agile, allowing you to use the tool on the run, because we’re mostly using our mobile devices, and allowing us to have the tool not get in our way but be something that can help us communicate one to many.
That will be the key to transforming our businesses in the years to come: being really diligent about working with technology to still stay human, but allow us to communicate with others and solve their problems when they need it in real-time.
The key to staying ahead of other agents’ marketing is to test different technologies.
Part of being a business owner is figuring out how to disrupt yourself. One of the biggest challenges is, once we get comfortable in our position, we tend to rely on the same processes and the same tools over and over again.
But there are always competitors at the door. There are always new agents, new brokerages, new teams, and new models that are coming out that are trying to rethink the business.
Our job, as business leaders — whether you’re an agent, a team lead, or a broker — is to take an outside look at the business and ask:
“What can I do different in the months to come that our competitors are thinking about? What can I do different to improve the experience for the customer, to improve the experience for the other agents in the organization, so we can act like a startup, we can be agile, and adopt new technologies and processes to make our business better?’
If we just wait until the end of the year to do our business planning for the next year, we’re missing an opportunity to disrupt our own business and stay ahead of the curve.
Remember the fundamental real estate tech tools that continue to help agents.
The challenge today is not necessarily having all of the right tools. It’s making sure all of the tools work together.
You certainly need a good CMS (content management system). That’s a way for you to blog and make sure that you have relevant content for communicating with your customers, whether they know you yet or not.
You need a great email program that should allow for one-time email and what we call drip marketing, which is where someone identifies as a user — a first-time home buyer or a past client – and you want to stay in touch with them in a programmatic way.
You certainly need a website and landing pages that are really tuned to convert and boost discoverability. We could call it SEO, but it’s certainly more robust than that.
And then, you need it all to work together with your CRM so you can have a real picture of your business and apply accountability to that picture.
Every day, when you go into the office, you should know who to communicate with — and what to communicate to them — so you can be helpful to their process and they can be helpful to your business.
Discover how top producers leverage real estate technology for their marketing in our ebook:
Published on January 3, 2018
Written by Matthew Bushery
I’m the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.