Technology is changing day-to-day business operations all over the world. And the real estate industry is no exception!
Savvy real estate agents are embracing new tech to improve productivity, increase leads, and grow their businesses.
In the competitive world of real estate sales, you can’t afford to fall behind the times. So we’re giving you a list of the tech every real estate agent needs in 2019. Get ready to geek out!
Let’s start with the minimum tech requirements for real estate agents in 2019.
Here are the basics...
A Solid Website
In the old days, agents could get by with the bio page on their broker’s website. Those days are long gone.
Because today’s buyers and sellers are looking for real estate agents online.
The only way your bio page will ever be a top search result on Google is if users already know of you and can search for you by name. To rank on Google search results when buyers and sellers just enter something like “best Springfield realtor”, you need your own website.
Plus, with your own website, you can build your own brand instead of just promoting your broker’s brand. Agents with foresight understand that they may outgrow their first broker at some point. If you’re relying on your broker’s website and your broker’s marketing, you’ll have to start all over when you branch out. But if you own your website, and you’ve branded all your marketing with your own personal brand, your business can continue without skipping a beat. That gives you the freedom to change brokers as needed. Or even open your own brokerage!
There are lots of options for real estate agents looking to get their own websites. You can hire a web designer, rent a site from a real estate website service (like Easy Agent Pro , Intagent , or Agent Image ), or even build your own site if you’re on a tight budget.
G Suite is a quick, easy, and inexpensive cloud-based business solution. Meaning you can store all your important documents, spreadsheets, calendars, and contacts online so you can access everything anytime from anywhere. You’ll never have to worry about losing data due to a computer crash because your data will be securely stored online.
Plus, as your business grows and you add an assistant (local or remote), you can share access to all these systems for easy collaboration.
For as little as $5/month you get: Business email through Gmail (so you can have an email address like Regan@ReganSellsSeattle.com which is so much more professional than something like ReganSellsSeattle@gmail.com), Video and voice conferencing, Secure messaging, Shareable documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, Shareable calendars, and 30 GB of cloud storage
It’s a small investment that will streamline your whole real estate business.
A CRM Tool
A CRM (Client Relationship Management) tool is vital for every single agent. It tracks your clients through the buying or selling process, records your lead sources so you can see which marketing efforts are paying off, and reminds you to follow up with old leads and past clients to earn repeat business and referrals.
Gmail actually offers a simple CRM. It’s called Streak for Gmail . And the best part: the basic version is totally free! It’s ideal for new agents on a tight budget.
With those basic tech requirements met, you can turn your attention to some tech marketing must-haves...
You can create automated email newsletters and follow-up funnels as buyers and sellers subscribe to your mailing list through your website.
Email marketing is a topic all its own. Which is why we have a free guide to help you navigate email marketing! Snag your copy of The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing in Real Estate , and become an email marketing master.
Social Media Marketing
Of course, you also need some tech to help with your social media marketing. Your prospective clients are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. So you need to be there too!
Homesnap Pro is a cutting-edge tech tool that integrates MLS data to help you automatically promote your listings across platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You can create a campaign as soon as the listing is in the MLS, and Homesnap Pro will schedule posts on social media so you don’t have to spend your time manually creating individual posts. It’s a set it and forget it solution.
Hootsuite is another option for scheduling and automating social posts. It’s not real estate specific, but it covers some social networks that Homesnap pro doesn’t currently cover (like Twitter and Pinterest).
If you’re a little overwhelmed by social media marketing, check out our free guide, Mastering the Art of Social Media Marketing .
Very few agents are taking advantage of video marketing. Which is great for you because you can easily differentiate yourself from your competitors with a little video marketing.
Oh, and you’re about 50% more likely to show up on Google’s first page of search results if you include video on your web pages. If you want to capture online leads, you need video marketing.
Video marketing obviously requires some tech, but less than you probably expect. You don’t need a fancy camera or editing software. In fact, we can teach you how to take advantage of video marketing with just your cell phone !
Other Tech to Make Your Life Easier
Now, how else can technology make your life as a real estate agent easier? Here are a few more tech tools to simplify your life...
Voice Command Tech
“Hey Alexa, move my 5:00 listing appointment with the Johnsons to 6:00.”
“Hey Alexa, play my Open House Playlist... Alexa, louder.”
When you’re running around managing your life, it’s really helpful to simply speak orders and have your voice command tech follow them.
Amazon Echo, Google Home, and HomePod can all complete web searches, check the weather, set appointments, play music, check traffic, and so much more. You just have to ask!
Trello is a smart task management tool that organizes your many to-dos. This is a life-saver for keeping track of big-picture projects. As a new agent, for example, you’ll have your hands full with all the tasks you need to complete to go from Day-1 Agent to Business-is-up-and-running Agent. Trello can help!
If you’re part of a real estate team, you may want to consider Slack . Slack is a collaborative online workspace that integrates your other tech (like Trello, G Suite, and social media sites) to help you make sense of your whole business world at-a-glance.
Slack is known for its collaboration aspect. It makes communication with your whole team seamless through smart chat features. It helps you stay connected to your team, even when everyone is on the move.
By the way, Trello and Slack both have free versions to cover the basics for agents on a budget. Love that!
A 3D Camera
Today’s buyers know that photos can be deceiving. Which is why they’re in love with 3D home tours.
3D home tours help buyers understand the layout of the home, better grasp the room sizes, and decide if the home could really potentially work for them before scheduling an appointment to see it.
And imagine how impressed your sellers will be when you offer the 3D tours in your listing presentation! That’s a great way to distinguish yourself when sellers are interviewing multiple listing agents.
3D cameras aren’t cheap, but they’re a great investment as 3D home tours continue to grow in popularity. And remember, you don’t have to buy one for yourself. You could partner with someone who owns a 3D camera and just pays them a rental fee for each use.
If you’re working specialty niches (like pre-construction projects or luxury estates), you may need a little extra tech assistance. Here are a couple bonus tech ideas for you...
For those spectacular aerial shots of sprawling estates, you need a camera drone.
Just like with the 3D camera, you don’t necessarily need to buy one outright. You could pay to rent a drone each time you need some aerial shots.
Or, if you’re feeling especially entrepreneurial, you could buy the drone and rent it out to other agents for some extra income on the side (just make sure you get a sufficient deposit before handing it over!).
VR and AR
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are helping buyers visualize spaces that aren’t quite ready to be toured. VR builds a completely virtual space for buyers to move around in with the assistance of VR goggles. This is perfect for pre-construction projects!
AR, on the other hand, adds virtual elements to real-world spaces (think Pokemon Go!). This has become popular in virtual staging. Buyers can view the real space through their phone or AR goggles, and the staging elements will be inserted in their view of that real space.
With so many exciting developments happening every day, you owe it to yourself and your clients to keep your business on the front line of new technology. Make 2019 the year you commit to using real estate tech to grow your business. You’ll never look back!