Digital Tools for Real Estate Agents
The real estate industry has been changing rapidly. With new technological developments and the way Realtors® do business has evolved from door to door prospecting to automating many real estate related tasks including prospecting for new clients.
Real estate involves many different tasks from research and risk analysis to mortgage calculations, property presentations, lead generation and more. There are a wealth of digital tools available on the internet and now through apps that can save you enormous time and make your life as a real estate agent or broker much simpler and pleasant. Here are several digital tools for real estate agents that will make your job easier:
Types of Software
Real estate agents spend much of their time prospecting for new clients. Learning how to use new technology effectively is one of the primary differentiators between agents that are always prospecting for leads and those that are closing sales.
Lead Generation Tools
There are numerous lead generation software solutions specifically designed for Realtors. Most real estate lead generation tools provide an end-to end solution including:
- Branded websites
- Search engine marketing services to drive traffic into the software and capture leads from a variety of sources
- Lead profiles and search behaviors
- Logging of all lead real estate searches
- Analysis of lead preferences
- Automated email marketing to engage and converse with leads
- Personalized follow up based on lead preferences and search criteria
Presentation tools are used to provide up to the minute accurate market information to lead and clients. Many are directly connected into the MLS so you can provide the latest trends, market conditions, housing prices by area and much more. You can provide mortgage charts and financing information, display the most relevant properties for the lead as well as comp homes for sellers.
Presentation tools come in different forms including:
- Presentation tools that focus on market conditions, financial calculators, comparison properties, neighborhood statistics, commuting distance from target homes to work and more all designed to find and close on the right property or to sell a property.
- Virtual tour software or marketing software solutions that focus on visual presentations and 3D modeling.
- Financial calculators to present financial data to buyers and sellers including current mortgage rates, down payment calculations, investment information, profits or loan amortization scenarios so property investors, buyers and sellers can make the best informed decisions.
Many software solutions cost money but there are also several tools and apps that are free. Many real estate agencies offer paid tools as part of their service to their agents but if you are going it alone or you want to customize your toolbox with some extras you may find one or more of the following free tools helpful.
Free Real Estate Apps
- Zillow – For property searches Zillow is a free multi-platform tool that offers robust search capability and filtering as well as extra features like mortgage calculators, property estimates, “hidden” inventory, market overview and more. It is available for web, android and iOS.
- Sitegeist – Sitegeist is a free all-purpose information app that provides information and data about an area including the average age of residents, average temperature, popular places, political contributions, and commuting trends. This can be important information for clients especially if they are new to the area.
- Google Maps – Google maps is a given for real estate agents. Available for Android, iOS, windows phone and web, Google maps will provide you with detailed routes to the property you will be showing or visiting.
- Mortgage Calculator – Mortgage calculator is a free tool available for web and provides a simple, easy-to-use tool to help clients understand mortgage rates and repayment requirements. This tool provides a number of different parameters to provide the most accurate scenarios and will provide monthly or bi-weekly mortgage payment information as well as the mortgage payoff date.
- Vert – Vert is an iOS app that turns your phone into a conversion tool. It converts all types of different metrics including currency, weights, volume, size, length and width. Real estate agents deal with many types of conversions so this little app is a real gem to have.
- DotLoop – Dotloop is available for web and iOS. This is an advanced online collaboration tool that allows an agent to upload documents and pre-assign spaces requiring a signature from clients. When the document is sent, the client creates an account, and verifies his or her identity. The client is guided through the form to the pre-assigned signature areas so that nothing important gets missed. All signatures are e-verified and all data is securely encrypted.
Free Real Estate Software Solutions
- Google Sketch – Google sketch is a free, easy to use 3D modeling software. It is even integrated with Google maps so you can geo-tag what you create. This is perfect for creating 3D models of homes your clients are interested in. You can even post your 3D homes on Google Earth.
- Bitrix24 – This real estate CRM software is completely free for up to 12 agents. It includes unlimited records, email marketing, mobile CRM, integrated telephony and a host of agent management tools to automate daily business tasks.
- Haiku Deck – Haiku Deck is a free presentation software that allows one to create a flawless presentation that can be embedded on a website, shared, posted or viewed on any web-enabled device. It is very easy to use and provides templates to make it even easier to build your own custom presentation.
- Zoho – Zoho is another free CRM solution for up to 10 users. It automates lead generation, lead tracking, and follow-ups and it is easy to use.
Effective real estate lead generation, marketing, and presentations does not have to be expensive. There are many wonderful free software programs and apps that can help you automate your business and make you a more efficient and effective agent or broker. Choose one or more of these digital tools for real estate agents and explore, learn, and become a local expert helping consumers along the way.
Thank you to Michael McPherson who is a graduate student from Boston University, freelance blogger, and a regular contributor at http://www.topreviewstars.com for sharing his expertise on this article! You may follow him on Twitter at @McPhersy.
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