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10 Great Tools for Real Estate Agents

Tools for Real Estate

It can happen to any professional in any industry at any time – that sinking feeling of being stuck in a rut. Maybe you’re just having a rough week, maybe you need to reevaluate your process entirely, but regardless of your situation, having the right tools in your tool belt can really help you get back on track.

Real estate agents have a large variety of helpful tools to choose from, each useful in their own way. If you’re feeling stuck, or you’re just looking to improve your professional process, give one (or all) of these ten tools a try.

  1. PicMonkey

The human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than it does plain text, so if you’re looking to up engagement on your social media platforms, focus on the visuals. And that’s where PicMonkey comes in.

PicMonkey is a free photo editing service that gives you the opportunity to jazz up your pictures a bit before distributing them to your potential clients. Take advantage of this free service and start seeing better results on your social media platforms.

  1. HootSuite

Speaking of social media, managing all of those different platforms – like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – can be very time-consuming. With HootSuite you can schedule out your social posts in advance, eliminating the stress of managing your social media.

HootSuite is free for individuals and only costs $8.99/month for 1-10 users, making this an affordable, time-saving option.

  1. Keynote

If you’re into giving presentations, Keynote is a must. Keynote allows you to give presentations on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch – super convenient if you’re on the go often. And for only $9.99, you’ll be delivering top notch presentations to your clients in no time at all.

  1. Google Alerts

Ever wonder if people are talking about you or your business online? With Google Alerts, you can find out. By entering in a specific name or term, Google Alerts will inform you every time that phrase is mentioned on the Internet.

This can be extremely helpful if you’re looking to keep an eye on the housing market in a certain region. By setting up alerts, you would be notified every time a new listing appeared somewhere online, helping you stay one step ahead of the competition.

  1. Dropbox

If you’re looking for a solution for file storage and sharing, Dropbox is a great, affordable choice. Not only can you store and share files with your team members, but you also have the ability to access them from your phone, tablet or computer – super convenient.

The first two gigs are free, but if you need more storage, you can pay a $9.99/monthly fee and receive up to 100 gigs of storage.

  1. Vine

Vine, the free video app, is great for sharing quick video listings with your social media networks. You can only post 6-second videos using this method, so you’re fairly limited as to what you can show, but it works great as a teaser and just as a way to get the word out about a new listing quickly.

  1. Google Calendar

If you need to stay better organized, Google Calendar is definitely worth a try. Not only is it free, but it also syncs your calendar across all of your devices so you can stay on top of things no matter where you are.

It also allows you to separate and coordinate calendars for work, home or whatever else you may need, so you can always be sure that you’re not double-booking or overlooking something important.

  1. New Business Cards

You probably have business cards already, but when was the last time you updated them? If your information is out of date, or the design is just old-looking, it might be time for some new cards. We at Printerbees have a lot of great options for custom-designed business cards at an affordable price, and it is a great way to keep your business cards up to date quickly and easily.

Plus, if you have any other print marketing needs, such as pamphlets or brochures, you can take care of everything all in one place.

  1. Evernote

Evernote is another great tool for staying organized. Take notes whenever you need to, share content with your clients or team members, and even sync your information across all of your various devices. If you’re on the go and like taking notes, Evernote would be a great resource for you.

  1. Google Drive

Similar to Dropbox, Google Drive also allows you to save and access files, as well as share them with your team members. Google Drive is especially great if you plan on collaborating with people on projects as it allows you to edit documents right within the drive. Plus, the first 15 gigs are free!

So, next time you’re wondering what you can do to get back on track, don’t hesitate to try out one of these tools. You’ll find yourself feeling more organized, more accomplished and ready to tackle whatever the professional world throws your way!

The Dangers of Paid Leads

Paying for Leads

Realtors often pay for leads in one way or another. Many Realtors® buy leads directly from a source that promises a certain number per month. The problem is that you can spend a lot of money without getting good-quality leads. In general, it pays to generate leads organically.

Why Not Pay for Leads?

Paying for leads seems lucrative. You fork over some cash, and someone else sends you qualified, interested leads. One or two per month works out as a sale, and you more than recoup your investment. What’s wrong with that?

What’s wrong is that that’s not really what happens. Here’s what really happens: you support someone else’s business model. You’re wholly dependent on them for your success. The leads may or may not be quality, or even from the promised area. Even more important, you’re probably not the only Realtor® getting that lead. You better be quick or you’ll lose out.

If something happens – the source dries up, the source owners are unethical, or the price rises beyond your budget – you’re stuck. You have no sustainable model of your own. And if you want to be a successful Realtor®, having your own sustainable lead generation is essential.

What to Do Instead

So if you’re not paying for leads, what do you do? The bottom line: Invest in your own business. Many Realtors® are willing to pay thousands per month for leads, but then hesitate to spend even $500 setting up a quality website. Why? You’re willing to spend and support someone else’s business but not your own?

Think of it this way: the minute you stop paying for leads, you get 0. But if you spend the money building up your own lead system, you’ll get return on that forever into the future. Your great website will still be great six months after you pay for it. Your neighborhood farming will still pay dividends years after you start. Your automated email program will contact leads day in and day out, with no additional investment.

As a Realtor®, think about the long-term picture. You want to develop a system that will be paying dividends for years, not one where you have to constantly pay thousands to keep it going. When you develop your own website, email, and farming campaigns, you’ll get those rewards.

I’ve seen too many Realtors® asking each other for advice on various paid lead sources. I want to say, loud and clear: IT’S NOT WORTH IT. They almost never deliver what they claim. Even if the lead source works out, you’ll be dependent on them and if they raise their price or fold, you’ll be left without any leads to sustain your business. Spend the money on yourself and YOUR business! You’re worth it!

Do you pay for leads? Why or why not? Share in the comments!