Real Estate Tools for Agents to Save Time and Money
Real estate agents are at the frontlines of a historically dynamic housing market, meaning they must innovate and adapt to keep pace. Whether they’re representing buyers or sellers, having the right repertoire of digital tools at hand can help agents close sales faster, save time and money, and gain a coveted edge in a hypercompetitive market. Here’s a look at some of the ways top real estate agents are utilizing technology to get ahead.
1. Lead generation
With more than three million Americans holding active real estate licenses, it can be difficult for agents to stand out among buyers or sellers looking for representation. Tech-savvy real estate professionals are utilizing lead generation software such as Zurple, which helps identify prospective buyers by preferred zip codes and fosters relationships with them through personalized correspondence. It also keeps tabs on progress made on identified leads.
2. Keep clients organized
Keeping track of your clients’ various needs–and the stages of their home buying or selling journey–can be overwhelming. Customer relationship management softwares can help agents keep track of leads, track metrics and cultivate relationships within a single repository.
3. Listing templates
Marketing plays a key role for agents seeking to network, promote listings, or seek new clients. When it’s time to advertise a new listing or create a new set of flyers, having access to editable, predesigned templates can be a huge timesaver. Companies such as Lab Coat Agents offer dozens of templates to choose from that can be used for hardcopy marketing, as well as email and social media.
4. Hassle-free scheduling
Scheduling mutually convenient times for an in-person showing or meeting can be a challenge, but tools are available that make it easier to lock in a timeslot. Calendar management tools like Calendly allow people to schedule a call or meeting without the back and forth usually needed.
5. Digital staging
During a recent National Association of REALTORS® poll, 47% of buyers’ agents said home staging affected their clients perception of the home, and 82% said that it made it easier for buyers to imagine living there.
Prepping a home for sale doesn’t have to involve renting furniture and hiring interior designers to place it strategically throughout the property. Digital staging has become a popular alternative, with companies such as BoxBrownie employing professional photo editors to dress up properties more efficiently and affordably than traditional methods.
6. Virtual open houses
There’s not yet a technology available that allows us to be in two places at once, but we’re getting close with virtual open houses that allow buyers to tour homes remotely. Companies such as Matterport and Kuula make it easier for listing agents to create 3D and 2D tours for clients to view online. As an alternative, consider using a live streaming app to give viewers real-time access to a property.
Such technologies are especially useful during a time when 29% of millennials say they would be comfortable with making an offer on a home after only seeing photos or virtual tours, according to recent research.
7. Sealing the deal
The process of lifting contingencies can be stressful. Before the sale they’ve worked so hard to secure is finalized, agents must facilitate inspections and ensure financing is in order. Modern technologies can help. For example, Blend helps keep the financial aspect moving with a mortgage suite that facilities application-to-close lending. Applications such as DocuSign Rooms for Real Estate help out on the transaction side by streaming collaboration and accelerating workflows.
8. Paperless forms and signing
Agents can modernize how they complete transactions with DocuSign Agreement Cloud for Real Estate, which simplifies the end-to-end contract process with a customizable platform of applications. You can use eSignature to securely send and sign agreements electronically and streamline the preparation of real estate forms with pre-filled data.
Another DocuSign feature, Forms for Real Estate, provides brokers and agents with access to state and local association real estate forms and allows them to fill out, sign, and store the forms in a secure digital workspace. Forms for Real Estate accelerates deals, improves agent experience, and minimizes compliance risk by streamlining the forms workflow.