7 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Integrate Technology into Their Business

by Peyman Aleagha, CEO of WebsiteBox | Jul 01, 2014
The Internet along with the mass development of mobile technologies has completely swept the real estate industry off its feet. The industry is in the midst of a total technological transformation. Historically, real estate agents have fought off technology. They were chained to their office desk with papers stacked miles high around the office and their landline telephones were practically glued to their hands. Today, agents can fit their office files in their pockets.
Mobile technology has enabled agents to conduct business from anywhere and at any time, but with the convenience of technology also comes a greater responsibility and the challenge of adapting the business of real estate to the digital world. Gone are the days of posting print ads in newspapers and putting signs outside to drive new business. Many agents are struggling with how to leverage the vast amount of technology available today and finding the time to search for affordable resources proves to be a difficult task.

It is crucial for today’s real estate agents to be technology savvy and embrace online tools for their business. We've rounded up 7 of our favorite examples of how technology can save real estate professionals time and money. 

1. Build a DIY Website – Your online presence begins and ends with your website, but hiring a designer can be extremely expensive and learning code is entirely too time consuming. Fortunately, multiple turnkey website solutions exist. When looking to build a personal site for your business, our recommendation is to seek out web solutions specific to real estate agents. You will find robust packages that are rich with tools agents rely on, like a built-in IDX search and specialized website templates. Services, like WebsiteBox, offer an extensive set of features like an integrated CRM, drip marketing capabilities, Google Analytics, and can easily be set up within minutes. 

2. Enhance Communication Efforts with Actionable Data - From the analytics on your website to the open rate of your emails, actionable data is everywhere. What most agents don’t realize is that they can take advantage of the knowledge data provides them with to improve their communication efforts. Not sure which headline to use in your email newsletter? Try A/B testing and track the analytics to see which one performs better. By integrating CRMs into your website, you gain access to information like what kind of properties, price points, and neighborhood your clients are searching for. You can use this data to suggest homes that their buyers are more likely to be interested in, and avoid wasting time with irrelevant properties. 

3. Extend Your Reach to International Buyers – Because U.S. real estate is in high demand abroad, it is becoming increasingly more important for agents to understand how to expand their network on a global scale. Luckily, today's technology makes reaching potential foreign buyers much less complicated. ListHub Global syndicates your listings internationally while still enforcing the data protection standards that we are accustomed to. Real-Buzz will translate IDX search widgets for your Facebook page to better connect with a global audience. 

4. Continue Your Education from the Comfort of Home – Although navigating the Internet can be challenging, the amount of education resources available on the internet is remarkable.  Realtors can look to the internet to keep up with their CE requirements and earn designations without having to sit in a physical classroom thanks to distance learning technology. There are a myriad of resources available to agents via the web, like tips for networking and selling strategies. 

5. Capture Leads with QR Codes and Text Messaging – Agents might be relieved to know that they no longer need to remember to fill the little box of flyers that they used to attach to their yard signs. Adding a QR code or text message number to your sign allows consumers to easily and quickly scan a QR code with their smartphone or send a text for more information about the listing. There are a multitude of solutions available that will save the contact data of consumers and send it to you for follow-up, which makes capturing and organizing leads painless.

6. Streamline Your Tools – A technology that can improve your technology? Although it sounds too good to be true, there are solutions, like HootSuite, that consolidate your existing tools into one manageable platform. HootSuite uses a single dashboard to maintain all social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Google+. Some web platforms have a lead capture tool that integrates directly into their aforementioned CRM. Leads flow directly into the CRM so agents don't have to worry about retrieving leads or entering extra data.

7. Go Paperless – Using products like transaction management, forms solutions and electronic signatures not only saves the environment, but can also greatly streamline your real estate workflow. Gone are the days agents have to spend their time collecting signatures and filing piles of papers, allowing them to better focus their time competing for listings. It is painless to collaborate with multiple parties on multiple documents because technology gives you the luxury to do it right from your computer or mobile device.