Technology has been instrumental in my success as a Realtor®, but when I entered the real estate industry, I had a lot to learn. For me, using technology to grow my business started somewhat by default. I don’t have a technology background, but the subject always appealed to me. When I got into real estate and started doing transactions that involved other agents, I learned that a lot of them were not very tech savvy.
I saw this as an opportunity here in my marketplace of Columbia, Missouri, so I taught myself. Now, I’m very up to speed and have realized this: Putting a good technology platform and system in place is almost as good as having a live person on your team.
An independent agent might not be able to afford a licensed assistant, but they can employ technology to gain a competitive foothold in their market. The best initial advice I can offer to Realtors® is to earn the E-Pro designation; it’s the first one I got, and it put me way ahead of the competition.
For those interested in putting technology to work, let me share these observations:
1. Lead Generation Websites Work. Set up your website to become a lead generation site to capture data on prospective buyers. What you’re doing is asking the user of the site to register with their name, phone number and email address. If they provide a fake email and name, they don’t want you to contact them; but if it’s true contact information, they want you to call. Does it pay dividends? My lead generation site generates more traffic in my office that 107 other agent web sites combined.
2. There is Power in Social Media. Many people who use social media sites – whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn or Plaxo — are not taking advantage of these platforms. I see more mistakes than successes because the user is not projecting themselves as a real person. I plan a purposeful mix of personal and business information to reflect the balance of my personal life and work.
3. Understand the Benefits of Blogging. To truly understand all the benefits of the web, you have to interact with prospects and spread content to multiple sites. It’s crucial to spread your message everywhere, and a great way to do that is through a blog. I’m blogging every day about what’s going on in my micro area. I focus on who’s buying and selling in my community, and the results were exponential to the power of ten. It does take time, but I’m reaping the results.
From the leadership perspective, technology allows leaders to keep in contact with constituents in real time. Realtor® volunteer leaders, whether they’re involved on a national, state or local level, are truly mobile today and can respond instantly to those who need advice.
One final suggestion: Make your email address the same as your name. It will travel with you for life.