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Archive for the 'Real Estate Technology' Category

customer relationship management- feauture imageDuring recent years, Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRMs) have become increasingly popular in the real estate industry. CRM’s offer real estate sales professionals the ability to keep track of all interactions with clients, market directly to them, encourage strong relationships with them, and also connect with other professionals in the industry.  This means more time spent on the deal itself and less time going back and forth to get there! CRM’s also result in better organization with greater ease.

So while this is well and good, real estate sales professionals have a whole host of platforms to consider when choosing the right CRM for their needs. Most CRMs offer many of the same capabilities: marketing, tracking, workforce automation, etc. and, of course, there are pros and cons for each kind. So does size matter when choosing your CRM for real estate? Is bigger always better?

Let’s take a look at a CRM like Salesforce. As one of the most popular CRMs available, Salesforce is a major player on the CRM scene.  CRM, and others like it, offer a plethora of options for businesses looking to fully automate their workflows. And this is great, but does one size fit all?

Your budget is an important consideration when it comes to the CRM that best fits your business size and needs. Larger, major players can charge more for their services, and if your budget allows for expansion, one of the big names might be a great fit for you. However, smaller businesses, especially real estate professionals who work largely independently, would likely find a CRM with a proportionately smaller price point to be a better option.

Does less money mean lower quality? Not by any stretch. But it will likely boil down to fewer capabilities – which this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes narrowing down the list to include only what you actually need just makes better business sense.

Configuration should also be taken into consideration. With the big name companies, configuration can take more legwork. If you have the support to carry configuration out with no issues, then it is advantageous for you. But if your team consists of you and you alone, perhaps you may want to consider how much time you can devote to configuration. Again, this is all relative.

A CRM custom-fit for your business may actually be one that is better when bigger – especially if you have the time and budget to make it work for you. However, bigger isn’t the answer for everyone, and many businesses have chosen to cater their CRM to fit their needs, doing so without attachment to a big name. It’s perfectly viable to opt for specifics rather than adopting the ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ approach.

What CRM are you using? What capabilities are most important to you? Join the discussion.

For more, or to join the conversation, visit www.geowarehouse.ca today.

 

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real estate salesComing into the real estate industry as a new real estate sales professional you would be remiss not to realize how competitive an industry you are entering and that efficiency is king. The beauty of being new to the industry is that you can bring fresh ideas to the table about how you go about your daily activities. When we talk efficiency, we mean efficiency in a specific context: the ratio of the useful work performed by a machine or in a process to the total energy expended or heat taken in.

The most effective way to do this is by doing more electronically. From marketing to administering your deals.

On the marketing side, the playing field has been leveled. In the past those with smaller marketing budgets had difficulty competing with the seasoned professionals with big budgets for bench ads, calendars and sign advertising. These conventional marketing mediums have just about been eclipsed by the emergence of social media. Through social media you can market yourself and listings, establishing a vast network of connections – all electronically. Digital marketing through social media or even through real estate specific platforms – both available online and through mobile apps – increase your exposure and a client’s accessibility to you.

In deal administration, the real estate industry has been inherently burdensome on the paper side. Between contracts and agreements, listings, sales comps and the myriad other collateral a real estate sales professional may bring to a meeting, more can now be done electronically.

Meeting a client at your office

  • When a client comes to your office to meet have 2 things ready:
    • GeoWarehouse loaded on the computer – to quickly view property information with the client (either their property, or properties they would like to see)
    • ViMO loaded on your tablet – if the client wants to engage you, you can electronically prepare the listing or representation agreement and sign it electronically
  • Rather than copying identification and other material the client provides – scan it!

Meeting your client on the go 

The old way – purchase:

  • Pre-prepare representation agreement
  • Meet the client
  • Have the client sign initial agreements re: representation
  • View properties of interest – take photos if necessary
  • Go back to the office, research the property, if there is an offer to be made, prepare the offer
  • Meet the client again to sign the offer
  • Email or fax the offer to the other side

The electronic way – purchase

  • Ask the client for properties they may be interested in seeing and research some of your own
  • Attend the appointment armed with sales comps for the properties you will be seeing in the event your client is interested
  • Meet the client – ensure you have your tablet
  • Prepare the representation agreement on your tablet and have your client sign it electronically
  • On the road the client spots a property for sale that wasn’t yet appearing online
  • Using your ViMO app on your tablet, stand in front of the property and using augmented reality, snap a photo that reveals all property related information
  • You check ViMO app to see if the other real estate sales professional is online, and they are – you send them a message and they send you the lockbox key
  • You show your client the property and they love it – you message the other side to expect an offer shortly
  • You prepare the offer electronically and transmit it to the other side using ViMO

…. And the rest is history….

So as a new real estate sales professional you can see that investing in technology and investigating online tools for real estate sales professionals both online and through mobile apps will make you more efficient and prepared to compete the seasoned pros.

GeoWarehouse and ViMO let you do far more, on the go, in real time. Efficiency is easy with these two. Find out more at www.geowarehouse.ca and www.myvimo.ca.

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February 18, 2014

Real Estate TechnologyWith different real estate technology options available to real estate sales professionals in Ontario, it may leave some wondering: what should I be looking for in a real estate technology and real estate technology provider?

When choosing a real estate technology and provider there are many different things that you should consider:

  • Where is the data coming from? You want to ensure that the data is coming from the most accurate and trustworthy source. If the source is providing data that is out of date, inaccurate or incomplete it can cause you to make costly decisions on behalf of your client.
  • Who is the company providing the service? It will be important to choose a company that has a proven and established track record providing real estate technology and a long standing relationship with the supplier(s) of the data.
  • Does the technology offer maximum benefit? Does the technology do all that it needs to? Does the technology provide you with:
    • Information about a property’s owner, such as their name, mortgage information, etc.?
    • Information about a property, such as a legal description, PIN, sales history information?
    • Information about a particular neighbourhood, such as property owner and sales history information about other properties in a neighbourhood or a neighbourhood itself?
    • Demographic information, such as who lives in the area, schools and more?
    • Aerial imagery of an area to quickly identify positive attributes and also areas of concern?
    • Does the technology enable you to purchase things online like property surveys, condo certificates, etc.?
    • Is there a mobile version of the application?
  • Is the real estate technology provider moving in a progressive direction?

Recent changes to the law mean that real estate sales professionals in Ontario will soon be able to sign some legal documents electronically. Your real estate technology provider should be looking at mobile solutions for you to be able to take advantage of this new capability.

Choosing a real estate sales technology and provider is an important decision because ultimately it will directly impact how agile, efficient and competitive you are. The more that you leverage technology, the faster you will be able to do your job and the more work you will be able to do on the go.

For more information about how to choose the best real estate technology or for information about GeoWarehouse please visit www.geowarehouse.ca or call 1-866-237-5937.

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