You are viewing our site as an Agent, Switch Your View:

Agent | Broker     Reset Filters to Default
4 Chrome Extensions to Make Your Browser Work for You
Did you know that Google's Chrome browser offers thousands of extensions that you can install to boost your productivity? Like apps for your mobile phone, these add-ons range from social media sharing buttons to extensions that block online distractions so that you can better focus on important tasks. In this video, Realtor Loida Velasquez shares her four MUST-HAVE extensions for real estate. Watch the video above to learn how to put your web browser to work for you! Note: One of Loida's recommended extensions is for her preferred eSignature program, CocoSign. If you don't use that program, don't worry! Other eSignature and transaction management apps, like DocuSign and dotloop, offer similar extensions for their platforms.
MORE >
5 Realtor Safety Apps to Help Protect You and Your Clients
Being a professional real estate agent involves working with new people you do not know, and that alone can be risky business. After all, research shows that Realtors meet with prospective clients they have never met before either at their office or a neutral location 65% of the time. Nearly 40% off all Realtors hosted an open house alone last year. Almost one in five felt unsafe when doing so. Agents who have shared their stories online about coming close to avoiding a scary situation when asked to show a home point to a common experience: Something just didn't feel right about the prospect. Calls from restricted numbers, requests to see a home on a moment's notice, or a prospect overemphasizing they will be paying all cash can be warning signs, agents have shared. Several agents have revealed that some sketchy prospects have turned into stalkers – fortunately, that landed them in jail. Fortunately, over the last decade, the National Association of Realtors, along with state and local Realtor associations nationwide, have emphasized the importance of personal, professional, and community safety. Historically, September has been Realtor Safety Month, although remaining safety-conscious is a daily task for every agent. The NAR offers a repository of safety information and tips on its website (nar.realtor/safety), including safety planning strategies, tips and best practices to remain safe, safety training videos, and personal protection resources, which includes safety apps for your smartphone. Do you need to use a safety app for your phone? Consider these agent safety study finding from Agent Genius: Most attacks took place on Thursday or Friday afternoons. Roughly 30% of attack victims are men. Most attacks didn't take place inside major metropolitan areas. About half of attacks involved guns. Several attacks resulted in murder, even though robbery was the original intention. Here are five real estate apps for smartphones that are designed to keep agents safe: 1. Forewarn $20 a month – individual agent What it does: Forewarn offers an instant background check. It lets you know in advance who you are about to work with by verifying identity, searching for criminal histories, and validating information provided by unknown prospects. It needs little information upfront, such as a phone number of the person the agent is planning to meet. Available both online and through its mobile app, Forewarn instantly can help agents reduce their risk through using due diligence upfront. In addition to a personal subscription plan, Forewarn is available through many Realtor associations as a member benefit. 2. Real Safe Agent $4.99 month – individual agent What it does: Real Safe Agent is one of the most robust safety apps designed for real estate agents. It uses Hoosfon to see if a prospect is using a prepaid phone as well as other key information that could indicate a red flag. With Prospect Link, Real Safe Agent offers the ability to request a selfie and photo of their driver's license. These tools are used to build an "Agent Comfort Index," which shows if a prospect has been reaching out to other agents and if those agents reported feeling uncomfortable. By leveraging a social networking design, it allows agents to identify individual safety "buddies," fellow teammates and partners, and other individuals to create a safety network of people who are alerted instantly when an agent feels threatened or is in danger. Agents can also use the app to ask for someone in their network to join them at an open house they are hosting alone via an "Accompany Me" feature. Other features include Drop-in Alerts, allowing you to ask another agent in your network to "drop in" if a someone is making you uncomfortable, and an Open House feature to arrange someone to join you when you are opening or closing – the most dangerous times of an open house. Real Safe Agent also offers a unique 9-1-1 Alerts feature, as it notes it is the only system fully integrated with the nation's 911 system, ensuring the correct address is provided to the 911 operator. The alert can be immediately deployed simply by violently shaking one's smartphone. 3. SafeShowings $4.99 month or $49.99 annually – individual agent What it does: SafeShowings, available to more than one million Realtors through their associations, protects agents and the homeowner by capturing facial images of prospects. It also collects geolocation information from your phone. If there is an alert involved, SafeShowings will automatically send the stat to your emergency contacts. During an open house or individual showing, SafeShowings captures a facial image of anyone who is about to enter a property. It allows you to set a timer during a property showing and if an agent is unable end the timer, an alert is instantly and automatically triggered. 4. Homesnap Pro Free for most agents via their local MLS Homesnap Pro+ is $599 a year, discounted to $499 a year for the first year What it does: Homesnap Pro has been downloaded by more than a million real estate agents nationwide. It has a safety tool built in to the app. Before a showing or an open house, an agent can set a safety timer. The safety timer can be set at the agent's discretion for the amount of time they plan to be at the property. The coolest feature is that the app uses Homesnap geolocation technology, which means it automatically populates the property address when you are within 2000 feet of the property you want to show. Homesnap Pro also has a Distress Alert feature that will automatically text to your emergency contacts your time-stamped location, which an agent can access at any time they feel uncomfortable or threatened. 5. SentriKey Real Estate App Subscription prices for its lockbox service vary based on local association member pricing What it does: SentriLock is the official lockbox solution for the NAR, and is an optional, subscription-based service that associations often offer to their members. Its built-in agent safety feature creates an automatic way for an agent to alert their designated emergency contacts in case of potentially dangerous situations. The Agent Safety feature automatically launches when the mobile app is used to open a SentriKey lockbox. The agent can select a set time – SentriLock recommends approximately 90 seconds — or a time determined by the agent — for the app to prompt for a status update. If the agent us unable to respond, the app will automatically alert the agent's designated emergency contacts if the agent does not or cannot confirm they are safe. Safety is not an accident As you can see, many of these safety apps often require a subscription service. But that can be a small price to pay for the peace of mind and comfort it can bring an agent. For more information about other safety technology for real estate agents, see NAR's Resources for Personal Protection. For help setting up or installing any of these safety apps, reach out on your Tech Helpline app, or call or text a Tech Helpline expert for personal and friendly assistance. To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline blog.
MORE >
Real Estate Tools for Agents to Save Time and Money
MORE >
6 Tech Tools for Agents
The myriad of available technology in the real estate market continues to grow at a rapid pace. Finding the right tools that fit your needs can be overwhelming. Whether you are looking for productivity tools to save you time or options for video and photos, there is a solution. From document management to 3D tours, here are six tools to try to keep your business on track and enhance your client experiences. HelloSign The lesser-known player in the electronic signature management space, HelloSign offers a user-friendly platform for e-signature management for legally binding documents. It is a great option for smaller businesses and integrates easily with Google Drive and Dropbox. HelloSign offers a free 30-day trial, then has packages staring at $15 per month, depending on needs and usage. SpeakingPhoto Engage your clients with quick voice messages accompanied by photos and share visual voice memos with SpeakingPhoto. The downloadable app is available for desktop and mobile, giving you easy access to share a new property or update a client with photos and helpful information. SpeakingPhoto is free to download and use. Matterport The path to homeownership begins online and being able to visually showcase a home through video has become the go-to selling tool for agents that buyers love. And creating videos has become much easier with Matterport. The available mobile app is making it simple to capture a space, tag key attributes, and create a floorplan in 3D so clients can get an enhanced virtual tour of homes on their list. Several plans are available including a free version which is a great way to try out the app and see how it can make your listings come to life. BombBomb Increase your email marketing effectiveness with BombBomb video email messaging. Built as a sales tool, BombBomb gives users a quick way to record, send and manage video messages. BombBomb allows you to record a video through your phone and send via text or email. Back-end tracking can show who saw your video and when it was played giving you the opportunity to reach out and connect with the viewer. BombBomb offers a variety of packages from basic to enterprise for larger teams. Canva Canva, the graphic design resource, can assist you in creating everything from flyers and collages to post cards and social posts, and any other collateral or digital assets needed for your business. Their easy to navigate platforms offers a wealth of templates and graphics to design your next project. SentriKey Showing Service Of course, don't forget your last tool, SentriKey Showing Service, your combined solution for scheduling showings, property access, client management, and so much more! Stay organized, share listings with clients, and easily manage your day. Check out the tools on our list and find the ones you need to take your business to the next level. To view the original article, visit the SentriLock blog.
MORE >
8 Books That Every Real Estate Pro Should Read
MORE >
25+ Best Real Estate Software, Tools and Apps for Realtors
Managing a real estate practice takes a lot of work. Without good systems in place, simply managing your current clients, appointments, and paperwork can hold you back from growing your business. As you surely already know, there are thousands of options for apps, tools, and software for real estate agents in every stage of their career. You'll find solutions for more effective lead generation and nurturing and automated scheduling, transaction management and coordination, offer management, and systems that improve productivity and communication. Where do you start? Here are essential tools for real estate agents to make your life easier and free up time for what's important. Real Estate CRM Software and Lead Generation Lead generation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) are separate but incredibly related aspects of your business. Depending on your preference and needs, you may want a single platform that does both or you may prefer dedicated real estate lead generation software and a separate platform for CRM management. Choosing real estate CRM is a big decision. There are seemingly limitless options, and it's a big commitment that may mean disrupting your entire lead generation system. Because Customer Relationship Management software is at the heart of your business, it pays to put the work into choosing the right platform. Top real estate agents are twice as likely to use lead management and CRM software compared to less successful agents! The best CRM software for real estate agents: Is easy to use Integrates with other tools you use Offers robust analytics and reporting Provides the automation you need with personalization Includes an easy auto dialer Next, consider your needs before choosing a CRM for real estate. The right CRM will depend on the size of your real estate business, whether you are managing a team, and what will best support your specific goals. You may want a straightforward project management tool you can use as a CRM. Some real estate agents prefer an open system which integrates with other tools. Open systems let you pick and choose the right platforms for specific needs so they can work together. An all-in-one CRM system handles all aspects of lead generation. Ready to get started? Here are some top picks for CRM software for Realtors to grow your business. CINC – All-in-One CRM and Lead Generation Platform While perhaps not best for new agents, CINC is arguably the best real estate CRM software for real estate agents and teams with powerful lead generation tools. The platform offers: Client marketing to create Facebook, Google, and Instagram campaigns Generate leads with optimized sites designed to capture leads Import lead sources into your central dashboard Tools to get information about your leads' preferences and needs Automatically organize leads into your contact lists based on potential Notifications when leads are ready to contact you Real estate team management with automatic tracking and lead routing Connects with over 4,000 apps CINC has four products starting at $600 to $1,200 per month for a single agent with add-on costs like leads starting at $500 per month. The biggest drawback, aside from the cost, is CINC takes a long time to master. It's robust, but the system is rather clunky and not very intuitive. Real Geeks – All-in-One Lead Manager CRM Software for Realtors Cost: $299/month plus $350 to onboard 1-2 agents, additional cost for PPC management and seller lead generation Real Geeks is powerful real estate sales software that combines marketing, lead generation, nurturing, tracking, and reporting, and more. Here's why Real Geeks is a favorite among real estate agents: IDX real estate websites for lead generation Property valuation landing page to generate seller leads Robust lead manager CRM tracks and nurtures leads In-house marketing team manages PPC campaigns for an additional fee User-facing app integrates with your local MLS Automatic and up-to-date market reports SMS autoresponder for immediate response to lead inquiries Facebook Marketing Tool and marketing services (additional fee) Automated email drip campaigns Top Producer – CRM Made for Real Estate Cost: $60/month to $105/month per user Top Producer is a real estate CRM software designed specifically for agents. Campaigns, templates, and processes are all crafted for real estate for a more intuitive system and the features you really need without a lot of bloat. Stand-out features include: MLS Property Insights allows you to label and take notes while working with clients. The listing status and date will be automatically populated so you can stay on top of the details. Transaction management lets you see a transaction timeline and relevant listing data and get reminders. Integrates with 150+ tools like Gmail Dynamic workflows with relevant tasks to turn prospects into clients Automated marketing with MLS-based Market Snapshot Reports and alerts Follow Up Coach gives you suggestions on who to contact next and suggested touch points to stay on track IXACT Contact – Realtor CRM that Tracks Commissions and Transactions Cost: $45/month or $456/year IXACT Contact is a unique CRM platform for real estate agents because it not only helps you manage relationships and nurture leads, it also helps you track revenue. This CRM software for Realtors is designed to manage all your contacts and referrals as well as transactions, expenses, and revenue attached to each profile. It also has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to adopt. Copper – Real Estate CRM Software Designed for Gmail and Google Workspace Cost: $553/year Copper is a CRM platform designed for agents who use Google Workspace and Gmail. You'll find it very easy to manage contacts, market listings and open houses, and nurture leads through Google Calendar and Gmail. Copper automatically tracks and inputs all communications including account details, leads, emails, and contacts. By integrating with ActivePipe, you can nurture leads with tailored email campaigns and funnel leads into personalized workflows. HubSpot – Popular Free CRM for Real Estate Agents Cost: Free HubSpot is one of the most popular options if you're looking for free real estate CRM software. It offers tools like lead generation, live chat, email integration, and contact management. HubSpot excels as an inbound marketing tool for real estate agents. They also offer great free tools like templates, personalization and snippets so you can recall emails and responses you use frequently and tailor them to each recipient. Realtyzam CRM – Basic CRM Platform Designed for Agents Cost: $15/month or $144/year Already use Realtyzam accounting software? They also offer CRM software for real estate agents with an easy-to-use platform that's designed to be as simple as possible. Track sales activity, manage leads, and get reminders to get in touch with clients. Real Estate Lead Generation Software and Tools One of the greatest challenges in growing a real estate business and managing an office is the amount of work that goes into generating, nurturing, and converting leads. You may have team members devoted to cold calling, marketing, answering calls, and scheduling appointments, but there's probably an easier way with these top lead generation tools for real estate agents. RealScout – Lead Nurturing Tool Cost: $39/month per agent or $500/month for brokerages This simple but powerful Realtor lead generation tool scours the MLS for listings matching your clients' criteria. New listings are automatically emailed to your clients with branded emails that look like they came from you directly. You can sort properties by over 400 criteria to send clients the best matches for what they're looking for. The RealScout platform also includes a branded home search portal that displays accurate MLS data, team functionality, and other tools to generate leads. Structurely – AI Virtual Assistant Helps Convert Leads Cost: Starting at $299/month for 100 contacts Structurely helps you spend less time qualifying leads and more time closing. Their real estate software solution works like another member of your team to: Connect with leads from your CRM Nurture unresponsive leads 25 times over 12 months Send alerts when leads are ready for you to step in Not ready for a real estate virtual assistant? Try an AI assistant to help manage leads! Using pre-built, optimized real estate scripts (or your own scripts) for new and old leads, sellers, and buyers, Structurely sends all lead conversations to your CRM in real time and mirrors your CRM lead routing rules. Best of all, you can jump in and take over the conversation at any time! Revaluate – Generate Leads with Predictive Analytics Cost: $139/month (for 2,000 contacts) Revaluate is a simple solution to significantly boost the conversion rate of your cold calling campaign. It helps you generate leads by using predictive analytics to identify homeowners in your area likely to move within 3-6 months based on social media, demographic, and consumer data. Redx – Realtor Lead Generation for Specialty Leads Cost: $60/month Redx is real estate prospecting software with a unique purpose: it gives you access to expired listings and aging FSBO listings to help you identify potential prospects. As you create prospect lists, the included Storm Dialer can automatically dial numbers while displaying relevant information. This is one of the best alternatives to cold calling and a great investment! FreshDesk – Live Chat Function to Convert Leads Cost: $18/month or $180/year FreshDesk lets leads and clients contact you from their preferred channel, including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and iMessage, with a single inbox. Automation assigns the communications to the right person in the office and the system supports team collaboration. Fast response times and allowing leads to contact you how they prefer means a higher chance of converting them into a client! Cloud Attract – Create Real Estate Landing Pages Cost: $99/month for Cloud Agent bundle One of the most popular real estate lead generation tools, Cloud Attract lets you create attractive landing pages that target either buyers or sellers. Choose from more than one dozen professionally designed templates, select the information you want to collect, and your landing page will be automatically generated. You can then customize it with your own imagery, copy, fonts, Google Analytics ID, and more. Generated leads appear in a tab with email notifications. Real Estate Accounting Software and Expense Tracking Apps While you're busy meeting clients, showing homes, generating leads, and overseeing transactions, it can be challenging to stay on top of bookkeeping and expense tracking. Still, this less glamorous side of running a real estate business is important. Here's the best accounting software for real estate agents and expense tracking tools. QuickBooks for Real Estate – Robust Realtor Accounting Software Cost: $15 to $180 per month (free trials and discounts often offered) QuickBooks Online is a leading choice for accounting software for Realtors with tools that make it easy to grow your real estate business. Here are some reasons QuickBooks is the go-to option for real estate agents: Insight into business performance month-over-month to set goals and make business decisions Automatically pay payroll taxes if you have employees Easily create categories of liabilities and assets like business credit cards, petty cash, furniture and fixtures, travel expenses, technology expenses, marketing expenses, and office supplies Generate a real estate agent profit and loss statement by week, month, or quarter Robust real estate agent expense tracking with mileage tracking and integration with other tools like DocuSign, Pipedrive, Copper, and Salesforce Sales Cloud Most agents only need the Simple Start plan which is about $25 per month. Realtyzam – Accounting Software Designed Specifically for Agents Cost: $12/month or $120/year Realtyzam is unique because it was designed specifically for real estate agents. This cloud-based real estate accounting software offers basic accounting as an affordable alternative to QuickBooks for Realtors. Realtyzam is a great choice if you want a simple system for tracking expenses and generating reports for taxes. MileIQ – One of the Best Apps for Realtors to Track Mileage Cost: Free trial, $6/month or $60/year MileIQ is a more robust app for Realtors that tracks mileage. It uses automatic drive detection so you don't need to worry about turning tracking on and off, and you can automatically classify common routes to track business and personal miles. It even offers mileage tracking for real estate teams! MileIQ reports an average deduction of $7,022 for MileIQ users. Stride – Free Mileage and Travel Expense Tracking App Cost: Free The average Realtor spends $1,200 per year on their vehicle, according to NAR! You spend so much time in your car and traveling as an agent, it's crucial to track your mileage and travel expenses. For most agents, the mileage deduction is one of the biggest tax deductions they claim! Stride is a free mileage tracking app that's easy to use. Just turn on the mileage logger when you start driving and turn it off when you're done. You can log other travel expenses as you go. At tax time, Stride creates an IRS-ready tax form. While free, this tool isn't designed for agents and it's very basic. QuickBooks Mileage Tracker Cost: Included with QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Self-Employed Already using QuickBooks for real estate agents? QuickBooks also offers a mileage tracker app that automatically detects when you're driving. Swipe left on trips to mark them as business miles. Tracked miles will be automatically transferred to your real estate bookkeeping software. Because it's linked with your other real estate business expenses, QuickBooks will determine how much you can deduct for you. The downside is it has an added cost that's higher than competitors like MileIQ. Other Top Apps for Realtors: Marketing Productivity and More! From paperless open houses to streamlined and automated scheduling, these top real estate agent tools can simplify many areas of your business. Calendly – Scheduling App for Realtors Cost: Free for basics and $8 to $16/month per person Calendly is one of the best real estate apps for agents to stay on top of scheduling and appointments. Here's why real estate agents love using Calendly: Set availability preferences to customize when and how you book appointments Automated real estate team scheduling Automate communication before and after meetings Connects to up to six calendars Poll meeting attendees for best availability times Integrates with CRM platforms and more Automated reminder and follow-up emails Alllows leads to schedule with you instantly! Spacio – Easy, digital open house sign-in Cost: $25/month for agents, $100/month for 5-agent teams, and $145/month for brokerages and offices Ditch the clipboards and sign-in sheets with Spacio, an automated paperless open house app. This simple app helps you capture leads from virtual and in-person events, communicate with buyers and sellers, and even market listings. Realtors Property Resource (RPR) – Create CMAs on the Go Cost: Free RPR and the RPR Mobile app are essential tools for real estate agents who need on-the-go research and fast answers. A subsidiary of NAR, RPR gives you access to the data you need during showings and meetings while allowing you to create comparative market analysis reports on the go. This app for Realtors is perfect for getting quick answers to client questions with a tool to search neighborhoods and zip codes and share property photos with your clients. Wise Agent – Popular Real Estate Marketing Tool for Email Automation Cost: $348/year Wise Agent is simple, yet it's one of the most effective real estate agent marketing tools for email automation. This real estate CRM software lets you set up campaigns that run themselves. Choose the number of emails (events) and days between events or fixed dates then use pre-made templates or create your own. The Wise Agent platform is rather outdated, but it's easy to learn and helps you break up the lead nurturing process into several steps without getting overwhelmed. Dotloop – Transaction Management Software for Signing Offers and Documents Cost: Free for 10 transactions and unlimited eSignatures, $29/month for Premium Dotloop is leading real estate closing software that helps you stay on top of transactions. Dotloop helps agents and brokers collaborate, provides reporting, and manages transactions from opening to closing. One of the best uses of Dotloop is making sure offers and closing documents are signed. After opening a "loop," you can add property information and upload documents with notes indicating where they need to be signed. Each field can be assigned to the appropriate party. Recipients can easily add eSignatures with real-time notifications. Disclosures.io – Organize and share disclosures digitally Cost: Free for basic, $39/month for Pro with custom templates and seller dashboards This web platform and app is one of the top agent tools for streamlining disclosures. The free tool for Realtors lets you share information, disclosures, pre-sale inspections, natural hazard reports, and more with interested parties and track activity. You can create packages for sellers or buyers with the property information, photos, a video tour, and uploaded documents. You can even integrate DocuSign! DocuSign – Trusted Digital Signature Platform Cost: $25/month per user or $240/year for Realtors DocuSign is one of the best tools for Realtors to reduce paperwork and streamline transactions. DocuSign eSignatures are a trusted solution to keep clients happy and save time with a secure cloud platform. NAR members get exclusive reduced pricing! Real Estate Transaction Management Help One of the most time-consuming aspects of running a real estate office is staying on top of the paperwork and all the details that go into seeing a transaction to closing. It's easy to get overwhelmed managing appointments and deadlines, checking signatures, and coordinating communications. Are you tired of paying the high cost for real estate management software while trying to manage your business with dozens of tools? As great as these Realtor tools are, you can free up more time from administrative tasks and benefit from a robust platform that keeps you in control. Transactly is real estate transaction management software that gives you a central hub to manage everything and a real estate TC who takes care of the details. The Transactly platform can be used on your own or with a transaction coordinator. Use customizable templates, automated reminders, document management, reporting, and the Transactly Hub which integrates with Dotloop, DocuSign, Gmail, Google Calendar, and more. You can even streamline the offer process by providing a unique listing link that allows parties to submit offers which can be reviewed and managed in real time! For just $95 per year, you can combine our tech-enabled platform with a dedicated transaction coordinator and live support. For a flat fee per transaction, your US-based TC handles everything from reviewing paperwork and ensuring compliance to scheduling, monitoring key dates, coordinating signatures, and monitoring closing. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
MORE >
9 Best Apps for Real Estate Agents
MORE >
7 Tech Solutions for Real Estate Agents to Adopt
Tech can feel tough to master for even the savvy, and, if you're a relative newcomer to the digital world, it can feel intimating to add tech skills to your resume. However, now is the time to get acquainted with helpful digital solutions you can build into your business strategy for longterm success. Real estate agents can keep up with current market conditions by taking to tech and learning best practices. Check out these seven tech solutions that real estate agents can use to continue growing their businesses. 1. Let's start simple: Get acquainted with Skype, Zoom, or your favorite virtual meeting platform Get acquainted with Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting, or your favorite virtual meeting platform. Before you hop on calls, make sure you know how to log-in, mute yourself (in case there's unavoidable background noise) and turn off your video. To make sure you keep up a professional appearance, designate a well-lit area of your home that you can use to speak with clients. Of course, you can also call your clients or your team on the phone, and this is a great solution to keep in touch. But, there's value in speaking with your client and seeing, in real time, their reaction to the different properties the two of you are considering. You can also check in with your clients the same way you might use Skype or FaceTime to keep in contact with your friends and family. Suggest a virtual face-to-face with your clients and ask them if you can be of any help. 2. Virtual showings Many people don't want to buy or rent homes unseen—totally understandable. So, how are we able to lead standout showings? Check out virtual showing options. Real estate agents are integral members of their communities and dedicated to finding their clients a home that fits their lifestyles, and creating lasting relationships with property owners and renters. So, work with property owners and sellers to try to make virtual showings possible for your clients. 3. Livestream walk-throughs You can film a walk-throughs not just for your clients, but for your whole sphere of influence. Go LIVE on Instagram or Facebook and show a vacant property that can be rented or bought right now. Like a showing conducted face-to-face, make sure to apply the best practices you use during your showings everyday—walk slowly, be clear about what you are seeing, leave some time to explain the amenities that the property offers, and if showing a rental, make sure to let your viewers know about any specials that the landlord is willing to offer new movers. 4. Online learning platforms Chances are you're spending a lot of time at home. Learning and sharpening your real estate skills is a great way to decrease anxiety, have fun, and build a sustainable business. If you haven't already built rentals into your business plan, now is a great time to do so. At Rental Beast, we believe that agents of all levels should have accessible education. So, we've opened the doors to Rental Beast University, our interactive online education platform for all agents for free. With Rental Beast University, you can chose from a selection of on-demand webinar courses with proven records of success. Courses include crucial topics including rental best practices, social media skills, and converting renters to buyers. 5. Online applications engines Have you taken your rental applications digital? This is not only a great solution for these times when staying contact-free and paper-free is important, but also a great way to ensure that your applications run smoothly and quickly during any part of the year! We're pleased to announce that Apply Now by Rental Beast is lightning fast, 100% online, and totally free for real estate agents. With credit scores processed instantly, and viewable only to designated reviewers in a secure portal, Apply Now gets your client into their apartment and your commission in your hands at lightning speed. 6. Up your digital marketing game by building an authentic and modern social media presence Make sure that your digital marketing game is strong and you're projecting a professional image to your all of your clients. Take some time to make sure that your social presence is strong and consistent. Looking for a starting point? Check out this suite of educational content: 4 LinkedIn Tips You Need to Know Facebook For Real Estate Agents: 5 Essential Tips How Many Hashtags to Use and 6 Other Instagram Tips For Real Estate Agents 7 Mistakes Agents Make on Twitter: Social Media for Real Estate Agents Get up to speed on how you can craft a presence that feels authentic and will generate the leads your business needs to succeed. If you don't trust yourself to post with any degree of frequency, online posting tools like Loomly, HootSuite, and more can help you make sure all your content is ready to be posted! To view the original article, visit the Rental Beast blog.
MORE >
Top 5 Real Estate YouTubers to Follow This Year
MORE >
[Best of 2021] Best Closing Gifts Under $100
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in August and is #9 in our countdown. See #10 here. It's no secret that referrals are the bread and butter of our business. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, more than 42% of new clients came to agents by referrals, including renters and buyers. Giving your clients a small token of appreciation at closing is a thoughtful and effective way to complete your transaction on a high note while teeing up a referral ask. Closing gifts are a meaningful gesture that go a long way in maintaining a long-lasting client relationship and generating referrals. Closing gifts don't need to break the bank to be valued and appreciated. Whether you are looking for a gift card, treat basket, or anything else to give your clients as a housewarming gift, we got you covered. Here are a few affordable options that are big hits with clients. Personalized Cheese Board or Throw Blanket Cheese boards and throw blankets are long-lasting, memorable gifts that, especially if personalized, show that there was a great deal of thought put into the purchase. Options: Personalized Cheese Board with Name Watercolor House A custom watercolor house portrait is a digital painting that can be the perfect housewarming gift for a new homeowner. It's simple to order and will leave a lasting memory for your client. Options: Watercolor House Paintings A Welcome Plant or Tree If your client has a knack for nature, a potted plant or fruit tree could be the perfect gift. Placed in pots for indoor use, or planted outdoors, these inexpensive gifts are a living reminder of the service you provide. Options: Small Plants Small Trees Pet Gift Basket and Treat Subscription Box Gifts for a furry family member are always appreciated by pet lovers. Small gift baskets with toys and treats show pet owners you care by helping them pamper their fur babies! Options: Pet Lover Gifts Here are some tips when choosing the best gift for your client: Avoid cookie-cutter gifts or perishables like fruit baskets. Instead, find lasting, usable objects or art with a hint of personalization. Monogramming and engraving are easy to order and relatively inexpensive and can elevate even the most simple gift. Assume every client will close, keeping a mind's eye to identifying a meaningful closing gift. Ask questions about their hobbies and after-work activities. Pro tip: Don't spend money adding your brand to closing gifts. Most people do not want brand-based products in their brand new homes and will often throw them away. Make it about your client, not you. To view the original article, visit the Rental Beast blog.
MORE >
10 Gifts for Real Estate Agents
MORE >
6 Real Estate Coaching Programs to Level Up Your Real Estate Game
Nobody enters into real estate intending to fail. In reality, most agents begin their careers in real estate to make it a lifetime profession. However, the irony is that many novice agents give up after their first year in the industry. Adults may likely overlook the usefulness of a mentor or coach. However, agents who constantly learn new tactics to increase their efficiency and revenue are the most effective. In addition to seminars, networking activities, staff training, and on-the-job learning, real estate coaching services are another way for agents to expand their businesses and keep up with industry news, resources and procedures. If you're at a stage in your career where you'd like to devote more time to studying, but don't want to waste time looking for coaching programs online, here are six of the best real estate coaching programs available for real estate agents. 1. Mike Ferry Mike Ferry is a household name in the real estate industry. He was the first modern real estate coach who accepted teaching his peers and the entire industry in many respects. Whether he's laying down actionable lead generation strategies on YouTube, presenting at an event, or sharing inspiring quotes on Twitter, if you're an agent, you'll find it challenging to ignore Tom Ferry. Ferry has a variety of coaching options for agents. Ferry's counseling strategy is diversified, ranging from one-on-one sessions to complete retreats. There are three distinct real estate coaching packages available: Core+, Team+ and Elite+. Each package covers a range of subjects, including sales confidence, leadership skills and lead generation. 2. Brian Buffini Brian Buffini's coaching program is another well-known brand in the real estate industry. Brian Buffini, a former top-performing real estate agent and owner of Buffini & Company, North America's most extensive consulting, coaching, and growth firm, founded Buffini & Company Coaching Solutions. Buffini & Company has spent the last two decades helping agents in becoming more productive in lead generation. To date, over 3 million agents in 37 countries have completed the initiative and expanded their businesses. There are three coaching options available: One2One Coaching Group Coaching Referral Maker PRO These programs are made to assist agents in generating more leads, sales and streamline operations. It was developed to help agents generate more leads, generate sales and streamline processes. Additionally, each program includes Referral Maker CRM for generating leads and a monthly marketing kit. 3. The Real Estate Trainer The Real Estate Trainer was established by the real estate executive, speaker and mentor, Brian Icenhower, powered by Icenhower Coaching & Consulting (ICC). Brian is highly esteemed in the industry as the former CEO of Kansas City's Keller Williams realty company. Since June 2019, ICC has helped 500 real estate agents through coaching to achieve their goals. Agents experienced growth in average sale price, lead generation and gross commission income. 4. Tim and Julie Harris Tim and Julie Harris are expert coaches who used to be top-selling real estate agents. They're also best-selling authors who've collaborated with other experts to provide cutting-edge strategies and business expertise to help agents thrive. Five program choices are available. Each program provides considerable value and a comprehensive list of resources: Premier Premier Accountability Premier Plus Premier VIP Elite The major distinction between the programs is that the private and semi-private participants receive phone calls each month. Agents are eligible for one or four calls each month, depending on the package they select. 5. Tom Ferry Coaching Tom Ferry is one of the most influential real estate brokers in the country and a leading educator. He has over 30,000 hours of coaching experience and has matched his clients with their certified coach for private sessions. This company offers three separate coaching programs, including Core+, Team+, and Elite, concentrating on strategy, sales skills, and lead generation. Tom Ferry's services focus on real estate agents personally, empowering them to make meaningful changes, set goals, and provide them with tools to keep them accountable. 6. Floyd Wickman Finally, let's take a look at Floyd Wickman's coaching services. The Floyd Wickman Program is now led by Mike Pallin, who founded the organization with Floyd. Floyd has a legendary reputation as one of the most potent agents in history, and Mike is carrying on that tradition! The program's courses are designed for those who want to learn from a business pioneer with decades of experience. Their training focuses on selling techniques and marketing strategies. Final Thoughts Having gained some insight into the value of coaches, you might be curious about the ones who can help you. There are many excellent real estate coaching services available, but they are all different. The package you choose should be based on your budget and your personal goals. Consider your objectives and compare each program to find the one that best meets your needs. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
MORE >
Cool Tools and Hot Hacks for Photos Every Agent Will Love!
MORE >
RPR's 10 Best Real Estate Apps for 2021
Tech is no stranger to the real estate business. Nowadays you can perform a laundry list of tasks by just using your phone. Not to mention market yourself, post to social media, manage relationships, generate leads, create content and so much more. However, sometimes all that technology can get a bit overwhelming and it's tough to keep up with all the tech tools available to you. Perhaps you just need a quick list of helpful tools, in the form of digital applications, that can make you a more proficient and efficient agent. RPR's annual "Best of Apps" article's got you covered! Read on to see how your tech stack stacks up to our 2021 list. 1. RPR (Realtors Property Resource) Topline: Property data, tools and reports that will "wow" your clients and help you close more deals. Summary: Well, of course we're going to include RPR in our list of "favorite apps." But first one on the list? Bold! As a REALTOR®, RPR is your exclusive NAR member benefit. And with it, you can perform transactions, service your clients and build your business by: Researching properties for up-to-date data and information Creating Property Reports, Neighborhoods Reports, School Reports, Market Activity Reports and more Viewing recent activity and local market conditions around you Accessing tax, mortgage, historical and distressed data, and flood zones Searching for schools within an area or school district Adding photos, text and audio notes to any property Using geographic farming techniques to prospect for leads Utilizing maps to discover travel times and traffic counts Building bullet-proof CMAs and listing presentations Using the RPR app to respond to clients in seconds when you're in the field And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how much RPR can do for you and your real estate business. Get your app downloaded today: RPR from Apple App Store, and RPR from Google Play. Cost: Free! RPR is included in your National Association of REALTORS® dues as a member benefit. 2. Magisto Topline: An AI-powered, computerized video editor that makes video storytelling super easy. Summary: Magisto is an offering from Vimeo, who obviously have major video cred. This app (along with a desktop software version) helps its users create high quality video content, and do it quickly. Users edit the photos they want to include, then select stock templates, then add a title and select a music bed. Then the real fun starts! Magisto's AI program puts it all together into an eye-catching version which the user can edit or use as-is. For real estate agents, it's perfect for video home tours or promoting a highlight reel of yourself on social media or via email. Cost: $10, $20 or $70 per month 3. Sentrilock Topline: Offers the first and only combined lockbox, showing service, and experience management solution. Summary: SentriLock, which is owned by NAR, is an industry-leading electronic lockbox manufacturer and provider of property access solutions. SentriLock prides itself on being easy to use, reliable and secure. And of course, it has a digital application, called SentriConnect®, which allows REALTORS® to easily manage home access, showings, and client communication – all from their phone or tablet. In addition, REALTORS® using SentriKey Real Estate® have one-click access to property data via the RPR app on their iOS or Android devices—an integration that will prove highly valuable to REALTORS® who want to present on-the-spot data and reports to their clients. (Click here for details). Cost: For REALTORS®: $137.80 per month, plus a $50 one-time activation fee. 4. Forewarn Topline: Safety! Forewarn allows agents to work safer and smarter by instantly verifying a prospect's identity and potential risks prior to a face-to-face meeting. Summary: By nature, the business of real estate can sometimes involve talking and meeting with strangers. 99.99% of the time everything is perfectly fine and safe, but you can never be too careful. With the Forewarn app, agents can properly and safely plan for showings with a higher level of confidence. In seconds, with as little information as a phone number or a name, agents can verify a prospect's identity, criminal records, bankruptcies, liens, judgments, address history, and property records all in one place, leading to safer and more productive interactions. Basically, find out if people are who they say they are and do a little extra digging for good measure. Cost: $20/month with an annual agreement for individual agents. However, discounts are available for brokerages and associations purchasing licenses in volume. 5. Clicky Topline: Clicky tracks website traffic and behavior to help you improve user experience. Summary: Clicky helps you track important data on how your website is used by your visitors. It works very much the same way as Google Analytics, but several reviewers say Clicky's interface is more user-friendly. It offers metrics and heat maps that track individual website navigation. In other words, you can see what areas of your website visitors are clicking on and engaging with most, and conversely, what areas need improvement. Cost: Free, limited to one site with a maximum of 3,000 daily page views. Premium plans also available starting at $10 per month. 6. Stride Topline: Easily track your mileage, expenses and more. Summary: As a self employed, independent contractor, REALTORS® need to keep track of business expenses for tax purposes. The Stride app puts you on cruise control when it comes to keeping track of mileage by automatically uploading your miles. It's got some other nifty write-off features too, such as allowing users to import expenses from their bank account and keep track of receipts. And as a bonus, it also suggests deduction options, integrates with tax preparation software, and offers an IRS-ready tax summary. Cost: It's free! 7. TurboScan (Apple)/ TurboScan (Google) Topline: Make high quality scans of any hard copy document from your phone. Summary: TurboScan (Apple) / TurboScan (Google) turns your smartphone into a full-featured and powerful multipage scanner for documents, receipts, notes, whiteboards, photos, and various other everyday hard copies. However, you're not just snapping a pic and converting it to a PDF or JPEG. TurboScan uses advanced technology (algorithms) to accurately detect document edges, straighten out and correct perspective, eliminate shadows and set a perfect black and white contrast. Crisp, clear, scanned docs and the price is right! Cost: One-time $6 fee 8. Follow Up Boss Topline: An entire CRM in your pocket that streamlines sales activities for real estate agents, teams and brokerages to help them better manage their leads. Summary: If you're looking for an all-in-one customer relationship management software tool, Follow Up Boss sits proudly in the corner office. This well-reviewed real estate CRM is designed to help sales agents follow up faster and more often, with the people most likely to turn into deals. Notable features include auto-send for emails, inbound and outbound call management, drip emails, and automated text messaging in one streamlined interface. Another huge benefit of Follow Up Boss is that it integrates with tons of lead sources including Zillow, Realtor.com, Homes.com, Ylopo, Facebook and many more. And its list of business-building features is never-ending with categories including basic CRM, Marketing, Reporting, Lead Providers and Integrations. Check out their site for full details. Cost: Free trial for 14 days, then $69 per month, with price increases depending on the number of users. There's a reason Follow Up Boss is pricey—it packs a performance punch and should be looked at as an investment vs. an expense. 9. Mojo Dialer Topline: Dialing system and lead generation platform. Summary: If you're not familiar with auto dialing systems, here's how they work: you make an outbound call from your phone through the Mojo platform. Once you connect, the system begins dialing the numbers in your list. When a lead answers, you hear them immediately. As you progress through the list, Mojo knows what phone numbers to dial next. Users don't even hear the ringing, which makes long prospecting sessions a breeze. Numbers that ring busy, are disconnected or don't get picked up, roll over to the next number automatically without manual input. And if you run into an answering machine, you will be able to leave pre-recorded messages. One last thing: this app is the mobile companion app for the Mojo Dialer, which means you can untether from your desk and make your calls from anywhere. If you're an old school prospect dialer, Mojo might be for you. Get yours on! Cost: $99 for a single user, per month 10. Cloze Topline: A smart CRM and AI assistant in one that automatically keeps track of your email, phone calls, text messages, meetings, documents, and social media. Summary: Besides being one the best-named apps we've ever seen, Cloze is also the hassle-free way to manage everything about your business in one place. When you need client information fast, the Cloze app syncs and pulls data automatically from your most used platforms to provide you with every detail needed to stay on top of client relations. And data entry? A thing of the past with this app. It also compiles your communication history with a client, including emails, calls, and exchanged files. And their proactive artificial intelligence prompts you to keep in-touch, with the right message at the right time. Cost: From $17-$42 per month And that's a wrap on our best of apps for 2021! To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
MORE >
Best Closing Gifts Under $100
MORE >
Staycation Activities for Every Season
Real estate is a fantastic business, but everyone needs a break from time to time. Vacationing is back on the menu for many Americans, but if you're more comfortable sticking close to home, you should still take some time off to relax and unwind. Here are some fun ways to spend your time off in any season without straying too far from home! Summer Turn a kiddie pool into a mini-tropical paradise. Challenge your friends, extended family, or neighbors to do the same and share the picture on social media! Start an herb garden. Go fishing or kayaking. Fall Create your own outdoor movie theatre. Build your dream theatre with a projector, screen, and some comfy outdoor furniture. Plant some low-maintenance plants. Go camping in your backyard. Winter Spruce up your firepit. Add some string lights or nice seating around a firepit. Consider adding an outdoor bar or drink station for added relaxation potential. Get inspired by building a gingerbread house (or gingerbread village). Learn a new hobby online. Spring Start a vegetable garden. Go for a drive in the countryside. Take a bike ride. Any Time! Catch up on a TV series. Host a game night via Zoom. Go geo-caching. Take a virtual vacation by touring a zoo or museum. Whenever you choose to schedule your time off, remember that while you're away, Homes.com has your back. Visit profile.homes.com to create your free account. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
MORE >
3 Apps Guaranteed to Save You Time
MORE >
10 Creative Ideas for Memorable Closing Gifts
Finding just the right closing gift isn't always easy. You want something special and thoughtful that stands out and communicates how much you value your clients' business. It also needs to be memorable -- you don't want them forgetting your name for possible referrals any time soon! There are a few things to keep in mind when you're searching for just the right closing gift. First, forget cost -- it will only constrain you at the start, and you can make price adjustments later. Next, consider what you know about your clients and what is meaningful to them. Maybe they are newly married and would love a gift with their family name on it. If they are coming from another state, you may consider giving an experience that gets them out of the house and into the neighborhood (see idea #4!). Lastly, don't give them anything that is branded. Keep your headshot, phone number and logo off your closing gift. Clients will see that as marketing, not as a gift from the heart. If you're struggling to find just the right thing, get inspiration from our 10 creative closing gift ideas.
MORE >
Free Video Editing Apps for Real Estate Videos in 2021
MORE >
The 7 Best Real Estate Podcasts to Listen to Right Now
Podcasts aren't just books for your ears. This is an entirely different medium for learning and entertainment. Episodes are guided by a host(s) and range in format from one-on-one interviews to Q&As to personal narratives. The variety of content and depth of information are part of what makes them so engaging and worthy of your time. Whether you're just getting into podcasts or want to breathe some fresh air into your library, we've collected the seven best real estate podcasts that you should check out this year. Together, they provide a good mix of inspiration, business tips, industry news and tech trends. You may not end 2021 subscribed to all of them, but give each one a listen and stay devoted to those that you find most useful and engaging. In no particular order, the seven best real estate podcasts are:
MORE >
5 Gift Ideas for Real Estate Agents
MORE >
[Best of 2020] 8 Real Estate Closing Gifts That Return Your Investment
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in October and is #8 in our countdown. See #9 here. Closing real estate deals is fun, right? Of course it is! You should extend your excitement of a job well done with a token of appreciation for your clients. Here are some thoughtful gift ideas you can give to your clients:
MORE >
[Best of 2020] 5 Real Estate Apps that Will 'Wow' You and Your Clients
MORE >
Home Office Necessities for the Busy Real Estate Agent
You may have had to stop working in a physical office and begun the process of working from home. If you didn't already have a home office, and are looking for ways to improve your workspace, we've got you covered.
MORE >
These Are the 5 Best Real Estate Apps for 2021
MORE >
8 Real Estate Closing Gifts That Return Your Investment
Closing real estate deals is fun, right? Of course it is! You should extend your excitement of a job well done with a token of appreciation for your clients. Here are some thoughtful gift ideas you can give to your clients:
MORE >
5 of the Best Real Estate Coaches in the Business
MORE >
Real Estate Essentials for New Agents
You are a new real estate agent. You are just starting out in the field and have no sense of direction. Yes, you learned a lot while getting your real estate license. However, common sense things such as what to bring, what to have with you at all times, or what to do before you get out there wasn't really explained to you. You've just come from a 9-5 office job and do not know what this entails. We've put together a quick list of a few things that could help you out when you are getting out there. These real estate essentials will surely get you off on the right foot.
MORE >
Restream for Real Estate: How to take a home showing live everywhere
MORE >
Time Management Tools for Busy Real Estate Agents
Knowing what to do to stay on top of your to-do list doesn't always mean you know how to do it. Here are some tools that can help you manage your time and stay on schedule so your real estate business can succeed.
MORE >
5 Real Estate Apps that Will 'Wow' You and Your Clients
MORE >
Instagram for Real Estate Agents: Top Accounts to Follow Today
As a real estate agent, you are always on your phone. Answering calls, replying to emails and then all of your other time gets occupied by social media. If you have Instagram already, we have compiled a list of a few top real estate accounts to follow today. Whether you are looking for inspiration, motivational quotes, interesting photography, or humor, these real estate accounts are key to starting you off on the right foot for the day:
MORE >
Trello: A Great App to Help You Organize and Prioritize Your Workflow
MORE >
4 Tech Tips Every Agent Should Give Their Clients
Agents often look for technology that can save them time processing transactions so they can spend more time producing new business. But what technology can your clients use to improve their selling or buying experience? Here are four tech tips you can share with your clients, tech advice that can take some of the stress out of buying or selling a home. 1. Faxing without the fax machine Your clients have paper documents you need, but you don't want them wasting their time driving them to you or waiting for the documents to arrive in the mail. Our phones have replaced fax machines, making it easier than ever for your clients to create a PDF from any paper document in a snap. The app stores are full of options, from Genius Scan to Easy Fax, all allowing the instant creation of a compressed PDF that is simple to create and email to an agent quickly. You can even send encrypted PDFs for enhanced security. 2. Connecting to you with a push of a button Today's top real estate apps – from Homesnap to realtor.com, as well as many brokerage apps – allow clients to connect directly to you, their agent. This is the one feature that agents should focus on to encourage clients to download their app and get them engaged. Communication is the number one thing most clients want. Encourage them to use just one app to reach you. It helps and organizes and tracks text conversations in one place. This can be a great time saver for your clients – and you. 3. Organize the house hunt Agents know that their customers are going to visit open houses. Help them better organize their route. Yes, they can use Google Maps to maximize their trip, but there are alternative apps that can automatically build the most efficient route for multiple addresses. These route planning apps can optimize a list of open house visits quickly and easily. Two top options in the app stores include Route4Me and Road Warrior. 4. Checking off the checklist If your firm has a transaction management system, such as Form Simplicity, you understand the value of checklists. Helping your clients keep track of the homes they prefer can be done in most of the leading search apps. However, keeping it simple for your clients with a home shopping checklist might be a more welcome solution for your clients. A house hunting checklist app also helps them use the more logical side of their brain when shopping. Checklists also help clients remember which homes have the key features they really liked. The app stores offer a few solutions. GoCanvas is a business forms app that offers a Home Buyer's Checklist. An app called Checklist allows clients to create their own custom lists and offers a suggested template of items online as well. Finding ways to help reduce the stress many clients experience is important. After all, a recent survey found about 15% of buyers were reduced to tears during the process. Another 20% got in a fight with their spouse or partner. Share these tech tips as another way to make it all a little easier. And remember that if you have access to Tech Helpline, analysts are ready to help you with any tech questions you may have. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
MORE >
10 Valentine's Day Gifts for Real Estate Agents
MORE >
Using Slack to Help Run Your Real Estate Business
I am a big fan of using the apps that come on your smartphone, but we all need a few extra things to help us be efficient and productive. If you have been following my recent articles on getting the most out of the apps preloaded on the smartphone, you know I love the calendar, contact, reminders and notes available from Apple and Android. But sometimes we need more, and I want to share a few apps over the next few articles that I think can help change the way you do business. Let's start with Slack. I used Slack for about three years and loved it! Slack allows you to have one-on-one conversations or group conversations. Slack, Microsoft Team, Rocket Chat and Mattermost are all communication programs that accomplish about the same task.
MORE >
[Best of 2019] 10 Real Estate Apps that Will Amplify Your Productivity
MORE >
Top 10 Tech Christmas Gifts for Real Estate Agents
What's on your gift list this year? Whether you are a real estate agent or you have an agent on your shopping list, we've compiled a list of 10 awesome tech toys for real estate agents in 2019. 1. Charging Bracelet Cell phone battery always running on low? Consider a bracelet charger you can wear on your wrist for portable, accessible recharging on the go! 2. Phone Camera Lens Most modern smartphones have plenty of power to take incredible listing photos and headshots, but there's always room for improvement. Invest in a phone camera lens kit to take your next photo or video to the next level. 3. Smart, Reusable Notebook Jot down notes the old fashioned way, then upload them to programs like Google Drive, Evernote, or Dropbox, wipe the notebook clean, and take more notes—all without using paper! 4. Tech Organizer Already got too much tech? Keep it all organized with a tech folio. Choose a stylish case to hold a tablet, charger, phone, notebook, pens, credit cards, and other on-the-go essentials. 5. Smart Keychain There's nothing like a mad dash around the home or office looking for your car keys when you're running late for a meeting. Find your keys with ease by adding a tracking keychain to your key ring so you can pull up their location on your phone. 6. Wi-Fi Booster Many real estate agents work from home. Stay connected in every corner of the home with a Wi-Fi booster. 7. Heads Up Navigation Display Few careers will take you as many places as being a real estate agent. Arrive safely with a heads up display (HUD) that will project your navigational directions, speed, and other important data without requiring you to look away from the road. 8. Portable Bluetooth Speaker A portable Bluetooth speaker is a great way to liven up any open house. Just play your favorite music and enjoy a high-quality audio experience. 9. Backup Camera Agents spend a lot of time in their cars. Make your vehicle a little bit safer with a backup camera. Just mount the camera to your license plate and add the viewscreen to your dashboard to add a convenient view of what's happening behind your vehicle. 10. Wearable Safety Device Stay safe out there with a wearable safety device! There are plenty of options to immediately connect yourself to family, friends, or the police if you're in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation. Homes.com also has a library of free business and consumer eBooks that make great gifts. With topics ranging from how to sell your home and staging advice to Google for Real Estate and Holiday Marketing for Real Estate, there's something for everyone on your list. Check out the consumer eBook library here and the business library here! To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
MORE >
Top 10 Closing/Housewarming Gifts for Your Buyers
MORE >
5 Tech Tools to Elevate Your Next Real Estate Video
There are a lot of considerations to make before you film a real estate video: what to say, what to wear, where to shoot. However, one of the biggest questions real estate agents face before delving into the world of video marketing is what to buy. What technology will help you produce the best video and how much do you need to invest? If you're just starting out and have a decent smartphone, that's a great place to start. The camera and microphone should be able to record a decent video. If you are thinking about taking your quality up a step, consider pairing some of these items with your smartphone for higher quality results without having to invest a fortune in video equipment.
MORE >
Top 22 Real Estate Marketing Tools and Strategies for Agents
MORE >
Top Tools, Templates and Tech for Listing Leads
As real estate agents, we're constantly looking for innovative ways to get listings and stand out from the competition. Because these days, our competition is everywhere. Discount brokerages, iBuyers, other agents--everyone is competing for the same scarce inventory. That's why we're sharing our most creative, innovative, and proven methods for getting more listing leads:
MORE >
Best Real Estate Instagram Accounts to Follow
MORE >
Safe Selling: Protecting Yourself as a Real Estate Agent
It's September, which means it's Realtor safety month. Real estate can be an extremely rewarding career, but it comes with its own set of dangers. The people and even places you run across can be hazardous. Even driving in your car puts you at risk. Here are some things you should keep in mind when going about your job. We've also included some apps and programs you should consider investing in to make sure you are as safe as can be.
MORE >
6 Tools to Help Your Social Media Thrive
MORE >
Must-Follow Pages and Facebook Groups for Your Real Estate Business
Social media is a great place to build your business and showcase the many projects you're working on as a real estate agent. You also have the opportunity to learn new things for your business, discover new real estate trends, or even read breaking news about the real estate industry via social media--if you know which pages to follow and what groups to join.
MORE >
Top 10 Closing Gifts for Your Clients During Hurricane Season
MORE >
Top 10 Real Estate Podcasts (in Our Opinion)
Are you searching for a fun, convenient way to learn more about the real estate industry, and pick up tips from a wide range of experts? Real estate podcasts make it easy to learn from the best in the business, keep up with current trends, and discover new ideas to help grow your brand. As an added bonus, you can listen to podcasts at your desk, on the road, or while you're taking care of tasks around the house, so there's never a bad time to discover new real estate ideas. Start your search for the perfect podcast with our guide to the ten best real estate podcasts.
MORE >
5 Facebook Groups Realtors Should Join Today
MORE >
10 Real Estate Apps that Will Amplify Your Productivity
Welcome to our annual "Best Apps" article; a yearly entry that has proven to be very popular among agents. Once again, we've researched and gathered up an impressive collection of digital applications that will make you a more efficient and more successful REALTOR. Gone are the days when apps were strictly for early adopters and tech wizards. Nowadays, incorporating business apps into your everyday workflow is the price of admission in the ever-changing, on-the-go real estate landscape. Using these apps can make you more productive, more responsive, and more capable to serve your clients and gain new ones. Enjoy this year's 10 Real Estate Apps That Will Amplify Your Productivity:
MORE >
The 5 Real Estate Apps Every Agent Should Be Using
MORE >
Top 10 Podcasts for Real Estate Pros
When you want to improve your business, those who've already walked the path are a valuable source of insight. With years of experiences and knowledge of the business, they're often willing to share their secrets to help other real estate professionals get ahead. One of the most popular methods to share their advice is through podcasts. But with thousands of real estate podcasts to choose from, which ones should you listen to? Here are ten of our favorite podcasts for real estate agents and brokers.
MORE >
Get Ready to Knock Your 2019 Taxes Out Cold with These Apps!
MORE >
Thoughtful Closing Gifts to Give Your Clients in 2019
How many buyers will you help find a home this year? How will you celebrate when the last sheet of paper is signed, money orders exchanged, and keys handed over? Many agents choose to mark the occasion by presenting their clients with a closing gift – something that will leave a lasting impression and help them settle into their new home. If you want to join in the closing gift tradition but aren't sure where to start, these closing gift ideas for 2019 are for you.
MORE >
Outsource These 6 Tasks to Save Time
MORE >
[Best of 2018] 10 Apps that Boost Your Real Estate Marketing Firepower
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in September and is #7 in our countdown. See #8 here. For this year's awesome apps article, we've focused on apps REALTORS can use to quickly and effectively ramp up their marketing prowess. Some of these apps have been around for a while, while others are new, but they all provide a unique and polished offering.
MORE >
Holiday Gifts Your Clients Are Sure to Love
MORE >
10 Gorgeous Gadgets and Accessories for Road Warriors
Your car isn't just a way to get from place A to B: it's a mobile office, your space to sing and so much more. We've put together a list of 10 gorgeous gadgets and accessories that every road warrior could use. We tried to choose a mix of high-tech and low-tech items. We also looked at a variety of price points. Which is your favorite gadget or accessory?
MORE >
8 Cool, Affordable Tech Gifts
MORE >
5 Essential Apps for Real Estate Agents
Before helping a client buy or sell a home, real estate agents must first keep their own organizational houses in order. This requires putting in place the infrastructure you need to meet and communicate with clients, help them find and view the home of their dreams and sign on the dotted line. The best apps for real estate agents will help you check off all these items on your agent to-do list — and more. Keep reading to find out which real estate apps make the cut.
MORE >
9 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Boost Their Productivity
MORE >
Get Organized! 6 Business Apps that Can Help
When you're busy, it's easy lose track of important tasks or meetings, documents, and even your sanity! But you don't have to get comfortable with chaos on the job. In fact, you can download the solution to everyday disarray through one of many business organization apps on the market. Read on for a list of the best organization apps for business.
MORE >
From Books to Podcasts: Best Resources for New Real Estate Agents
MORE >
10 Apps that Boost Your Real Estate Marketing Firepower
For this year's awesome apps article, we've focused on apps REALTORS can use to quickly and effectively ramp up their marketing prowess. Some of these apps have been around for a while, while others are new, but they all provide a unique and polished offering.
MORE >
6 Apps to Help You Take Better Listing Photos
MORE >
7 Helpful Tools to Digitize Your Real Estate Business
Real estate is changing. These days, you don't have to meet your clients face-to-face every time you need something from them. The internet and the tools that come with it make it possible to conduct much of your business online, even from your phone. Read on for information about helpful tools you can use to streamline your real estate business on the go.
MORE >
Good Small Business Solutions: What They Are and How Agents Can Take Advantage
MORE >
Top Apps for Real Estate Agents and Brokers
To successfully run your real estate business, you need to make sure you're leveraging the right tools so all operations, customer interactions, and daily tasks are contributing to your success. It's not difficult to establish good habits and effective strategies, but consistency in effort and execution is where a lot of real estate entrepreneurs get tripped up. If you are still building your success-oriented habits, you may find that you need some digital help. Here are the top apps that will help you achieve your short-term and long-term goals as a real estate professional.
MORE >
Top Apps for Real Estate Agents in 2018
MORE >
Top (Free) Apps for Real Estate Agents in 2018
Happy New Year! It's time to strategize and plan for an even more successful 2018 business year by reviewing the previous year's successes and failures. As a business owner, you don't have to spend much to achieve success, and with the proper apps in place, you can save time and improve workflow. Here are the top FREE apps for 2018!
MORE >
9 Apps for Mastering Productivity
MORE >
Top Phones for Real Estate Professionals in 2017
There is no 'best' phone for real estate professionals as everyone's needs differ. You may prioritize the phone's operating system for better communication apps, while your colleague may put more importance on the two-way camera to take selfies at his desk. I sat down with smartphone enthusiast Jeremy de Souza to break down this year's top phones. Let's take a look at what he told me re: the best phones from world's leading smartphone brands in 2017:
MORE >
The 12 Top Real Estate Podcasts
MORE >
Must-Have Apps for Real Estate Pros
Real estate agents can attest—there never seems to be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you need to do. There are, however, quite a few tools available that will help you make the most of your time. Real estate apps are a great solution for agents because you can take them with you on the go, access key data from your phone at any time, and use them in the office to maximize productivity. There are plenty of valuable options to choose from, and we're here to help you take a closer look at the most effective apps for real estate agents. Top-Rate Real Estate Apps to Make Life Easier and Earn New Business
MORE >
14 Best Apps for Real Estate Agents in 2017
MORE >
The Road to Recognition: How Do You Market Your Real Estate Brand?
It's rare that you find a marketing book that's not only a joy to read but packed so full of actionable advice you're going to want bookmarks for your favorite sections to read again and again. The Road to Recognition is that book. Written by Seth Price and his co-author Barry Feldman, this is one book you'll want your entire team to read. According to Nobu Hata, director of member engagement for the National Association of REALTORS®, "If you're a living, breathing human being doing business in this world, you're a brand, and no one understands that more than Seth and Barry. Here is a roadmap to success worth reading." Organized as an A-to-Z guide to personal branding, Seth and Barry don't just cover the why of good branding, they detail the how in 26 easy to digest chapters covering everything from authenticity, content marketing, and design, to influencer marketing, websites and how to write emails people want to read. This begs the question—how do you market yourself today? How can you leverage your brand to accelerate your success, but also that of your team, organization, and community? Authors Seth Price and Barry Feldman have examined these questions and transformed their years of research, and hard work into an A-to-Z guide detailing the exact strategies and tactics accomplished personal branders master. It's called The Road to Recognition.
MORE >
5 Email Tools to Make Follow-Ups Easier
MORE >
How to Use Google Keep for Real Estate
Google processes 40,000 searches per second and over 3.5 billion searches per day. That's incredibly impressive, but Google provides much more than just a search engine. Google offers internet users a large range of products free of charge. In this new article series, we'll share how you can use Google's free products to grow, manage, and organize your business. Here, you'll learn how Google Keep can help your business, where to find it, how to use it, and more. What is Google Keep? Google Keep lets you "Save your thoughts as notes, lists, and voice memos from anywhere." Basically, anything you want to remember, take note of, scribble down, photograph, or have available for quick and easy reference can be stored in Keep. Keep also syncs across all your devices (phone, desktop, laptop, and tablet), making it easy to access your data anywhere. Why use it? Keep allows you to share and collaborate with your contacts on your notes. Keep's advanced sticky note functionality also lets you add labels to your notes for easy sorting. Creating labels for things like buyer resources, seller resources, and individual properties or clients will create tabs in Keep that contain all items with that label, making it easy to keep track of notes relevant to a particular person or property. Where can I get it? Android iOS Computer Browser
MORE >
Four Time-saving Tools that You Need For YOUR Real Estate Practice
MORE >
10 Top Apps for 2017, Recommended by Top Agents
There are literally millions of apps out there. Some of them may not be very useful (doesn't mean they're not fun), but others can reinvigorate your business and change the way you market, manage, and collaborate in real estate. Because nobody has time to comb through all the apps out there, we've asked some of real estate's top agents and coaches for recommendations. Here is a list we pulled together of the best of those apps! iMovie – This all-in-one video app recommended by Marguerite Giguere makes it easy to create, edit, view, and share videos on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple computer. PicPlayPost – If you're tired of the standard click-click-click technique of scrolling through images, this is the app for you. Marguerite Giguere recommends this app for creating multimedia collages that incorporate pictures, video, and sounds into one incredible collage. Haiku Deck – Make professional looking presentations on the web, your iPad, or your iPhone with this app, recommended by Chris Smith. Haiku Deck gives you access to thousands of templates and millions of free images, making it easy to create a presentation that complements your branding. WordSwag – Text is more relatable, digestible, and memorable when you add it to an image. Debra Trappen introduced us to WordSwag as a quick, easy way to add text to your photos. Use this app to add descriptions to listing photos or share inspiring stats, quotes, etc.
MORE >
3 Real Estate Tech Tools This YPN Chairperson Can’t Live Without
MORE >
10 Must-Read Books All Agents Need to Study
Any successful business person knows that to be the best, they need to study their craft and perfect their skills. So in the interest of continuing to learn, Kevin Ward of YesMasters Real Estate Success Training lists 10 books that every real estate must read and how it benefits them. The fourth book is sure to help you up your game.
MORE >
5 Professionals for the Best Real Estate Partner Referrals
MORE >
10 Real Estate Influencers to Have on Your Radar
How do you keep up with the latest happenings in the real estate industry? In an ever-changing landscape, keeping up with the most up-to-date trends can make all the difference in closing more home sales and gaining more clients. Real estate has so many players and firms that you may find yourself overwhelmed by the plethora of options on who to follow professionally and socially. That's why we put together a list of some of the top real estate influencers out there in the USA, based on their careers, accomplishments, and social presence. This is by no means the be-all and end-all of lists, and we know there are plenty of real estate pros and influencers out there. But, if you're new in the industry (or a seasoned pro) and you're looking for some of the experts and influencers out there to keep an eye on for advice and the like, this list is a great jumping-off point. Real Estate Influencers to keep your eye on: Leigh Brown: Coming from a sales background, Leigh Brown is now a partner and chief broker at Leigh Brown and Associates located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Leigh's work has made her one of the top selling real estate agents in Charlotte. She has been a longtime speaker and advocator for real estate, especially in terms of sales and motivation advice. She's a writer at REALTOR®Mag, her own blog, as well as many other media outlets as a guest writer. Follow her on Twitter: @LeighBrown
MORE >
Best Online Tools and Apps for Real Estate Agents
MORE >
5 of the Best Apps for Real Estate Agents
Two blog posts that continually get a lot of reads are 9 Apps for Real Estate Agents on the Go and Best Tablet Apps for Real Estate Agents. And while both of those articles are chock-full of useful apps for real estate professionals of all stripes, we have to admit that we're always coming across new (and new-to-us) tools that we want to share. Today we're going to take you through 5 apps we think every agent should download. And we'll even tell you why! (We're helpful like that.) Ready? Grab your smartphone or tablet because here we go! Click to download for iOS or Android: MileIQ (FREE*: App Store, Google Play) The smart mileage tracker that uses drive-detection technology to capture, log and calculate your business miles. It runs quietly in the background, automatically recording your mileage every time you drive. You simply swipe one way to categorize personal miles and swipe the other way to categorize business miles. (We think this is pretty neat. Watch the video.) Better still, it stores data in the cloud and enables you to easily compile and export reports as needed. With MileIQ, you get an accurate record so you can confidently log your miles and claim any reimbursements or deductions. *MileIQ is free for your first 40 drives every month, forever. Upgrade to unlimited drives for $5.99/month or $59.99/year.
MORE >
Best of 2014: 15 Apps that Will Make Your Job Easier in 2015
MORE >
Gift Guide: What to Get Real Estate Agents
Last year around this time, we published the Savvy Agent's Guide to Holiday & Closing Gifts. While we still stand by that post 100%, we have noticed one glaring error: it was all about what agents should be giving other people. But what about our agent friends? Surely the people who work tirelessly to make transactions happen, who drive us around, show our houses and make sure our paperwork is in order deserve a gift or two this season. If you're wondering what to give the real estate agents in your life – whether they helped you buy or sell your home or they're a dear pal or even a relative – this list is for you. Without further ado, check out our top 6 gifts for real estate agents: For MacGyver Types The tool pen is the ultimate gift  for do-it-all agents. So much more than a pen, it's also a ruler, level, and Phillips or flathead screwdriver. It's the perfect pocket companion for showing and staging listings, and it costs less than $30!
MORE >
Krisstina Wise: The Birth of a Brand
MORE >
How I Took My Real Estate Business Paperless
As I look back on 2013, I'll definitely remember it as the year that I took my business paperless. Why was going paperless such a goal of mine? I am sure you can relate – I don't sit behind a desk from 9am to 5pm – I am out meeting clients, signing paperwork, showing houses and on the move. I am driving from location to location for a large part of my day. So why would I want to lug heavy stacks of files when everything I need can be at my fingertips on an iPad or iPhone? I love my iPhone and iPad, but finding the right combo of apps was the biggest challenge. I think I finally have a winning combo that gives me peace of mind while I am out of the office so that I won't miss a beat – either an opportunity or a client's deadline. My paperless arsenal includes Tempo Smart Calendar to prepare me for what's next, Evernote to keep client files and MLS sheets, Wise Agent for CRM (Top Producer also fully syncs with Gmail and is therefore fully compatible with Tempo), and DocuSign for signatures. I want to tell you about Tempo because it was my missing link for going paperless. Tempo connects to my Gmail, Contacts and Google Calendar and finds everything I need for each appointment. It retrieves all of the info I need for both my business world and personal life – from emails and documents, maps and locations to background info about the client I am getting ready to meet. It's a waste of my time and so frustrating jumping from app to app to find what I need. I get a lot done with Tempo in a single tap without leaving my calendar. It's like having an assistant prepare me for what's next. In Tempo, I title my appointments like this: "Buyer Appointment – Client Name" or "Seller Appointment – Client Name." Then, Tempo finds everything I need that's related to the appointment, including contacts, locations, conference calls, and related emails and documents.
MORE >
Top Product Reviews from 2013
MORE >
Forget Buyer Leads, I Need Sellers
In business, inversion is a deviation from the normal conditions of economic stability represented by a dramatic shift when conditions hit a tipping point. It is hard to spot the tipping point in real estate economics because it happens in local markets at certain price points first, then spreads systemically until it saturates a region or the nation. Clearly, we have moved from a buyer's market to a seller's market in real estate. Now it is time for a shift in marketing from buyer lead generation to seller lead generation. Its time to shift marketing money from online advertising over to direct marketing. The good news is that technology can help. I have written before about tools that leverage big data to power brokerages that want to predict the likelihood of customers purchasing affiliated services. There are a number of monitoring tools that can signal a mortgage company when it becomes in the consumer's best interest to refinance. Using the closing date of a home purchase, insurance companies can target renewal or take away business for homeowner's insurance and other insurance bundles. These solutions should be fundamental in the operations of brokerages offering a complete line of homeownership services. The new emerging category is using big data to predict what homeowners are likely to sell. There is a unique intersection in business between businesses and marketing that usually takes on the term of market research. Marketers build profiles of target customers, then the magicians or mathematicians take over. In today's parlance, they call it algorithm development. In the simplest of terms, any real estate professional can tell you what and who is selling today. Using those signals, algorithms can be developed to ascertain a model for predicting who is likely to sell next. It is not intuition, it's predictive math.
MORE >
5 More Awesome Apps for Your Real Estate Business
MORE >
Make Over Your Tech Tool Collection to Sell More Homes
This post comes to us from the HomeFinder.com blog: Looking to boost your go-to tech arsenal? We've compiled the must-have apps, gadgets and services you need to add to your collection, to make this summer your most successful selling season yet! Eliminate paper clutter: Eliminate unnecessary paper and clutter by scanning papers, documents and receipts onto your iPad. Download the Scanner Pro app ($6.99, iOS) to transform your iPhone and iPad into your own personal scanner. Your paper documents automatically become PDFs you can save, share or email at your convenience. Track your belongings: When you're juggling multiple sets of keys, a phone, a tablet and a laptop bag, you're bound to misplace one of them. The Garmin GTU ($119) is a small device you can attach to your most important belongings. If one of your designated items has entered or left any of the ten areas you have predetermined, its GPS technology it will automatically inform you by email or text. Take professional quality photos: Photos are a real estate agent's best friend. Invest in the ultra sophisticated Samsung GC110 ($449) camera to attract potential buyers before they even set foot inside the home. Thanks to this camera's Wi-Fi connectivity, you can immediately share photos and videos with your clients via email or social media. Also, consider bringing a digital photo frame to open houses, so you can keep a running photo loop of the neighborhood and nearby amenities, so potential buyers can have an idea of their possible future lifestyle.
MORE >
New Home Inventory Search Tool - Builder's Update
MORE >
Top 13 Apps to Start Your New Year Off Right
This past November, Homes.com's Joe Sesso presented the "Top 13 Apps for Success in 2013" at the National Association of REALTORS® Expo in Orlando. The presentation was a huge hit among real estate professionals. If you were unable to attend, don't worry — we've got a video for you, as well as the links to download all of these apps! Get your iPhone, iPad or Android device handy and start installing these as you watch! (Click through to the next page to find the links.)
MORE >
5 Mobile Apps That Streamline Your Real Estate Business
MORE >
Build Your Portfolio of Online Recommendations
Online reviews are an increasingly important part of real estate agents' lead generation arsenal. In fact, a recent survey found that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Search technology relies heavily on consumer recommendation data, too, further underlining their importance. Bing and Siri, the iPhone's voice search, both use data pulled from Yelp in their results. Google uses data from Google Places to determine which search results are most relevant. Online Ratings and Reviews Sites Here is a brief overview of important sites to begin building your portfolio of recommendations on. Yelp – This ratings and reviews site has achieved appeal across a variety of industries. This familiarity makes it more powerful, because it's where your customers are already going to pick things like a restaurant or dentist. You may be surprised at the volume of consumers who look you up using their iPhone, or in their automobile's navigation system. If you are not on Yelp, they will not appear in the results.
MORE >
Summer Product Highlights for Agents
MORE >
5 Local Directories to Bolster Your Online Reputation
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, reputation was the second most important factor when choosing an agent. Consumers are researching online and looking for a good brand presence and strong online footprint via online directories and social networks. The phone may ring a few more times this month because you read this article, so read on to discover more ways to brand yourself online. Increase your online presence by sharing your brand and contact information within several online directories. The conversion rate for local directory marketing can be up to 50% in some directories, which is significantly higher than traditional advertising like print and radio. That means that you could convert 1 in 2 leads into a potential customer!
MORE >