The first relatively budget-friendly investment that property agents should consider is to create a branded listing website or to post your properties on a listing platform. Nowadays, it just doesn’t make sense to invest in other technologies if nobody can see your listings online. Plus, not having to be physically present for the initial home/ office viewing is what your customers appreciate the most: In fact, in 2021, of home-seekers relied on the Internet in their home search.
Specifically, a branded listing website can:
Enable you to introduce new listings to the public faster and more efficiently.
Reduce the time your team spends on administrative tasks.
Capture new leads from your listings directly into your CRM or deal management system (if you have one).
Offer user-friendly property search features to your customers.
What’s more, when compared to traditional channels, marketing properties online can deliver a return on investment of up to 112%, as well as help agents reach a broader target market in a shorter period of time.
As a solid proof of concept, according to the 2022 DNA of CRE by Buildout survey, only 15% of real estate professionals reported that they would decrease their budget and investment in listing services. For comparison, 44% planned to maintain their budget at the same level.
Chat GPT is an AI-based tool that has been making waves globally with its conversation-like AI capabilities. Despite the fact that it’s not yet widely adopted in real estate, it could relieve some of your basic (but time-consuming) tasks, such as:
Writing descriptions for property listings.
Generating text for social media posts.
Creating marketing emails based on the information you feed into them.
Creating detailed guides about specific neighborhoods.
Drafting legal documents.
Answering frequently asked questions.
Doing complex calculations.
If you haven’t yet seen Chat GPT, create an account now. Then, start your conversation by asking it to write a listing for a two-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Dallas. You’ll be amazed how quickly the bot will spit out an elegantly worded description.
Note that, while it’s currently free, Chat GPT’s creators are considering a $42 monthly fee, so don’t delay. Although it’s too early to tell if the tool will become a mainstay in real estate, it’s exciting to watch how this temporarily free tech tool is changing (in some very creative ways) how real estate workflows are handled.
Many real estate agents use Excel as their customer relationship management (CRM) technology. Granted, Excel is good at what it does, but only for industry beginners and small agencies with limited financial and human resources.
And, because Excel was not designed primarily as a collaborative platform — an environment in which the real estate industry thrives — savvy business owners use a real estate CRM, instead.
Although a full-fledged CRM is far more costly than Excel, investing in a CRM will allow you to:
Organize the vast amount of data that real estate agents use.
Store data about clients, deals, assets, tenants, partners, leases, deals, inquiries and commissions securely in one place without having to worry about data leaks.
Automate half of the repetitive task in the real estate transaction process so you can focus on more important tasks.
Begin strategic planning of follow-up and email campaigns with a systematic cadence.
Track relationships between clients, contacts, properties, deals and more.
If you’re not quite ready to make such a major financial decision, but still want to inject some simple task management collaboration functionality into your workflow, try Trello. This free task management solution allows you and your team to split the workload and conquer it task by task using simple lists and drag-and-drop functionality.
Tools for Data Management
Ideally, all real estate companies should have a CRM, but making such a significant investment upfront might not always be feasible. Alternatively, you might consider leveraging your data in a more intelligent way by using data management tools, which allow you to:
Search for properties and contacts in databases with thousands of records.
Provide a client with a list of properties based on specific search criteria (for example, X miles from city A; budget range; or year built).
Filter and narrow the list that you’ll send to clients quickly and easily.
Find targeted audiences for new properties that have an abundance of availability.
Perform advanced searches of contacts for your targeted email campaigns.
Identify prospects who require your attention.
Moreover, with tools for advanced data searching, you can even find records in just a few minutes compared to agents who may spend hours filtering manually.
Flyer Generation Tools
Real estate agencies with tight budgets prefer Adobe InDesign, Canva or Microsoft Publisher. While these tools are great, they’re hardly meant for generating real estate reports, flyers and brochures. Fortunately, there are also template-based real estate flyer generation tools that offer great DIY functionality at moderate prices.
By investing in these, you’ll:
Have access to a library of predefined templates for any type of document or marketing collateral.
Generate presentation-ready reports with detailed property descriptions and photos in just a few clicks.
Avoid manual input of property information and images by syncing these tools with your current systems.
Create marketing brochures, various activity reports, and documents quickly and without external help.
These benefits alone could save you human hours (thus, money), as well as plenty of back-and-forth communication with your marketing or design team. This could be why 15% of real estate professionals are planning to increase their budgets and investments in flyer generation tools, according to 2022 DNA of CRE.
Invest in Real Estate Technology to Stay Ahead of the Curve
Technologies you can invest in to stay efficient are not necessarily expensive. Rather, with very little money upfront, you could save a significant amount of money, put your real estate business in a better position to withstand economic fluctuations, and save long hours of human labor for truly meaningful tasks. So, don’t give up on technology. Just make sure you invest wisely.