The Best Technology Tools for Real Estate Agents
As a real estate agent just starting out, your main focus is helping people buy and sell houses, so you may think that it isn't necessary to keep on top of all the latest tech tools. However, real estate technology tools can help you in many ways. With the help of these tools, you can:
- Streamline your workflow
- Maintain better organization
- Automate some of your most tedious tasks
- Attract more leads
- Grow your sales.
With so many real estate agent tools available, you may be wondering which are the best tools for real estate agents. Before you dive in and buy tools for real estate agents, check out this guide. We’ll break down the real estate agent must haves that you can use to stay organized, improve your marketing, keep track of your clients, and more.
Client Relationship Management Systems
It can be tough to keep track of all your clients and their information, even if you’re just starting to grow your sphere of influence. A client (or customer) relationship management system (CRM) can help. CRMs can be useful for all businesses in nearly any industry, but there are some real estate agent must haves that are specifically made to help you keep track of your clients. Modern CRMs go beyond simple contact information storage; they can score and classify your leads based on their behavior and offer detailed reports that can help you spot trends and learn about what your clients respond best to. Here are a few of the most popular CRM tools for real estate agents:
● Zillow Premier Agent CRM - Zillow is a well-known name in real estate. This free CRM is built specifically for real estate agents and offers a convenient app so you can access all the tools when you're on the go. It’s important to note that you can upgrade to a premium account, though pricing will depend on your zip code.
● HubSpot CRM - HubSpot CRM offers a full suite of useful tools. Their basic set of CRM tools is free, though they do offer more advanced features under paid subscriptions.
● Streak CRM for Real Estate - another CRM built specifically for real estate agents, Streak CRM lets you manage your leads inside Gmail. If you're already familiar with Gmail, this can be a great tool for you. Like HubSpot, Streak's basic tools are free, and more advanced features can be unlocked with a paid membership.
● Agile CRM - Agile is a popular CRM with a free tier and additional paid tools starting at $15 a month per user.
Internal Communication Software
Real estate agent tools that allow you to communicate with your entire team are essential for everyone to stay on the same page. Internal communication software usually consists of an instant messaging system that allows you to maintain conversations seamlessly and have different discussion threads going at different times. Here are a few of the best tools for real estate agents and how much you can expect to pay:
● Slack - Slack is a popular chat, voice, and video tool that offers a free tier if you're just starting out. Their first paid tier costs $6.67 per active user per month.
● Google Chat - Google Chat is included in Google's suite of business tools, which includes Google Docs, Google Drive, Gmail, and more. It starts at $6 per month per user.
● Microsoft Teams - You can use Microsoft Teams’ chat tool or host meetings for your whole team. Their free tier has limited functionality, but their basic tier costs $5 per month per user.
● Mattermost - Mattermost is free for up to ten users. It offers tools similar to the platforms listed above.
In addition to instant messaging, many of these tools also offer video chat with multiple attendees which can be extremely useful when you can't meet in person. Think about how you communicate best with your team, then compare the features of these real estate technology tools to see which would best support your team.
Marketing and Design Tools
Marketing is one of the most important real estate agent tools you have to grow your business. You want to advertise your services to the right audience so you can attract more leads, and there are a few fantastic real estate agent must haves that can help. Your marketing strategy should include social media, email marketing, blogging, pay-per-click advertising, and/or creating images or videos.
Even if you're not an expert in any of these areas, below are some real estate agent tools to assist in your efforts. You should have software for image editing, a subscription with an email marketing platform, and a virtual floor planning tool. These tools for real estate agents take a lot of the hard work out of creating stunning and engaging marketing materials, especially if you aren't a marketing pro.
Here are a few of the best tools available:
● MagicPlan - This app allows you to easily create and share 2D or 3D floor plans. It integrates with some of the other tools in this guide (Asana, Slack, Google Drive, etc.) to share your creations anywhere. A base subscription costs $9.99 per user per month.
● Adobe - Adobe is well-known for its suite of design tools like InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop, which can help you create beautiful graphics and images. You can choose to subscribe to one, multiple, or all of Adobe’s products; pricing ranges from $9.99 per user per month for their photo editing software to $52.99 per user per month for access to all of their apps.
● Buffer - Buffer makes it easy to plan and automate social media posting on all the platforms you use, which means that you can set it and forget it. They offer a free plan that allows you to manage ten scheduled posts across three social media channels per month.
Take an annual inventory of your tools for real estate agents. See how often you're using each tool in comparison its price to determine whether you're getting your money's worth. Cancel any subscriptions you're not using or that you feel don’t bring you value.
Task Management Systems
Task management systems can help keep you, your projects, and your team organized. You can balance the tasks that have to get done, assign them to team members, and plan out a calendar to keep everyone on track. Whether you're trying to manage the big picture or figure out the little details, it helps to have everything in one place to make collaboration simple. The tools for real estate agents listed below all share that functionality but differ in their price points:
● Trello - Trello offers a free tier, but you can unlock more tools at $9.99 per user per month.
● Monday.com - Monday.com's starter subscription starts at $8 per user per month, though they offer a free trial to see if their tool will make it onto your real estate agent must haves list.
● Asana - Asana offers a free 30-day trial and a free tier for teams who are just getting started. From there, it's $10.99 a month per user.
● Basecamp - unlike the other options on this list, Basecamp charges a flat $99 per month fee, with a free tier available as well.
Electronic Signature Services
When you're drafting contracts and need a signature quickly, it can take time to track down the person, get their signature, and return the document. Electronic signature services can save you some serious time and effort because you're able to enact the entire process online. You can easily send your documents via email, and these tools allow your clients to legally sign them and return them to you. This can all take a matter of minutes instead of days, which can increase your productivity.
It’s important to note that some states may require a physical signature for contracts as opposed to an electronic one. Be aware of the rules and regulations in the state where you're working before you sign up for these services. With that said, here are two real estate technology tools for electronic signature services:
- Docusign - DocuSign is NAR's official provider of electronic signature services, so they can be a smart choice if you're just starting out. Their “Real Estate Starter” tier costs $10 per month and allows a single user to send five documents per month.
- PandaDoc - PandaDoc offers a free tier, though their $19 per user per month plan unlocks features like document analysis and pricing tables.
Each real estate agent has a different process for communicating with clients, prioritizing tasks, and managing their commitments. These tools are meant to help make some of these tasks easier, but they aren't a one-size-fits-all solution. With most of these tools offering free trials, though, you can give some of them a try to see which really do make your life easier. Before making a commitment, take advantage of free trials and choose user-friendly tools that increase your efficiency, make your job easier, and ultimately, help to grow your business.