From Super Agent to Super Mom: Technology to the Rescue
Whether or not you have children living at home, it is sometimes difficult to run a successful real estate business and have a life.
Some elements of our business – calling clients, previewing properties and marketing – can be pre-scheduled. Others cannot, such as the fantastic new listing that your buyer wants to see or the offer that needs to be written or reviewed ASAP. All of these happen spontaneously and can make it difficult to plan a personal life.
Technology helps to manage these moving parts, but it can be overwhelming as well. For many it's just one more thing to learn when you are already short on time. There are infinite options, each with its own learning curve. It’s easy to feel perpetually behind and out of date.
Part of it is getting clear on why we use technology. Too many real estate professionals are scared into believing, "learn this or your clients will leave you" regarding technology. It's the notion that if you cannot find all the answers within 15 seconds, 24 hours a day/seven days a week, then you don’t stand a chance of being successful.
Being a great agent includes responding to your clients in a timely manner, but technology isn't so much about fear of loosing the client. It's about finding a way to have a successful business and a life.
Consider this scenario:
It's Saturday morning and a new listing just came on the market that is perfect for your buyers. They have been waiting for weeks, and the sellers are taking offers on a first come, first serve basis. You need to show the house right away, but your son has a baseball game at 1 p.m. You missed the last one, and you really want to be there today.
What do you do?
You show the house at 10:30. Your clients love it. You knew they would. They are ready to write an offer.
In the past you might:
Go back to your office, pull up the sold comparables and email them to your clients. Then, you wait for them to receive the email and review the information before deciding what price to offer.
Next, you put together the offer and email it out to them for electronic signatures, which is great. However, your clients are out running errands, and it will be a bit before they can sign everything. You wait in your office, though, just in case they have questions or there are issues with the program.
As soon as the offer comes in, you submit it to the listing agent. The whole process, with the extra waiting around in your office, takes hours and guarantees you missing the baseball game.
What does a technology savvy super agent/super mom do?
While still at the house, you whip out your iPad and pull up the sold comparable properties for your clients to browse through. Next, you put together an offer, which they sign right on the iPad, and you email it off to the listing agent, which guarantees you are the first offer in the door. Total time: 1.5 hours, which puts you at noon, with plenty of time to make the baseball game.
Now that's how you get it done.
Here are three technology tools guaranteed to make you a super hero:
- Dropbox: For me, this has replaced My Documents and means I can access files anywhere – making it easier to be fully mobile.
- PDF expert: You can create a contract on your iPad, have your clients sign it there and off you go. No waiting around or emailing back and forth.
- iPad: Tablet computers are fantastic. If you get one with a data plan you can easily access all the information you need to write an offer anytime, anywhere. Combine it with Dropbox and PDF Expert and you will be unstoppable. Mastering technology means you can take on more clients, but more importantly, it means you can get your life back.
Nicole Mangina, CRS, is president-elect of Women's Council's Seattle Metro Chapter. She is a REALTOR® with Windermere Bellevue Commons in Bellevue, WA, as well as a real estate instructor. For more information, visit nicolemanginarealestate.com.
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