Using tech to make money, be more efficient, and build relationships.
By Tracey C. Velt
Featuring Dinorah Guerra, PMN, 2019 Women's Council Florida State Governor
A family member requested Dinorah Guerra with RESF in Coral Gables, Fla., help him find a home in a specific area. "Lots in this area are in high demand, so this isn't an easy task," says Guerra. However, she was using Remine, a consumer and property data service that is available free to through Stellar MLS. The product is available for individuals as well. "I entered search criteria into the map in Remine and saw that the owners of a favorable property had recently inquired about getting a pay-off amount on the mortgage. It was two blocks from my home, so I walked over there and knocked on the door," says Guerra. "That led to my family member purchasing that lot immediately."
For Guerra, Remine is a treasure trove of information that allows her to prospect and find leads. Here’s how:
- Monitor Status Changes. "I have my farm area highlighted in the map search function, and the system monitors changes so I can see who may be ready to buy or sell a home," she says. She particularly likes the "Sell Score," which analyzes consumer data and predicts how likely a person is to sell their home. "For example, if someone gets prequalified for a mortgage, I know they are looking for another property and may be willing to sell," she says.
- Collaborate With Buyers. She also likes that the system allows her to collaborate with buyers. "There is a section where buyers can search on their own. In that section, they can leave me notes about a specific property, and I can get the information if they request it," she says. Remine is available as an app for smartphones and has a desktop version that syncs to the app.
"I'm a very visual person, and I'm a list taker," says Guerra. But, the old way of having a million paper notes and Post-it notes lying around wasn't working for her. She wanted a notetaking app that allowed her to handwrite notes, type them, record audio, and use photos. She found that in Notability, a $20 iPad app that enables her to organize notes by buyer, seller, property, and more. Here’s how she uses Notability:
- Showings. During showings, Guerra will use a stylus for handwriting notes about the property on her iPad. "I also take photos of things, such as the AC unit, so the potential buyer knows the brand and when it was last serviced," she says. The fact that she was so thorough in her notetaking about a property impressed some sellers. "They were floored that not only was I taking notes, but I was also taking pictures. Then, I sent them the file so they could review the information, as well," she says.
- To-dos and new ideas. When Guerra thinks of a to-do, she can immediately get it down on her iPad, sometimes via an audio recording and sometimes just a quick handwritten note. “I have them organized in different files, so they don’t get lost. With paper, it’s so easy to leave an important note at home when you need it at the office. With Notability, you always have your information with you.”
I think most agents will agree that Facebook is hands down the best place to connect with people and build that offline relationship. “It’s a place where I can network and build off of those relationships,” says Guerra. Here’s how she’s using it to build relationships.
- Marketing. “I do a lot of professional video marketing. Facebook is the place where I can feature some of that marketing so potential sellers can see what I do to market listings,” she says. “It allows me to show off a little.”
- Stay Top of Mind. By posting on friend’s walls, liking photos and commenting on posts, Guerra keeps her name out there to the people who know her. “It generates conversation and keeps me top of mind so when my friends are thinking about buying or selling, they remember my name,” she says.
Guerra is also involved in quite a few groups, such as moms' groups, real estate-related groups, and even a group for the moms of her son's soccer team, which has an international reach. She offers information when people ask, even if it's about restaurant recommendations and not real estate. The key, she says, is to "offer value. Honestly, I've gotten the most referrals from this, especially in the groups that are aren't specific to real estate. I landed a $3 million commercial deal last year because of it."
Of course, Guerra uses several other types of technologies from video to marketing platforms, but when it comes to making money, being more efficient, and building relationships, Remine, Notability, and Facebook are her go-to's. She says, “Anything that helps me do my job better and keeps me out talking to people is valuable. The key is to keep it simple and be consistent in your use of the technology you choose.”
About the Contributor
Tracey C. Velt is an Orlando-based freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience writing about the real estate industry.