According to Mike Blaney's article at REW.ca, these are the most useful apps for Realtors:
The key to marketing success lies in focus and consistency creating a meaningful message and repeating it to those most receptive to it. The following five tools, in no particular order, are a combination of technological time savers and organizational tools to make your marketing programs and client contact easier to manage. Any Realtor will find them useful.
Dropbox is simply a great tool to share documents with others, and store all of the stuff you need to keep. It is called cloud storage and is like having a second hard drive to store documents and photos. It is secure, easy to use and can be a real time saver.
From a client perspective it is a great way for a photographer to provide photos for your listings and in turn you can share listing photos with your clients or website provider. You never have to worry about sending emails that bounce because the attachments are too large.
Instead of filling up the hard drive on your computer with contracts, addenda and other documents of your previously closed deals, they can be stored on a service like Dropbox. You can also use it to sync files between your home PC, office PC and iPad.
If you are getting design work done or printed materials have the designer share proofs and finished material in Dropbox so you can review them from any computer or smartphone and in turn share the folder with anyone else involved.
Evernote is a fantastic tool for information gathering and storage. For a Realtor it can be real time saver and streamline your marketing efforts. You can clip articles, websites, images and content from any website and store it for easy retrieval from any device and any place. Great for gathering content for blog posts.
Keep notes about every conversation in specific client notebooks. Group notes by buyer name in a buyer notebook and keep qualification notes, consultation notes, property tour notes, negotiation notes and transaction notes, as well as all associated documents in one place.
Create a customized property tour including the MLS sheet of all homes customers will preview. Include hyperlinks to the map and a calendar entry for the associated showing times right inside one single note.
Forward all client-related emails directly to your Evernote account for a complete repository of all communications with your buyer over the course of the buying lifecycle in one, easily searchable place.
You can even snap a photo of your handwritten notes and send it to your clients Evernote account for review later.
The MailChimp newsletter program is one of the top email marketing service providers around and it is free up to 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers a month. It is used so widely I don't think anyone ever gives a second thought to the MailChimp branding at the bottom of your emails. With one of the most complete platforms available MailChimp has proven itself as an extremely useful and effective email marketing provider. It has great analytics for tracking emails. Lots of templates to choose from and importing client information is intuitive.
MailChimp is excellent for "drip" email campaigns where you create a series of four emails that go to your new prospects on a timed basis. After you have met someone add them to the mailing list and the first email can go out the next day. A second email can be sent a few days later explaining more about the service you offer, what you do and inviting them to join your newsletter mailing list.
You can also set up a market update newsletter template that you email monthly to your mailing list just changing the statistics each time, but retaining the same look and feel.
You can create a signup form which you can add to your website to manage newsletter signups. They enter their information and it goes directly into the mailing list.
#4 Google My Business
Formerly Google Places For Business or Google+ Local, Google My Business is a new platform that makes it easy to manage all of your Google accounts in one place and add in your real estate business hours, photos of your company, and information about your services. This will not only help you get found better through organic searches, but also get more visibility for your Google+ profile.
Setting up Google My Business can easily improve your online presence for real estate by keeping your business information centrally located for Google. And as long as you continue to follow SEO best practices for your real estate website and Google+ page, this will boost your brand awareness and search optimization.
If you want to be found in a Google search for Vancouver Realtor as an example, setting up a Google My Business account is a key step in the process.
Social media is now a must-have for good real-estate marketing, and managing your various channels becomes much easier with Hootsuite. Think of it as a dashboard where you can monitor everything going on in your social media accounts and you can post to one or all from one place. It lets you update and keep track of your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media accounts all in one spot a huge time saver.
Hootsuite is particularly useful for Twitter. With Hootsuite, Twitter users can:
- Schedule tweets for specific times and dates.
- Tweet the same content from multiple Twitter accounts, simultaneously.
- Track retweets and mentions of user-selected hashtags or keywords.
- Track tweets that mention you or a topic you are interested in on any or all of your Twitter accounts.
There are many more tools out there, but these are the ones we feel are most practical for most Realtors. If you have any favourites, please share them in the comments below.