Technology is as much a part of listing and selling real estate today as are contracts and for sale signs.
But with so many different types of software, how do you put together a plan that allows you to effectively use the right technologies, and stay within your budget?
Begin with your MLS
Begin by maximizing the power of your MLS. The most valuable tool for most people selling real estate is their Multiple Listing Service. Most MLS system software utilized at MLSs today have features and capabilities not used and, in many cases, not even known to the MLS users.
Create a plan to learn more of the features of your MLS software and how they are utilized by other MLS users. Attend education sessions (and encourage your agents to do so as well). Set a goal to learn one new feature a week.
Review your current business practices, procedures
The first step in selecting cost effective software solutions for your real estate business is to review your business practices to determine where a technology solution will help you service your existing customers and attract new ones.
Typically, software solutions in the business of listing and selling real estate are used for:
- Contact Management
- Listing Presentation
- Transaction Management
In each of these areas, there are literally hundreds of choices. How do you narrow the field?
How do you choose technology solutions in the first place? And have you ever purchased software with an expectation that was never fulfilled?
Knowing what questions to ask is important.
- How long has the company been in existence?
- How many customers does the company have?
- How many of the customers have been customers for 3 years or more?
- How many customers does the company lose on an annual basis?
- If a new or start up, what is the current financing round, and amount?
- What is the financial condition of the company (including cash flow)?
Remember, there is no substitute for your own due diligence…or is there?
Check with your MLS or Association
It is critical that you “vet” or research technology products and services before you purchase them. Real estate professions rarely have the time to do justice to this process, and often one’s MLS provides just such a service and then partners with certain vendors
I would start by checking the “partners” and “approved vendors” of my MLS.
What is the best Software???
Over the years we’ve been asked this question countless times, and our answer has always been the same, “the one you use.” And the software most real estate professionals use every day is their MLS software.
About the Authors: Saul Klein, John Reilly, and Mike Barnett, once known as the InternetCrusade, collaborated to create this article. Their careers have been centered around the education and training of real estate licensees, including creating and providing NAR’s ePRO Technology Certification Program to the Industry for 10 years. They have come back together to work to clarify the new virtual marketing nomenclature to help brokers and agents make more informed, and better choices. Saul Klein and John Reilly are the Executive Editors of Realty Times. Mike Barnett is the CEO of Property Panorama, a digital marketing pioneer and leader.