So, you want to go digital? The beginning of the year is the best time to integrate something new into your real estate business plan. Many real estate offices are taking the plunge into the paperless arena. Many agents, including me, work out of our homes, cars and the local coffee shop. Therefore, going digital is the best thing to do. What does a Digital Office look like for Real Estate? A digital office provides the ability to access documents and e-sign a document from any mobile device or computer. Agents can do social media marketing, manage their clients and drip campaigns using apps. Taking your business digital is easy. It’s as simple as starting with the next transaction. What might a digital office include:
- Online Transaction Management – a place to manage your transactions. Many products include document storage, emailing directly into a transaction, the ability to add clients into the transaction to they have access to the documents. I like using Docusign Transaction rooms because it includes an e-signature tool, the ability to add office staff, transaction information, the option to fax, email, break apart a document and more. My favorite is the ability to access any document from anywhere using DTR app.
- Digital Automation – This could mean many things. Digital automation might be your office phone service. Using a phone service like Nextiva helps small and large offices accept phone calls from the office or any mobile device, transfer calls and build an automated option for transferring phone calls to the agents in your office.
The ability to access your clients using a cloud based CRM like Lion Desk. Lion Desk is a full-service Client Relationship Management tool that give the agent the ability to create drip campaigns, manage transaction commissions, video emails and more.
- Email Marketing – Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your entire database. Lion Desk can also be used for this purpose. I also use MailChimp for my clients, open house emails, REALTOR® email marketing and more.
- Blogging – This is where I lost most of you. Blogging takes time. As I write this message I think about the time I started blogging. Writing 500 words for a blog everyday wouldn’t work for a real estate agent. Unless you have a team. There are many tools any agent could use to add blog posts without writing something new every day or every week. I love the REALTOR tool HouseLogic. This website has pre-created content that an agent can use to build their social media platforms or blogs in minutes.
- Social Media Marketing – SM marketing could easily be a blog post by itself. With that said, marketing your brand, listings and expertise via social media will take your brand to a new level. It is a must to compete in today’s market. Agents have the ability to market their listings for little to no cost. Share content and create leads using landing pages. One of my new tools is leadpages®. I use leadpages® to offer free downloads to agents and my real estate buyers and sellers. Click here to download my free tips to building a social media presence.
- Office and Group Collaboration – Are you working on a project in your office, maybe brainstorming with agents in a mastermind group. If so, check out SLACK. SLACK is a free team messaging tool. Innovate and create with SLACK. My favorite face to face tool is appear.in. This live face to face app or web version allows anyone with up to 8 people to have a private or public meeting. If you have a private session with me, we will most likely meet in my in/smartgirlmedia room. Knock, I just might answer one day.
- Back Office Communication – How are you communicating with your office? Before investing anything new check out your MLS tools. Our MLS in Northern Illinois provides the ability to post upcoming events, meetings, and office information on the MLS Dashboard. If you don’t have that option, consider creating an intranet page that is agent only access. My favorite option is Facebook at Work. Facebook at Work is just like having an intranet, a place to collaborate and a social media page for just your office. Add documents, photos, live stream video, create groups and more. This one is a must try for any business.
As I always say, start with one thing! You can’t get it all done over night. Integrate one new thing each month or each quarter. Building a digital business takes time. If you try to integrate it all at once nothing will get done. Where ever you begin, all these great tools can be accessed from a computer or mobile device. Do your research and make the switch to a digital office today.