Do not become a tool of your tools.
When it comes to core tasks that will literally float or sink your business, you need to be absolutely certain that any technology you use is actually helping and not wasting time and slowing you down. If a tool does not make you faster or more effective than a piece of paper and a pen, then don’t use it; simple as that.
One area that I see many real estate agents struggle with is lead management. So many REALTORS® spend so much time pounding the pavement trying to generate leads (via websites, newspapers, events, mail-outs, etc) without having an effective process in place to work these leads once they come in. It is very much the classic “putting the cart before the horse”.
This is a great example of where technology can drastically help you, but sadly is also one of the key places where technology can bog you down and ultimately make you less effective than if you used a pen and paper calendar. The category of tools that can help you with this are called CRM’s (customer relationship management). There are so many CRM’s on the market that have either been designed to do everything for all different industries or get so specialized that they try to handle everything in real estate but end up doing it all in a sub-par and confusing matter.
This is why we are big fans of 37signals, a company that makes many of the tools we use on a day to day basis to run our business. Without diving to deep into why we have such a huge crush on this awesome company and their fantastic products, I will say that one of the main things that makes their products so great is their focus on usability and simplicity. Their CRM offering is called Highrise and is a perfect example of a focused tool that solves the lead management problem in an elegant manner. I have found a couple articles written by real estate agents, for real estate agents that talk specifically about why Highrise is such a good tool for your industry. They were written a couple years ago but are still relevant.
Sign-up for a free account and take it for a spin but remember, if it is not working for you after a solid effort, move on and don’t become a tool of your tools.
For the sake of full disclosure, we do not receive any sort of referral for our clients signing up for Highrise; we simply want our clients to have the best tools at their disposal.