In this day and age, it is obvious technology has become one of the necessities in everyday life. Simple devices such as lap tops, tablets, and mobile phones have come to shape our culture. There once was a time when a computer took up an entire room by itself; now we carry them in our pockets. The question we keep asking ourselves is: “Which of these many different technologies are streamlining businesses for agents and brokers today?”


Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems


CRMs, such as RES.NET are incredibly useful tools to agents. All in one place agents can use this software to automate their workflow and manage their interactions with current and future customers; as well as managing showings, open houses, closings and other activities in the property buying and selling process. CRMs are convenient and important because they have the capability to raise productivity while keeping everything organized at the same time.
As described by FORCE member, Meg Russell, Allison James Estates and Homes, “Everyone from field inspectors, to eviction attorneys, to asset managers, to closing coordinators are able to respond on one platform; where all parties can see who is responsible for which task and what next steps are required.”


The Cloud

Cloud computing became a popular resource for the general public in the late 2000s, and has been popular ever since. Cloud computing is where different services — such as servers, storages, and applications —are stored and delivered to a business’s computers or devices via the Internet. Through this, a business can store all of their information and documents in one place, and easily access them whenever and wherever. This comes in handy for agents as they often have to work on site and not in the office.
FORCE member, CJ Dagnan, Dagnan Realty Group said, “We utilize a great deal of technology in our business. Cloud services being the most efficient to date, in my opinion. The Cloud service allows us to share files and pictures instantaneously from the field to the office as well as with contractors and preservation vendors.”


Social Media

It is no secret social media is in demand these days. Websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter connect people around the world in a split second and offer inexpensive advertising and marketing to those who know how to utilize it.
FORCE member, Christine Cerda, Guarantee Real Estate expressed her appreciation for social media saying, “A great tech tool is Facebook. It allows the world to know what, where, when and why your message is needed.”
What do you suggest?
Fellow FORCE members gave us feedback on which technologies they utilize in taking their businesses to a new level.


Realty Juggler

Realty Juggler is a type of real estate CRM software that boasts its ability to organize and improve the efficiency of real estate agents. Through this program agents can track and manage the many activities they are responsible for on any given day.
Chip Wilson, Garibaldi Realty, explained, ”It is a lot easier to learn than the more complicated contact manager programs designed for the real estate industry. It easily interacts with my Gmail and also takes feeds from my Zillow account. It does everything from tracking my lockbox inventory to recording showings to keeping contact list of all the players in a transaction.”


Broker Brain

This asset management tool was created for brokers in order to help automate their business. With this system you are capable of managing multiple properties from anywhere, at any time as long as there is an internet connection. Broker brain not only offers a simple way to consolidate property information into one location, but also offers customizable task options, integrated forms, email integration, electronic document storage, tracking, and customized reports.
Jim Hastings, Hastings Brokerage, is a big fan of broker brain boasting, “This online program tracks everything. No doubt about it. I am able to respond to clients questions quickly as I have everything I need in the system.”


Wise Agent

Specializing in customer service, product integration, and data management; Wise Agent is a CRM system tailored to realtors. Their focus is on providing simple, yet professional customer service, product integration, and data management. This system ultimately helps agents organize and automate their business in order to increase their overall productivity.

“The checklists are great for my assistant, and everything goes to my calendar for review. Since I can add up to 5 assistants on one contract, I have room to expand my team,” said Cheryl Gober, IMC Real Estate.



The Good and the Bad


Though technology provides many positives, it can also have its negatives. These new technologies are helping agents become more organized and productive.
Halina Zdanowski, Royal Service Realty Home Sweet Home said, “Technology effectively improved the efficiency of my business, and it creates cost-effective ways of getting the job done faster.”
Furthermore, agents save on resources not always having to physically travel to a site.
Brenda Clark, Ashney Properties, described,“ Now by being able to look up homes online and not have to drive all over the community.”
Joel Nelson, Keller Williams Realty Kalamazoo, made a good point on the real estate process of the past saying, “Imagine trying to find properties using fold up paper maps, or having to keep a notebook with all of the addresses and key box codes?”
Additionally, you can respond back to a client or asset manager quickly and easily via the Internet. Productivity can change drastically doing everything via Internet, but you lose the over all in personal connection.
“Sometimes technology is a barrier to the human element and customer service lacks because some don’t want to talk for 5 minutes to solve an urgent problem,” said Heith Mohler, Property Marketers.
Carole Schoo, Weesner Properties, agreed with Mohler’s point adding, “I rarely communicate telephonically with an asset manager. The relationships are impersonal.”
Though there are negatives, the general consensus among agents and brokers is technology has changed the real estate industry for the better, and has elevated their businesses.
Tim Miles, Eagle Crest Realty describes, “It was initially a real challenge trying to keep up with the rapidly changing technology; but a real necessity!”