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Tech Hub: What the Tech?

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Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned industry veteran, chances are you’ve tried out a CRM or two, tested various lead gen systems and services, created a few virtual tours and maybe even researched virtual staging. Maybe you’ve found your perfect tech package or perhaps you’re yearning to learn more about what’s available.

We know tech is a hot topic, so C.A.R. CEO Joel Singer recently led a discussion with Clarissa Azevedo with EXIT Realty Consultants, Teresa Mack with Pacific Playa Realty, and Kenny Truong with Fast Agent, powered by EXP Realty, to talk about their must-have tech tools that help them boost production.

Transaction Management

There’s a wide variety of transaction management systems, and each of the panelists have their own personal preference. Azevedo uses C.A.R.’s systems for her transactions before she gets into escrow. Once in escrow, she says she uses a paperless pipeline. Her recommendation though is “use the one your brokerage is offering, if they offer one. That way you and your transaction coordinator know what’s going on inside and out.”

Both Mack and Truong’s brokerages use Skyslope.

Mack’s company also has a mandatory requirement to work with a transaction coordinator for every transaction. Like Azevedo, her company also is paperless and has been since its inception.

Although EXP requires its agents to use SkySlope, Truong says his company uses Asana for everything. “We have a 60-point checklist for listings, and a 30-point checklist for buyers that’s all categorized by what I need to do, what my assistant does and what the partner agent does,” says Truong. “Sometimes we have a marketing assistant do certain tasks, so it’s all laid out. Every transaction, no matter the price point, knocks out the same task every single time.”

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Many agents don’t use their CRM to its full potential, but Azevedo says she is a big proponent of CRMs. “Database is my jam,” says Azevedo. “I started originally with Brian Buffini’s ReferralMaker, and I love that for generating marketing materials. I’ve also started using FollowUp Boss more for email marketing and lead generating.”

Mack’s advice for all agents is “the best CRM system is the one that you will use.” She says she started early in her career using Top Producer, which was “a great phone book for me, but I used almost no campaign, so that was pretty much $35 a month out the door.” Mack says she’s also used BoomTown, which she described as “very sophisticated” and “had a lot of different features.” Additionally, Mack says she’s also used PropertyBase and LionsDesk. She says they’re all good systems, but ultimately, “you have to look and see how simple or complicated it is going to be for your organization.”

Truong says his company has been on Chime for about six years and he likes it because “it’s simple. It’s just one white screen with easy to read columns.” He’s also a fan of Chime because they have a mobile app.

Lead Gen

Whether you pay for leads or work from referrals, your business has to come from somewhere. Azevedo doesn’t pay for leads. “My business is referrals. I do not like to pay for leads. I want to build a business that generates the referrals on its own. It does take some time, but now I’m not chasing people.”

She does get leads though through her smart sign technology. “I get a text when someone has requested information. If you’re a newer agent that’s a good way.”

Mack says her company “heavily focuses our agents on working [their] sphere of influence, open house residuals, and people that have come in farming geographic areas.” She says oftentimes agents “don't define [their sphere] broad enough. Everybody has a sphere of influence.”

Mack adds, “I know [to some agents] getting new businesses is the most important thing. If you have a big team and assistants, then you can effectively work an online lead business. If you're a single agent, it becomes more difficult. If you're a team, you're kind of in the middle. So, I think it's really important that as an individual agent or a team or whatever you are, that you try and match your lead generation activities with your ability to capture and convert effectively too.”

Truong takes a different approach to referrals and to his messaging. “A lot of my business and my team business comes from just posting on social media. The messaging I do is more geared towards agents than clients. So, I give a lot of agent referrals.”

He says his company used to be “pretty heavy” on Zillow and spent “well over a million dollars on Zillow.” He says they’ve cut back a lot though.

The discussion also included non-tech topics, such as door-knocking, farming, time management, training, conversion and working with agents on the other side of the transaction. The recording is available to watch on demand.

Key takeaways and other highlights from the event.

For more tech insights, be sure to register for C.A.R.’s inaugural Tech Xperience Summit on April 14. This member-only event is just $10 and is guaranteed to provide you with tech tips you can implement into your business immediately.

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