Is Your Marketing Taking Advantage of 21st Century Technology?
With computers and the Internet, real estate technology has an amazing array of tools for real estate agents. Real estate websites are the primary tool, but contact software and the ease of making audio and video clips has multiplied the avenues to finding real estate sales leads.
A real estate web site usually contains the means of capturing contact information, automatically sending reply emails, offering content-rich pages of buyer and seller guides and checklists, area relocation information and links, and the ability to see an agent’s listings. With the spread of high speed internet connections as the norm, broadcasting audio and video clips has entered the mainstream.
The ability to send video images is used by real estate agents in several ways:
- Offer video tours of homes for sale,
- Film short self-introductory clips, and
- Attract attention by posting videos to heavily trafficked websites like YouTube.
The YouTube technology can also be used to inexpensively add video clips to your PowerPoint presentations and Blogs:
MP3 players and iPods have helped create the podcast technology. By creating short audio recordings for broadcast on the internet as podcasts, a real estate agent can create an audio blog. A potential real estate sales lead can download and listen to your podcast at any time.
Real estate blogs can be added to your real estate website. By combining the blog with the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) technology, the content of your blog entries can be automatically sent to your subscribers. Yahoo has created a tool called Yahoo Pipes that lets you combine your blog entries with other sources (news or other real estate blogs) and send that information out to subscribers.
Software has greatly improved real estate agents productivity (except for Tetris). Contact management software allows agents to keep track of emails, contact information and set contact reminders so hard won sales leads don’t fall through the cracks. There is even software that scans in business cards to a virtual Rolodex-type file.
The fax machine has largely been replaced with email and Adobe’s Acrobat software. With Acrobat, an agent can quickly scan legal documents into the computer or save a Microsoft Word document as a PDF document. A PDF document can be attached to an email and sent to clients for review or signature. Since a PDF is platform independent, anyone with a PC or Mac computer that has the free Adobe Reader software can download and open your real estate documents.
Last, but not least, the cell phone and the laptop computer with a wireless interface allows real estate agents to take their real estate technology on the road. Emails can be checked and replied to from airports with wifi connections, internet cafes allow meetings with clients to turn into PowerPoint presentations or an instant review of your listings, and you can also keep tabs on what your competition is doing on their website! Add to this the ability to receive faxes on your computer, real estate agents can now be on the move and not lose touch with the office – they can take the office with them.
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