As a real estate agent, you know how busy things can get. The days are long when you’re showing houses, negotiating offers, and talking with clients. It’s common for agents to work on weekends and average 50+ hours per week. Real estate is a competitive business that requires long hours to be successful.
Due to the workload, many agents seek ways to save time and become more efficient. The time you save can be reinvested in your business and enable you to close more deals, while still providing the high quality of service your clients expect. Even more, you can free your time for the strategic, relationship-building and transaction-closing parts of your job, as opposed to the tedious, administrative aspects.
Fortunately, as a real estate agent, you have many tools and techniques at your disposal to help you become a lean, mean transaction-closing machine. Let’s take a look at the top five ways you can save time in 2020!
Save Time With Advanced Technology
Use advanced technology in any way you can. This doesn’t just mean having an email account, a smartphone and a tablet – every agent has those. To save time, you need to leverage technology to become more organized and reduce noise.
Use a service like DocuSign to handle all your contracts. We (obviously) recommend using Folio to categorize your emails and stay on top of deals with minimal effort. You can also use CRM (customer relationship management) software to maintain a list of all your leads and set reminders of when to call, follow-up, or send an email. HubSpot and Copper are fantastic generic CRMs, while products like Wise Agent cater specifically to real estate agents. Try to spend minimal time looking for relevant documents or client information.
Don’t Be Late by Automating Your Texts and Other Responses
As you know, people browse properties online. When they submit a contact form on Zillow or a similar site, you need to message them immediately. There are sites online that let you automate your responses, such as Follow Up Boss and SimpleTexting. The moment the customer submits an inquiry, you can have an automated text go out saying something like “Hi [name], thank you for viewing [property address]. I’d love to tell you more about the property. When’s a good time to chat?”
By automating these replies, you don’t have to type any texts, and you don’t need to waste time monitoring your phone and replying to leads. You’ll only engage leads that message you back and are truly interested.
Collect Buyer Desires and Request a Pre-Approval Upfront
Agents spend a lot of time showing homes to buyers. Develop surveys and questionnaires to give to buyers to fill out. Get buyers to think about what they want and what price range they can afford (ask them to get pre-approved first) before starting the home search. A lot of times, real estate agents spend time with clients who are not pre-approved and who are unsure of what they want. These clients often don’t have a high probability of closing. You can sometimes avoid unnecessary showings with upfront communication and guiding your leads to get serious with a pre-approval.
Plan Your Client Communications in Advance
Decide how often you will contact your leads, how often you will do promotional events, etc. in advance, then put those dates on your calendar. For example, some agents ascribe to a rigid “36 touch” system that suggests four calls, two client events, four promotions, and 26 emails (once every two weeks) per year.
As a real estate professional, you may or may not subscribe to that exact system, but you do need emails to nurture leads through the pipeline. Plan for these emails and activities in advance and give enough spacing between touchpoints. You’ll have a regular cadence of clients this way who, when the moment is right, will respond to your email because you’re top of mind. If you don’t plan, you might forget to send these emails, and then your lead pipeline becomes stale, requiring significant time to fix.
Many times, agents are wasting significant time on cold-calling stale leads or trying to figure out how to acquire new ones. A well-oiled marketing machine keeps the client pipeline full and reduces your time commitment.
Hire Some Help
If your business is robust enough that you can hire help, go for it. In this context, the term “help” is broad. You could hire a freelance blog writer to help with your website. Hire a developer to add a chatbot. A virtual assistant can help you with scheduling showings. Delegate what you can to professionals so you can focus on your core business.
Save Time in 2020
If you want to save time in 2020, the three keys are to plan, automate, and communicate. Real estate is competitive, but that doesn’t mean you need to be working excessively. With these tips, you’ll be able to maintain and grow your income with less time, leaving you with more time to do what you do best, better!
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