Starting a real estate company is as simple as having a will and a way. You’re reading this which means that you already have the entrepreneurial will. Well, we have got the way. With our real estate startup tech checklist, you’ll have all you need to hit the ground running.
A real estate agent should be completely mobile. This is particularly true for a real estate startup, as you may not have a traditional office space. These three pieces of tech gear are all you need to get started.
Tablet with 4G
Skip the bulky laptop and slide a lean, mean tablet into your bag. With a 4G subscription, you can get online with the same success as your smartphone. And let’s be honest...it’s a much sexier way to show video and photographs to your clients.
Get a wireless keyboard like this one from Apple, and you can easily type just like you would on your PC. Even if you just leave it in your car’s console for use on the road, you’ll save yourself the headaches of typing extended emails/documents on a touch screen.
Mini Wireless Printer & Scanner
A small two-in-one printer and scanner like this one from Epson is quick and easy to setup. Throw it in your car, and you’ll be ready to print beautiful color 8.5” x 11” documents in seconds.
Few people remember that “google” is also a number, 1 followed by 100 zeroes to be exact. Google (capital “G”) has almost that many uses. You can potentially run your entire business online with Google. Try these three functions to get started.
With Gmail, you can funnel all your email addresses (yes, even email@example.com) to one central inbox. Use the ‘labels’ function to categorize even further (send from specific people to specific folders, et cetera). It won’t ever crash, as Outlook is so prone to do. Storage is in the cloud so you can access any email from any device from anywhere.
I am writing this very blog on Google Docs (seriously!). The two most important features of Google Docs are sharing and storage. Easily share documents with colleagues and clients--you have the option to allow others to edit, comment or just view each document. Documents are saved in real time online, so you can always get instant access through your Google account.
Google’s Calendar function is a no-frills solution to scheduling. It seamlessly links with your email and contact list to keep your appointments and deadlines organized.
Use the social media tools below to sell houses and to sell yourself as your area’s real estate expert. There are clients to be found that don’t even know they’re clients yet. That virtual ‘friend’ or ‘follower’ might be a very real customer a few years down the road.
While the ubiquitous social media site keeps people up-to-date on the daily doings of old high school classmates, it is also a great business tool. Post pictures, local neighborhood news and real estate updates. Set goals for yourself. Determine a set number of potential clients you want to engage with daily (start with 5 or 10) by “liking” and commenting on their posts. Online banter can easily become an offline business relationship.
Share information from any device in under 140 characters. This can be tricky, but it is the most instant source of information/news on the internet. Become your neighborhoods’ watchdog--retweeting news instantly.
Fake being a photo pro with Instagram. Use filters to make your ordinary snapshots into extraordinary photographs. The “Inkwell” filter helps define clean, crisp lines on modern houses. When shooting lakeside or beachtown vacation homes, use the “1977” filter for that vintage feel. Not sunny enough? No problem, the “Toaster” filter will digitally create that sunshine for you. Future clients can follow you on the site and get a constant flow of your handy work.
While Instagram is a photo-sharing platform, YouTube allows you to create your own “channel” for video-sharing. Try a “Hello, my name is...” introduction video so clients can “meet” you. Video tours of the neighborhoods in your area and specific tours of your properties are great ways to engage and inform clients.
Best of luck with your real estate dreams, because your dreams are helping the American dream of homeownership come true.