New Year’s resolutions are ubiquitous through January into February. And there’s good reason for that: it’s healthy and invigorating to take stock of progress and make plans for improvement. Resolutions start with reflection, which is something we could all do more of. CRE brokers might reflect on their performance in a number of areas: overall customer service, marketing, lead conversion, listings, and transactions, to name a few.
As brokerages shift toward adding advisory services, the need for more efficient management of the day-to-day has become more urgent. On reflection, many brokers may find that they are still spending the lion’s share of their time on these routine functions, leaving them without the time they need to expand services as they would like to –and as their clients increasingly expect them to.
With this common need for more efficiency, brokers can look to CRE technology to construct some realistic resolutions for the coming year. The applications and platforms available for CRE help streamline and automate routine tasks, gather and aggregate relevant data, and increase responsiveness and customer service. Consider these tech resolutions for a more efficient 2016.
Stay on the Radar
Social media are a great way to get your name out there and build your brand. Consistency is critical to your social media presence, as is using a range of platforms. To keep this from becoming a full-time job, there are tools to help you manage social media and save a tremendous amount of time in the process.
Hootsuite– allows you to manage more than 35 social media platforms from a single dashboard. You can schedule messages to be published later, monitor the conversation, and have access to site analytics. The site allows multiple team members to manage accounts together, so the workload is lighter.
Drip marketing is another way to remind clients and prospects that you care without spending time every day in composing individual messages. You can set up marketing emails to go out on a schedule automatically. Different strings can be created for nurturing leads, welcoming new subscribers/clients, confirmations, or sending newsletters and the like. There is a wide range of services available, with varying price points. Worth checking out if you resolve to be more efficient.
Many commercial brokers basically carry their office in their pocket. Smartphones make it possible to assemble information for clients on the fly, make contact 24/7, and sign and share documents without a pen or postage stamp in sight.
CRM software, document sharing platforms, and e-signature sites all contribute to the management of documents, contacts and other vital information. They offer a central repository for information where it can be easily shared with stakeholders.
Having these documents in a digital format is a tremendous convenience –unless your system for handling them is not cutting it. Keeping track of documents, contacts, and scheduling are essential to performance, so if you could use some help in this area, resolve to take advantage of one of the many platforms out there designed to get you organized and looking smooth.
Use Big Data
Taking advantage of the masses of relevant data being collected every day makes sense, but it can also make you nervous. None of us has the time to sift through this mountain of information, no matter how beneficial it can be to our performance and planning. Thankfully, there is technology in place to do that for you.
Turn to sites that will collect data that fit your parameters and present them to you in an easily digestible format. These services cut out irrelevant information, and can generate reports that include just the numbers you need. This is invaluable for property comparisons and all types of market analyses. As the need for specialized data has grown, more targeted data services have been developed. For example, REScour has stepped up to provide CRE data specifically related to the multi-family market.