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7 tech tips for real estate agents from a true expert

by Chip Bell

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Andrew Dorn, a vice president with Move, Inc., spoke at this week’s Xplode real estate technology conference in Chicago, and he showed why he’s one of the company’s most public-facing executives.

Here are a few quick tech tips that Dorn shared in his presentation:

1. The LinkedIn Export – Something Dorn made sure to hammer home was that an agent’s network, aka their digital rolodex, is a vitally important part of their business. Building one from scratch is grueling, but Dorn proposes a shortcut through LinkedIn, which allows users to export their existing connections list into a CSV file that can then be imported into a CRM. It’s easy:

Step 1: On the “My Network” tab, select “Connections.”

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Step 2: Select the small cog icon to the far right.

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Step 3: See “Advanced Settings” to the right and select “Export LinkedIn Connections.”

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Step 4: Choose your desired file type – CSV or VCF – and export away.

2. Google Alerts – Google provides universal access to an amazing array of free tools, with Alerts being among the most under-appreciated. Alerts are essentially saved searches, in which new results are sent to your email weekly, daily or as they arrive. Dorn suggested agents set alerts for themselves, their brokerage and local real estate news – meaning that when new stories are published involving those things, Alerts will tell you about them.

If you do not know how to use Alerts, simply search “alerts” on Google, and follow the prompts.

3. Google Analytics – Another free Google service, Analytics gives agents the means to track traffic on their website, seeing not only how many people are visiting, but how long they’re staying and where they’re coming from; the latter feature is particularly useful in measuring the effectiveness of certain online marketing efforts. If you post a link to your site on Facebook with a call to action, Analytics can tell you how many people used that link.

4. PIPL.com – Sometimes, when agents get a lead from Zillow, realtor.com or their own website, the person making contact may only leave an email address. You can respond directly to the email and address the person as “to whom it may concern,” or you can go to PIPL.com to search for all additional online information linked to that address. Dorn was adamant about the importance of keeping contact personal.

5. Free iPad Listing Presentation – In a separate presentation earlier in the day, local top producer and Keller Williams Broker Alice Chin said that iPads were becoming essential tools for agents, because not only do they streamline things like listing presentations, but they also demonstrate your tech savviness, which is increasingly important in a environment that’s becoming more and more digital. Adding to that, Dorn directed agents’ attention to marketing.realtor.com, which offers a free, customizable listing presentation already formatted to run on your iPad.

6. Video Follow Up – Drawing from something he’s seen other agents have success with, Dorn argued that video follow ups with potential leads are a much more compelling and memorable contact than emailing or making a call (although both are important). Video, he said, leaves little room for interpretation, so potential clients have the clarity of what you wanted to say and how you were trying to say it. In the example he gave, the agent sending video follow ups had prerecorded several videos at different times of day and in different weather, so that he would always have a quick response on hand that seemed like it had been recently filmed.

7. Namerick – Dorn’s final tip for agents came in the form of a mobile app called Namerick. It is a nifty system designed to help users remember the names of people they meet. It stores a person’s name, allows the user to write notes about their meeting, and then the app generates pneumonic devices to help remember the name – which, in a people-centric industry like real estate, could be the difference between landing a client and losing a lead.

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