You probably know that winter is not the season for heavy real estate activity. According to the National Association of Realtors, inventory in winter is traditionally lower than summer, which means you’re probably in for a lull in business through January. What should you do when things go quiet?
You can organize your office (not a bad idea), catch up on “House Hunters” (pretty bad idea) or get proactive — and add some smart tech tools to your business arsenal, so you’re ready to capitalize when the market catches fire again in early 2014.
Here are a few great apps that can enhance your real estate practice. By using this slow period to familiarize yourself with these apps, you’ll head into the always-hectic spring ready to do some business.
1. RE:Focus Analytics – Described by creator a la mode, inc. as “Your MLS on the iPad,” RE:Focus Analytics is a useful real estate app that helps you show your clients up-to-date MLS information, accurate local trends and other relevant details — all in an intuitive and user-friendly display that takes the guesswork out of the data, even for the layperson.
2. 360Panorama – “Realtime Panorama Creation,” says the app’s website, and they’re not exaggerating. With 360Panorama installed on your smartphone or tablet, you just tap a button on your device’s camera screen, and start moving. Instant panorama! What a great tool for showing a busy client who can’t meet you onsite what the property really looks like, or for adding a great panoramic view to your listing’s website.
3. Campaigner Email Marketing – A great way to stay connected and relevant to current and past clients — and to establish yourself with prospects as a trustworthy expert — is providing useful content on a regular basis, such as tips for keeping home energy costs low or updates on the local real estate market. One of the easiest, most cost-effective ways is with an email newsletter. Campaigner gives you easy-to-use newsletter templates, makes building lists a snap and lets you track your email’s performance. This quiet period might be a great time to start crafting your first issue.
4. eFax – Few tools will save a busy real estate professional more time — and help seal more deals — than one that helps them respond immediately to contracts and other paperwork, anywhere, anytime. Online faxing with eFax means you can receive, review, edit, sign and send fax documents via email. No paper, scanner or fax machine is needed. You and each of your clients should have this service — the ability to read and respond to a faxed offer or counteroffer right away could mean the difference between closing the deal or not.
Those are just a few ideas to get you started in thinking about the tools and processes you can put in place now, during the quiet winter months, to set your business up for the New Year. I wish you a great 2014!
Mike Pugh is vice president of marketing at j2 Global, Inc., a provider of cloud-based communications services including eFax, which offers online fax services, and eVoice, a phone system for small businesses. Pugh joined j2 Global in 2000 when the company acquired eFax, where he had held management positions in sales, marketing and product development since 1997. Pugh currently manages the company’s domestic marketing organization. Prior to this, he was the VP of product marketing, with responsibilities including product development.