Technology has changed dramatically, and real estate agents must change with it. In real estate jobs today, even people who grew up with technology may need to learn new ways and when to use it. A realtor and the right technology for the job make an unstoppable duo.
When to Use PDF Files
Real estate agents need to store a vast number of documents. Moreover, you need to store them securely, so no one can easily change them. A great way to keep this data safe is to store it as a PDF file. The extraordinary thing about PDFs is that only you and whoever you authorize can change them. You can create a password to ensure that nobody else can change the PDF.
Other advantages of this file format are:
– It looks more professional than many other formats
– You can use Adobe Acrobat to create a PDF from other formats, including a Word document, a scan of a paper document, or an image file.
– You can create documents that your clients can sign electronically.
– With Adobe Acrobat, you can convert any size file to a PDF.
– You can add highlights, drawings, or markups
So, how would you use PDFS as a realtor? In the real estate training in Roadmap to Success: Foundation, you will find a long list of uses for PDFs. Here’s just a sampling of them.
– Homeowners’ insurance records
– HOA documents
– Receipts for capital improvements
– Repair proposals and invoices
– Preliminary title reports
– Market Analysis
– Listing agreements
– Sales contracts
– And more
What to Know about Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office is a widespread software choice, but many real estate agents don’t use it to its full potential.
Traditional Download vs. SaaS
First, you need to make the right choice between traditional Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365. Both have the same apps, but Microsoft 365 has some advantages.
Microsoft 365 is Software as a Service (SaaS). That means you subscribe to it and use it online rather than downloading the entire thing to your computers. It’s constantly updated, unlike the traditional version, which you update until there are no longer any updates produced for it. Then, you have to pay for the software again or switch to the subscription to Microsoft 365. So, the SaaS option is cheaper, more convenient, and just as functional as the downloaded version.
Programs in Microsoft Office
You might be familiar with Microsoft Office programs, but you may not know how real estate agents use them. Here are just a few examples.
– Use Excel spreadsheets to manage your schedule, projects, and finances.
– Work together with Word; it’s great for collaborating and creating documents.
– Use PowerPoint to make visual presentations to potential clients, buyers, and sellers.
– Try OneNote for quick, on-the-go notes.
– Store documents in OneDrive and access them from your Microsoft account.
Take Advantage of Smartphone Apps
Most people have a few screenfuls of apps on their smartphones already. However, real estate agents need apps to help them do their jobs. Here are some of the best to keep handy.
Scan to PDF App
This allows you to use your phone’s camera to take a picture of a document, receipt, photo, or anything you like. Then, you can use the app to save it as a PDF. The Adobe Scan version can recognize text, so you can open it and work on it some more later.
Social Media Apps
Social media is a massive winner for real estate agents. Not only do most realtors already use social media, but 99% of millennials and 90% of baby boomers start their home search online, often through social media apps. Make sure you have the right apps for your target audience, such as Facebook, an app where you can show photos, like Instagram, and a networking app like LinkedIn. Canva can help you create beautiful content for social media, too.
Then, use social media to reach prospective clients, both sellers and buyers. Show property photos, new listings, real estate industry news, your success stories, and client testimonials. You can also provide content that would be interesting to buyers and sellers, such as how to renovate a home.
Real Estate Apps
There are several real estate apps that you’ll want to have on board, too. Think Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. Zillow Premier Agent app has handy features like instant notifications from clients and associates. It lets you set up reminders, manage contacts, and work as a team.
Trulia helps you get details about a home’s value, along with calculators for buyers and excellent search features. Recommend Realtor.com to potential buyers, who can use it for a first-class search experience.
Technology Helps Make Today’s Real Estate Agents
Technology isn’t everything. You need many more realtor skills and abilities. You need to do the work to achieve mastery. Yet, technology is an essential ingredient to success these days. The more you learn, the more you use it to your advantage, and the more easily success will come to you.