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5 Essential Tools Every Real Estate Agent Should Have

5 Essential Tools Every Real Estate Agent Should Have
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In real estate, selling is hard, especially considering the thousands of realtors fighting for a small pool of clients with the financial power to own a home. The tough economic times and the highly competitive nature of the real estate business can make it difficult for even the most established real estate agents to make a sale.

Still, as long as there are houses and other properties that need to be sold, opportunities will always exist in the real estate business. So, how are some of the established realtors making it through these tough times? In this post, I have compiled five of the most effective tools for helping real estate agents get and manage clients. Check them out.

1. Camera Drones

The idea of a camera drone sounds like something out of an action-packed Jason Statham blockbuster, right? Well, think again. Camera drones have become an integral part of real estate ever since they were okayed them for domestic use. Camera drones can be used to take aerial footage and still images in high definition, even in areas of the house that are difficult to reach.

Camera drones can also be used indoors to provide a room by room video guide to potential buyers, which can help put you miles ahead of the competition. Plus, if you don’t have the budget for an insanely expensive HD camera, you can get one of those drones without a camera, stick your smartphone in it, and still take decent photos and videos of the property.

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2. An Online Presence

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    For many businesses, the internet is an important conduit for success. Now people spending more hours of their daily time on the Internet to search for grocery, electronics, business loans, Holiday Packages & what not. This also impacts the real estate businesses as most potential clients taking to the internet to find products and services. Your online footprint, complete with a professional website and/or a blog will connect your real estate business with millions of potential clients in your locale and across the country.

    Plus, when you throw in the right tools for digital marketing, including SEO, you might be rewarded with a constant flow of clients and the opportunity to make profitable deals from your online campaign.

    3. A Solid Email Marketing Campaign

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      Your online presence also gives you the opportunity to collect clean emails from potential visitors. Emails are an invaluable asset in the world of digital marketing, with a good number of businesses having established themselves by selling emails to third parties (often illegally, of course).

      Once you build your database of email addresses, establish a pattern of sending informative emails on a regular basis. You can send real estate newsletters, links to your blog, or other helpful information that may help establish the legitimacy of your business. This will help you grow your online presence and warm the hearts (and probably wallets) of potential clients.

      4. The Right Collection of Mobile Apps

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        App development is another field that has grown exponentially over the past few years. Successful realtors are taking advantage of the many productivity apps that help them manage all aspects of their real estate businesses. Innovative apps don’t just make life much easier for real estate agents, they also make them business more profitable.

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        Apps enable real estate agents to do a number of incredible things from their smartphones. For instance, Periscope, a live streaming app, lets you take potential clients on a virtual live tour of a house, which can be great for clients who can’t physically attend the tour. Another app, Homeselfe, helps you assess energy use in a house and enables you to bring on board eco-friendly clients.

        Head over to the app stores on all mobile platforms to find real estate apps that work for your business.

        5. Social Media

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          If you don’t have a social media platform for your real estate business, you are probably losing out on a ton of opportunities to take your business to the next level. Most realtors already know the benefits of visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest but often forget to put the same efforts in promoting the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

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          A comprehensive and balanced social media marketing campaign can help your real estate business connect with local clients, boost sales, and establish trust with your client base – sometimes even without spending a dime.

          Conclusion

          There are numerous other tools available for business owners hoping to make it in the tough world of real estate. Most will help your marketing efforts, others will help you manage your existing client base, but all of them have been designed simply to make your life easier. Chose the ones that work for you and make sure to keep yourself updated with the latest trends and tools for making it in the real estate business.

          Featured photo credit: realtybiznews.com via realtybiznews.com

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          Vikas Agrawal

          Vikas is the co-founder of Infobrandz, an Infographic design agency that offers creative visual content solutions to medium to large companies.

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          Published on July 27, 2021

          15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

          15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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          During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

          But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

          Put the Pro in Professional

          After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

          1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

          The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

          Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

          2. Dress the Part

          While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

          Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

          For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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          Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

          3. Stage Your Workspace

          Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

          Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

          4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

          Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

          Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

          Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

          Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

          5. Arrive on Time

          In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

          Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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          6. Turn on Your Video

          Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

          If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

          Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

          7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

          Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

          Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

          Attend to the Pesky Details

          8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

          With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

          Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

          9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

          Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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          Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

          10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

          As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

          Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

          Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

          Talking Has a Time and a Place

          11. Chat Appropriately

          Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

          At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

          12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

          The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

          Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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          13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

          In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

          Manage Yourself

          14. Minimize Distractions

          While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

          Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

          15. Save Snacking for Later

          Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

          However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

          Final Thoughts

          Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

          Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

          Reference

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