I often joke with my new agents, somewhat facetiously, that I’m not sure there is an industry with more people trying to make money off its practitioners than real estate. Every day, there are calls and emails from this company or that offering the latest marketing/technology/service/(insert item for you to spend money on here) to help you become the next “Mega-Agent”. 99% are a joke. The 1% that aren’t are only useful, like anything else, if they are actually acted upon by the person paying for it. If you are a believer in Pareto’s Law, that means that two-tenths of one percent of the calls and email will result in something worthwhile.
In today’s market, technology is king. This is not a post bashing technology, but at some point you have to ask,
“How much technology is too much?”
I am a firm believer (and there are stats to back this up) that 75% of an agent’s business should be driven from their Spheres of Influence and Past Clients. The other 25% should come from new business sources. The problem I see on a fairly regular basis is agents spending inordinate amounts of time and money chasing the 25% of the business because they are so enamored by their new marketing/technology/service/(insert item for you to spend money on here). As a result, they lose repeat/referral business that is rightly theirs. These statistics are shown pretty clearly in the 2013 Profile of Buyers and Sellers from NAR.
So, how can you make the most of all the new technology out there and do it without breaking the bank or breaking your business?
I would argue that the most important piece of technology available on the market today is a CRM system. Nothing really sexy about that, so I apologize in advance. A good CRM system, which is defined as one you can operate easily and efficiently, will make more of a difference in your business than anything else. To make the most of your CRM system, you must have solid systems and processes in place first. You have to know how and how often you want to follow up with your base of business in order to automate your client relationship manager. Once you have that in place, set up your CRM, plug in your systems, and automate your follow-up with past clients and your Spheres.
Until you’ve done this, I would not ignore new technologies, but I wouldn’t focus on them. Don’t chase the 25% at the sacrifice of the 75%.