Tips & Tools to Managing Your Virtual Real Estate Business


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* Defining the Needs for your Real Estate Business Systems
* Streamlining and Automating your Systems for Higher Productivity
* Online Tools to Bring Your Business under the Cloud
* Maximizing Offline Tools
* Leveraging online and offline support with a Virtual Assistant

Published in: Real Estate, Technology, Business
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  • Hi Steve,

    I hope I understand your question correctly, so let me know if I need to clarify more. Of course every agent is different, has a different biz model, work-style etc., but in my opinion I would break it down like this:

    1.- Database Management/File System (includes CRM, files,information storage)
    Having mobile and virtual solutions that work together would be the highest priority. Organized, easy access to the agent's business as a whole.

    2- Collaboration-The ability to sync and share the above information with other important team members and/or clients from any location. I think using the best the mobile technology aligns with this.

    3- Communication- more than having the right tools/technology here, I think its more important to have DEFINED ways of communicating. Systemized and consistent communication leaves less room for human error.

    Dim Dim~ this tool was originally an alternative to Go To or Go To Webinar. (same technology, but a few extra features and cheaper) They have since been bought by another company. But agents are using these tools for virtual collaboration: screen sharing, training & support, company meetings etc. It's not necessarily a great mobile tool..more virtual. However, Skype is now becoming the go to tool for mobile meetings.

    I hope this answers your questions :) Laura~
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  • Laura, on your slide titled 'Defining your Virtual Systems', you have defined business functions that agents can optimize with technology. If you were to focus on high priority areas first, how would you rank each of these areas interms of technical value?

    Second question, how are agents using Dim Dim?

    Steve Kenway
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Tips & Tools to Managing Your Virtual Real Estate Business

  1. 1. Managing Your Real Estate Business Virtually<br />Presented by: Laura Monroe<br /><br /> @CreativeAgentVA<br />Real estate is changing. You work from your office, at home, in Starbucks, and from your car. Having the right tools to do business means leveraging technology with productivity from “virtually” anywhere. Find Out How!<br />
  2. 2. Benefits of a Virtual Office<br /><ul><li> Ability to work from home or on the road
  3. 3. Cut overhead office costs- desk fees, employees, commuting
  4. 4. Go paperless, go green
  5. 5. Online technology for the convenience of your clients
  6. 6. Increase Access, Productivity & Efficiency from anywhere
  7. 7. Easier to weather real estate market conditions
  8. 8. The freedom to run your business the way you want
  9. 9. Organize your office space to suit your needs and wants</li></li></ul><li>Defining Your Virtual Systems<br />Communications<br />Collaboration<br />File System<br />Mobility<br />Email, IM, Text, Chat<br />Listing/<br />Transaction Management<br />Archived Files<br />Internet access/<br />Wi-Fi/Mi-Fi<br />Conference Calls,<br />Virtual Meetings<br />Action Plans/Task Assignments<br />Photos, Video, Documents<br />Smart-phone<br />Camera<br />Video cam<br />Video Conferencing<br />Calendars/<br />Scheduling<br />Contacts, CRM <br />Apps<br />Virtual Phones<br />Marketing Management<br />Resources: Training Manuals, Files<br />Webinars/<br />Screen Sharing<br />Intranet, Processes & Systems<br />
  10. 10. Tips For Organizing Your Virtual Systems<br /><ul><li> Have an online collaboration platform that serves as your “Online Business Center”.
  11. 11. Create your own “Online Office Manual” that has your processes and procedures documented to create a work-flow that you have access to online and off.
  12. 12. Define permissions for collaboration and access to your systems, based on your company “departments” (Listings/Clients, Marketing, Web & Internet, Transactions)</li></li></ul><li>The Importance of Knowing Your Work-Style<br />Do a S.W.O.T analysis <br />Identify your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats<br /><ul><li> Threat: “I need to be around people for social interaction.”
  13. 13. Success Strategy: Sponsor a local Tweet-Up and invite local businesses a& colleagues to meet and have a good time, and build alliances.</li></li></ul><li>Working In the Cloud<br />Cloud computing is a better way to run your business. Instead of running your apps yourself, they run on a shared data center. When you use any app that runs in the cloud, you just log in, customize it, and start using it. That’s the power of cloud computing. It's a way to access your data and apps from anywhere, via the Internet (or "the cloud").<br />Online Business Tools that are in the Cloud include: <br /><ul><li> Open Source access and customization.
  14. 14. Usually have extensions, plug-ins and integrate with other helpful programs and tools that enhance the efficiency and usefulness of that tool.
  15. 15. Streamline your Virtual Systems with coordinating apps on Smartphones & iPads so they allow you to continue your workflow offline without having to rely on a separate tool.</li></li></ul><li>Virtual Tools & Technology for the Real Estate Professional<br />Communications-Web Conferencing<br /><br />Affordable Web Conferencing<br /> Free Widgets<br />Social Sharing<br /> Super User-friendly<br />
  16. 16. Communications-Screen Capture, Video Capture<br /><br />Instantly create video or a screen capture (perfect for short HOW TO’s and Tutorials)<br />Embed on a website, blog<br />Share in an email or IM, or on the web and Social Networks<br />
  17. 17. Communications-Video Emails, Chat<br /><br />NO downloading<br />Send Video emails<br /> Webcam needed<br />Up to 20 people in Group Video Chat<br /> Share Media<br />
  18. 18. Communications-CRM<br /><br />P.S. I LOVE Batchbook!!!<br />Social CRM<br />Tasks/To-Dos<br />Client Management<br />Website Integration<br />Lead Management<br />MailChimp, Gmail integration<br />
  19. 19. Communications-Virtual Phone System<br /><br />NO downloading<br />Toll-free Number<br />E-Fax<br />Mobile App<br />Website/Blog<br />Integration<br />
  20. 20. Collaboration-Online Business Center<br />Top Producer 8i<br />No downloading<br />Assistant accounts<br />Client Management<br />Action Plans<br />Lead Generation<br />Blackberry Integration<br />Social Media Integration<br />
  21. 21. Collaboration-Workspaces, Documents<br /><br />No downloading<br />Shared Workspaces<br />Contacts<br />Task Management<br />File & Calendar Sharing<br />
  22. 22. Collaboration-Workspaces, Documents<br /><br />No downloading<br />Shared Workspaces<br />Contacts<br />Task Management<br />File & Calendar Sharing<br />Outlook Integration<br />
  23. 23. Collaboration-Workspaces, Documents<br /><br />4 Different Collaboration Platforms<br />No downloading<br />Shared Workspaces<br />Contacts<br />Task Management<br />File & Calendar Sharing<br />
  24. 24. Collaboration-Company Intranets<br />Google Sites<br />Free Company Intranet Google App & Gadget Integration<br />Internal Discussions Company Departments Online Storage<br />
  25. 25. Collaboration-Online Office Suite<br /><br />Google Apps<br />
  26. 26. Collaboration-E-Document Signing<br /><br />Collect online e-signatures<br />Tabbed areas and directions so clients know exactly where to sign<br />Email notification when documents are signed <br />
  27. 27. Collaboration-Zip-Forms<br /><br />iPhone app extension of ZipForms<br />Quick access to contracts and docs<br />
  28. 28. Collaboration-Online Transaction Management<br />Relay TM<br />View Documentation Data<br />Client Access<br />Checklist Creation<br />Office Integration<br />Transaction Coordinator and Office Assistant Delegation<br />
  29. 29. File Storage, Sharing, Sync<br />Collaboration<br /><br />P.S. <br />I REALLY Love DropBox!!!<br />Files, Documents, & Photo Storage<br />Share w/ anyone<br />Sync files on multiple computers in real time<br />Awesome mobile integration<br />
  30. 30. Mobility- Voice, Text, email<br /><br />Call your Jott phone number and send emails, reminders, group emails<br />
  31. 31. Mobility- Voice, Text, email<br /><br />Similar to Jott<br />Organizes Home & Work Reminders & To-Dos<br />Has a Firefox Add-on that integrates with the mobile and web application<br />Outlook Plug-in<br />Mobile apps<br />
  32. 32. Leveraging Virtual Support with a Virtual Executive Assistant<br />What is a Virtual Assistant or a “VA”?<br /><ul><li>Independent Contractor-No employees costs or hassles
  33. 33. Provide services only when you need it
  34. 34. Real Estate VA’s are trained in real estate, RE technology, tools and eliminate much of the need for training on programs commonly used
  35. 35. Most real estate VA’s specialize in an area of real estate such as Listing/Marketing Coordination, Transaction Coordination, Social Media, Internet Marketing, SEO and Web/Blog Design</li></li></ul><li>Customize Virtual Support to your Business Model<br />Real Estate Teams: Virtual Assistance for real estate Teams is a VERY collaborative efforton everyone’s part. Communication and systems are an absolute must.There usually must always be a team manager that leads in the delegation or it should be broken down into areas of delegation for different members of the team.Calendars, planning, and conference calls are plenty. Your VA should be aware of how your team works together, and is not easily overwhelmed with working with different personalities and work styles. If learning technology is difficult for most everyone on the team, an in-office support team member might be a good first choice.<br />Broker Level: Communication and goal setting should be clear from Broker to Agents. Virtual Assistance at the Broker Level might mean seeking a VA with a Multi-VA Team, not a sole VA.However, a VA can be the center of your online and offline management, coordinating transactions, achieving your standards for marketing, and offer additional suite of virtual tools to aide in recruiting. A VA can also be available for any joint company branding, marketing and social media efforts. Once again processes & systems must tied and true to be the most cost effective, but a VA can help bring it all together in your office.<br />
  36. 36. Experienced Agents: Experienced agents may not have the need to re-create the wheel with systems, many are in place, but streamlining, and advising on old, tired marketing practices and vendorsis key.  Keeping on top of technology, implementation and becoming more efficient with online practices is key to partnering with a VA.<br />New Agents: Starting from scratch and getting off to a great start can be a challenge in the industry of real estate for a new agent. Building a brand that is identifiable, and individual & separate from your franchise  is key to building a business that will stand the test of time and carry you through the ups and downs of real estate. A VA can help you decide and expedite a plan for your investments into your marketing, websites, blogs and other necessities. They can help match your work-style to the social media that compliments you, and enhances your relationships online & off, builds your Sphere of Influence, and help you manage and start your database.<br />