Business might have been slow but technology certainly has not slowed down. There have been so many improvements in the real estate industry that stick out for me. Hosted services over the Internet (otherwise known as cloud computing) continues to grow with its flexibility and accessibility. Working virtually is now proven to be a low cost successful option for many large and small companies. Meeting in public locations (third rooms) such as Starbucks or Panera Bread where the internet access is free and the atmosphere is upbeat with the perfect aromas has been a positive and rewarding change of pace for my business and clients. Social networking has increased business profitability and productivity for so many businesses.
When it boils down to it, it’s all about one thing. Relationships. Because no matter what, we’re human first.
So what is it that I’ve learned this year more than anything else? It is this – being true to who you are, respectful and honest and honorable goes a long way in maintaining relationships. No matter who it is, whether you’ll see them again or not…being true and good to yourself and others makes all the difference to you as an individual and your business.
How do you manage your business relationships? Do you convert those that you’ve met into prospects? How many people did you meet this year that slipped through your fingers simply because you did not follow through from that initial conversation…or that “let’s get together soon” response that rolls off our tongues so easily?
If there is any hesitation with these questions above, then it’s time for you to choose how you are going to manage your contacts and convert them into leads from your social networking sites, website, blog, email, phone conversations or face-to-face meetings. Take a few minutes to think about your interactions – how many people do you talk to in one day…and how you could maintain a relationship with that person.
The question is, where do you put it all? That depends on what you can currently handle. Popular downloadable software programs such as Microsoft Outlook and Act can be used on your hard drive. Web access programs such at Top Producer and MyRedTools provide more flexibility with where data can be accessed. The key is to look at what these programs have to offer and honestly assessing, especially if you’ve never tackled contact management programs – which one is sustainable based on learning curve and complexity.
Top Producer is a well thought out program that provides literallyeveryaspect of a real estate transaction, follow up and marketing that is needed for your business. MyRedTools is a new program, still growing, that has the capability of providing the same features as Top Producer but in my opinion with much less learning curve and literally 4 times more features for the same price as Top Producer’s basic package. Although it is developed by Keller Williams, it is also available unbranded. Microsoft Outlook does not have near the features that the above mentioned programs have but it has the capability of providing you with all the basic components to build your client base. It is a well thought out product flexible enough to adjust to your way of contact management, especially of you are opting out on a monthly subscription for an online product. As long as you are accurate with how you add your data, Microsoft Outlook data is exportable to literally any program.
Check these out, and check out others. Ask your colleagues what they use and how their program works for them. Start now and don’t stop.