From a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), it was found that only 27% of agents and 21% of brokers have invested in technology in the last 12 months to improve their business efficiency. Some of the major areas of investments were for updating existing software systems, databases, CRM solutions or purchasing hardware such as electronic tablets.
So, there is a lack of usage of technology among real estate companies, as is evident. This could be the reason why most companies lack efficiency.
Using appropriate technology for the various activities in your business could make a huge difference. If you still depend on traditional methods of management for your processes, you could be making a big mistake.
Here are some mistakes you might be making in your real estate business:
In Marketing and Sales
- Lack of a proper method for management and aggregation of leads – Leads get generated from various directions in a real estate company dealing with sales and marketing of properties. They make use of several listing sites like Trulia and Zillow and other MLS sites. So the leads generated are all over the place. There is no proper method to aggregate these leads. This causes confusion and even loss of opportunity sometimes. This is where technology could be used to manage the leads generated and ensure that the right leads are followed up.
- Too much time being taken for conversion of a lead into a sale – There are 2 areas of concern in this regard.
One is the time taken to reach the prospective client after generating a lead. Most companies take too long to contact the lead. You should contact them as quickly as possible or else your competitor is going to get them.
The second concern is the lack of a proper method to show the client all available options of properties to choose from. For most companies, there is no proper database of properties to show the clients, as and when they require. The lack of a proper database causes delays in finding other options for the clients in case they are not satisfied with one.
Again, technology could solve these two issues. There could be a mechanism to automate contacting the lead once generated and there could also be a mechanism by which the prospective clients get to see options at their convenience, preferably on a mobile device or tablet.
After Contacting a Prospective Client
- Inefficient handling of initial paperwork – Most companies make the mistake of making it difficult for the customers to fill out the application etc. If the process is complicated, chances are that the customer might ignore it. Technology can help make the whole process faster and easier for the customers. Online information capture can be a quicker way. Of course there are others.
- Lack of a proper method for keeping track of leads contacted – As the leads are contacted, there should be a proper way to keep track of the ones engaged with and the ones not contacted at all. Most companies fail to keep track. As a result, they do not know whether they are losing out on contacting any or whether any client should be followed up with. Organizations must utilize advanced technologies to keep this on track. Once the process of paperwork is also made quicker, then the whole process of initial engagement with the clients also becomes faster. There will be lesser chances of losing out on leads.
Collection Of Payment
- Lack of a proper method to manage collection – Whether it is leasing out or renting, the collection of the payments from the tenants, when they become due, is something that has to be managed with utmost care. All payments have to be collected on time and if there are defaults, they have to be followed up effectively. Most companies fail to do so. There could be a mechanism to keep track of all this.
- Lack of an efficient payment method – The tenants need to make the payments on time and for that, they need to have an easy and efficient method by which they can make the payment from wherever they are, preferably from a mobile device. There could be a mechanism to facilitate that and integrate it with the tracking system for better efficiency.
- Lack of a proper method for management of maintenance issues – As and when maintenance issues arise, they need to be solved as soon as possible. Otherwise, it will lead to dissatisfaction and complaints on the side of the tenants. Most companies make the mistake of taking too long to address an issue mainly as a result of not notifying the right people on time. Since there are several people involved in the whole process, it can cause further problems. There could be a mechanism to automate the whole process right from the raising of a ticket by a tenant to contacting the relevant vendor to fixing the problem. For this purpose, there should also be a proper database of vendors available to the companies, again something which most companies ignore.
- Inefficient methods of carrying out verification – Before choosing the tenant, the credit verification has to be done for the prospective tenants. Most companies follow the manual method of having the pre-tenancy form filled out by the tenant, then subscribing to a credit checking agency and then requesting for the credit report. If all these processes are automated, it would be much simpler and would save a lot of time.
MIS and Reporting
- Inefficient management of various departments – For the management to look into all these aspects in a real estate company, may be a difficult task. Most companies fail to make use of Management Information Systems for this purpose. If the manager has a system to keep a check on the different areas of the company and generate relevant reports on the activities of each department, it can easily be made sure that efficiency is maintained at all times.
- Not making proper use of the cloud – Cloud computing makes it possible for any concerned person to access their relevant information, from anywhere, at anytime. Most companies do not make use of this facility. All the information is usually stored in several places to make it accessible. As a result, there would be confusions. To avoid this and to cut overall costs of storage, cloud computing is an efficient method.
Technology is slowly, but definitely becoming mainstream. According to surveyed respondents of the PwC, the overall fear factor about technological disruption is easing. Most issues faced by real estate companies can be solved with technology. Life of a real estate professional would be much simpler if technology is used.
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