Article Courtesy of Inman News
By: RYAN RODENBECK

These services streamline how we operate and give us insight and clarity:

There are many factors at play when it comes to making a real estate team more efficient. In a previous article, I covered what I consider to be the most important factor, which is building a company culture.

A close second to that is using the proper efficiency tools to help agents stay on track with tasks, office communication, ongoing training and, most importantly, measurement.

Over the years, I’ve used many different CRMs, task management software and websites, and the below list is composed of my favorite tech tools for running an effective and efficient team.  

1. Workplace by Facebook

This is by far my favorite piece of software that I’ve used in the past 12 years for training and creating a virtual company culture.

Think of it as your company’s own private Facebook without the advertisements and the strong political opinions of distant relatives.

We use it for all communication with our team members. We use this for agent onboarding, communication, training and project management.

One of our focuses here at Spyglass Realty is ongoing training, so we’ll video our monthly meeting and then cut it up into segments and take the edited videos and put them in our Agent Onboarding Channel, as well as Agent Training Chanel. We also label them properly so that an agent can search any subject and the proper video appears.  

We use the chat function (which is just like Facebook Messenger) to chat privately or with certain groups. I have paid admins and VAs in certain groups (like Content Marketing) and agents that are taking leads in others. You also have the ability to start a separate group with clients. 

I once started with an investor and met them on a Zoom call (which was broadcast in that group with myself, the investor and an assistant) and signed a buyer rep, toured properties via Workplace Live and closed on two duplexes without ever meeting the client or them visiting Austin.

2. Follow Up Boss

When it comes to customer relationship management systems (CRM), there are a lot of choices. I’ve used a variety of CRMs in the past, and my favorite one is Follow Up Boss. I will say there are CRMs out there that allow for more customization, have a few more bells and whistles, and can potentially do more if you know how to program or hire someone to program for you. 

But if you’re looking for the best, out-of-the-box CRM platform for real estate teams that doesn’t require a computer science degree, Follow Up Boss is my pick. The lead routing, action plans and reporting on this platform are easy to set up and use, and the API works with every lead source that I have encountered. 

You can also make “Smart Lists” based on the time that the lead came into the site, what tags they have, how many times they came back to the site and a number of other functions that allow you to save the criteria of the lead search. You can share these lists with the agents to use as their daily follow-up. 

3. Trello

Every team needs a way to assign tasks to admin and agents. There are a number of tools that accomplish this. I’ve used Basecamp, Asana and Trello.

I find Trello to be the most user-friendly project management tool of them all. The dashboard looks like a game of solitaire and it’s easy to assign a member to each task, assign due dates, and move the card to the completed pile of cards. The key with any number of systems is documentation of these systems.  

4. Zapier

If you’re a team that runs multiple platforms for lead generation, you’ll find that many of these don’t talk to each other the correct way. Zapier is the solution for this.

It’s not just for leads, but in this business, that’s primarily what we use it for. To explain further, software platforms have what is called an API, which is a set of tools, protocols and routines. Each platform has one, and Zapier is software where users can make a workflow from one platform to another. 

There are simple integrations that a tech-savvy broker can implement, but if you’re working with multiple platforms and need a more intricate workflow, you might want to find a Zapier contractor who you can pay to put these together. 

5. Brokerflow

For anyone who’s running a team, it’s important to track growth and performance. Some brokers and team leaders (like myself) aren’t wired for this. For me, BrokerFlow was the answer.

This platform gives team leaders and brokers information on how much business they have done year to date, how that compared with previous years and what sources the business came from. 

You can look at historical data to see what months were the best for you or tell which lender or title company you’ve sent the most business to. It has a leaderboard that shows which agents are the most productive at any given time. It also does transaction management and issues commission disbursements from the platform and 1099 amounts at the end of the year. 

Like Follow Up Boss, there are a lot of services that do something similar, but the reason we like this one is the ease of use for the agents to enter transactions and the ability over the other platforms to measure the success of our team.

Where most platforms focus on transaction management, this one concentrates on providing insight into where business comes from, how that impacted the bottom line and how we’re growing.

Wondering what lead source X is worth it after six months? You can pull out your phone and in two or three clicks see how much business that source has generated. I can tell you exactly (again in a couple of clicks) how much revenue is generated by providing company leads.

This gives team leaders and brokers the peace of mind of knowing where the growth of their company is at any given time and confidence that the agents are progressing at the rate that you (the owner or team leader) set out in their goal-setting session.  

Ryan Rodenbeck is the broker-owner of Spyglass Realty and Investments in Austin. Connect with him on Instagram.

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