I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page where you can find tools of the trade that will help you grow as a Real Estate Agent as well as tools that will plain make your life easier. Who doesn’t want that?! Many of these items are things I use in my own business or have been recommended to me by other Real Estate Agents around the country. I recommend bookmarking this page so you can easily reference it and to check for new resources that are added.
Disclosure: Please note that some of these resources contain affiliate links. This means should you purchase any of these items using my link, I will earn a commission. Please know that I have experiences with all of these companies and I recommend them to you because I think they will help you, not because I earn a small commission from doing so. In fact, if you don’t feel comfortable using my affiliate link, I encourage you to Google the resource and connect to the company that way. I never want to jeopardize your trust as that is more important to me than earning a small commission. If you do purchase through my affiliate link, I want to say thank you! It does help cover some of my expenses and time writing the blog. Now onto these great resource!
Many of these were recommended by successful Real Estate Agents around the country.
Long gone are the days of creating emails in Outlook, blind copying your entire database and hitting send. If you want your clients to see your marketing emails, you must use an email marketing service. You can create templates, track open rates, send autoresponders and manage subscribers when you use one of these services. The following are the 3 services I recommend:
If you are very serious about building your email list and doing email marketing, I highly recommend AWeber. AWeber requires double opt-in for all new subscribers which means your email lists stay clean and are more likely to get past any spam filters. Features include sign up forms, autoresponders, automatic posting to Facebook and Twitter. AWeber offers a 30 day trial for $1.
iContact is a clean, easy to use email marketing service provider. It is free up to 250 subscribers and includes automatic posting to Facebook and Twitter, easy to design email sign-up forms, email templates and autoresponder emails. iContact does not require you to have your subscribers double opt-in which can help you get more subscribers to your email newsletter, but can hurt delivery rates.
MailChimp is very similar to iContact and is free up to 2,000 subscribers. It offers all of the same features as AWeber and iContact except the Autoresponder service is only available for the paid version. MailChimp also does not require double opt-in like AWeber.
HootSuite is a great tool to help you schedule your social media posts so that you are staying current on posting on your social media sites. You can also monitor your social media streams watch news feeds for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. You can also monitor hashtags which is a great way to stay in touch with the real estate industry on social media sites. HootSuite also provides analytic reports for your social media activities. The one thing I don’t love about HootSuite is that you can’t use your own URL shortener like bit.ly to shorten your links, you have to use HootSuites ow.ly shortener.
BufferApp is another tool that helps you to schedule your social media posts. What is different than HootSuite is that you can either use their URL shortner, buff.ly or bit.ly. BufferApp has post suggestions that you can schedule which can be helpful if you have writer’s block. With Buffer you can connect Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts. BufferApp does not offer the availability to watch the social media news feeds or hashtags like HootSuite.
ShareAsImage is a great way to add graphics to your social media posts in about 30 seconds flat! My social media posts have never been the same ever since I started using this tool! To see a complete review of ShareAsImage, please read my review here.
Many, many, many years ago, I used to originate mortgage loans and when I would do mortgage marketing, I would use ExpressCopy for my printing. I love that ExpressCopy prints postcards and then laminates them so the post office can’t ding or mark up the postcards. This means my clients’ postcards have been delivered looking just as nice as we intended them to be. ExpressCopy also allows for random number postcard orders meaning you can order 263 postcards instead of the standard 250, 500, etc. Their rates are incredibly competitive and I have been using this service longer than any others on this page!
When I first started out in marketing I searched high and low for stock photos that looked great but didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I have found that service with 123rf.com. Their photos and graphics are beautiful and are affordable for the everyday user.
Without a doubt, my favorite IDX solution is IDXBroker. IDXBroker has redesigned their entire service in the last few years and the result is a beautiful interface that enhances your real estate website. If you want people to search for homes on your website, then IDXBroker is the way to go!
20% off all hosting plans with code SNAPPY
When I first started out, I used HostGator to host my website and a few others. There are a ton of website hosting solutions that are cheap and HostGator is no different. What I loved about HostGator is that they were not only cheap but the support was fantastic! They were ready and willing to help me with any issue and to teach me along the way.
As my business grew, I was in need of a more robust hosting company for my websites. MediaTemple was the choice for me because of the high level of support they provide, quality and speed of hosting services.
I love using OptIn Skin! This is a handy plugin that allows you to put an email sign up form at the bottom of posts or pages on your WordPress site. It has A/B split testing so you know what opt-in offers are working and what needs to be fine tuned.
AppSumo has great services for collecting email addresses on your website. The thing that I love about AppSumo is that their opt-in pop-up forms aren’t obnoxious and don’t get in the way of the person trying to read content on my site!
I love using OptimizePress to create landing pages for my websites. OptimizePress is very user friendly and has great graphics for landing pages. I also really love that it is a one time fee as opposed to a monthly or annual fee like other landing page services.
I cannot do my life without LastPass and that is a true story! LastPass is the keeper of all of my passwords. LastPass keeps my passwords safe, it generates new passwords for me on new website registrations and is a great place for me to keep any secure notes. If you have been using the same password for everything, please stop and check out LastPass!
Sucuri is the protector of all of my websites that I create. Sucuri monitors my websites for malicious spyware and guards against hackers. If you have a website that is at the core of your business, you have to have Sucuri to protect you.
I, like pretty much everyone else out there uses DropBox in some form or fashion! My favorite feature is actually using DropBox to sync my photos from my iPhone to my computer so I always know they are backed up. Oh and I do use it for work to easily share files with clients!
Have you ever had your computer crash on you or have your computer attacked by a virus? Yes, me too and it was awful. Ever since that day in April of 2011, I have been an avid user and supporter of CrashPlan. CrashPlan automatically backs up all of my files on my computer without me having to do anything. It was also great when I bought a new computer because CrashPlan was able to transfer everything from one computer to another without any issue. CrashPlan is an international company, but I also love that it is in my neck of the woods here in Minneapolis!
I do a lot of invoicing online and I work with Stripe as my payment processor. Stripe was founded by a couple of the same guys that helped to get PayPal where it is today. A simple thing that I like about Stripe over Paypal? Stripe automatically transfers my money to me within 2 business days without me having to lift a finger.
My least favorite part about running my business is keeping the books! This is why I am thankful for Wave Accounting. Wave is a free, web based accounting software that integrates my bank accounts, does online invoices and well just helps to keep my books in order. I love that it is simplistic to use compared to other services like QuickBooks.
Do you do a lot of shopping online like I do? Then you have to check out ebates! Before you buy anything online, go to their site, find the merchant, click on the link and you will earn cash back on anything you purchase with that merchant. It is really that easy and hey, can’t we all use a little extra cash in our pockets?
RetailMeNot is my favorite place to look up discount codes for any store either online or brick and mortar. I like that other users will chime in and let you know if the coupon advertised actually works.