We’re not talking about your hammer and paint brush.
We’re talking about essential tools and systems that can push your real estate investing business to the next level. You won’t need all of these as you start out, but as you grow, you’re going to need to become an expert at efficiency, and the below tools and systems will help with this.
Some of these tools won’t be necessary until you have built a team but we’re going to start with the basics and go from there.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
This is huge for your lead generation.
Without leads, you don’t have a business.
Having a system to keep track of your communications and appointments set with a lead is crucial.
Personally, we use Podio.
Everyone keeps track differently, but generally, you want to know–
- Address of property
- Market (important if you’re investing in multiple markets)
- Seller Name
- Lead Source
- If an initial appointment was set (include date/time)
- Est. ARV
- Est. Repairs
- If an offer was made (did they accept or counter?)
- Closing Date
This allows you to easily pull up the details when you’re talking to the seller on the phone or are preparing to meet with them in person. CRMs also make follow-up easier and in this business, a good chunk of deals come from follow up.
The more information you know, the better.
For real estate investors who want help automating and managing leads in Podio, be sure to check out InvestorFuse.
Your needs of a call system depend on who’s going to be taking calls.
- Will you be taking the calls?
- Who will handle off-hour calls?
- If it’s a virtual assistant, what number will they use?
- Will you be using a softphone for overseas VAs?
- Are you having any calls go to a call center?
- How are you tracking calls?
Taking calls yourself can eat up your time, but you need to have someone to answer your calls 24/7. Virtual assistants can be very helpful with this if they have a script and know what to say and what not to say.
Note that if you use a call center, the quality might not be the best as they’re answering calls for multiple companies and most likely aren’t competent enough in your business particularly.
Our virtual assistants handle a lot of our leads but on their off hours and overflow, we use a call center. Call centers aren’t our first choice but they’re a necessary evil unless you want to have virtual assistants answering the phones every hour of every day.
We use https://www.ringcentral.com/RingCentral for our hard phones and soft phones. In addition, we have CallRail which helps in tracking where the leads are coming from.
Task Management System
Task management is helpful for all levels of real estate investors. Regardless if you’re a brand new real estate investor who’s working hard to get your first deal under your belt or a seasoned investor who has a team and is doing 100+ deals a year, task management is a must!
Personally, we use Asana as our task management system. It provides transparency on progress being made and allows for projects and deals to be managed easily.
Task management helps you keep track of what’s been completed, what’s being worked on, if there are any issues, etc. You can have a different project for each deal. Also, Asana’s free version is sufficient for most investors.
Most likely, you’re using some form of online storage in your personal life. It keeps documents and images handy for any time you might need them.
This is especially important for real estate investors who don’t work in an office every day or are needing to share documents with their team. No need to worry if a hard drive crashes… your documents will still be safe.
We use both Dropbox and Google Drive for our online storage (primarily Dropbox). This allows you to store contracts, images of the property, and other important documents regarding a deal and we can share any document or folder as needed.
We mentioned it above, but it’s worth saying again.
Leads are everything in this business!
These days, you have a range of sources for your advertising. From yellow letters and postcards to having a website and advertising on social media, you have options in how you bring in leads.
There are a lot of direct mail companies that can create and deliver your campaigns on a regular basis. You can customize your campaigns so they look like they’re handwritten and personalized. There are dozens of companies out there to handle your direct mail needs.
In the technology driven world we’re in today, people are constantly searching online for anything and everything they need. This is why having an informative website is crucial. Let them know what you do and how they can contact you.
We have a Master Class for our Elite members that specifically covers creating an effective online lead generation strategy. You can check out this Master Class and all of our other premium content during a 7-day trial for just $1.
InvestorCarrot is a go-to in the real estate investing industry on making websites optimized they can be so that leads are constantly coming in.
Another company to look into is Adwords Nerds, a Google Adwords Agency working solely with real estate investors like yourself.
As a side note, make sure you’re able to track where your leads are coming from and what your cost per lead is! Regardless of your which marketing method you’re using, it’s important to know how well your campaigns are doing so that you can fine-tune where your marketing dollars are going.
As Your Business Grows…
As your business grows, additional systems and tools will become necessary.
As you start building your team, you’ll want to have some sort of team communication (we use Slack) and if your team is virtual, it can be helpful to have a time-tracking and efficiency tool such as Hubstaff .
Some of the tools that are popular with real estate investors can be pricey per month, but they can also make it possible to scale your business to a level that wouldn’t be possible without them.
If there’s a trial for any product, test it out to see the difference it makes in your day-to-day operations.
Make smart decisions.
Remember, you can’t do this business all alone. Until you have a team in place, it’s okay to rely on certain tools to help your efficiency.