Embracing the new (and free) real estate technologies in 2011


Looking forward to the new year, are you?  Sure, everyone’s looking forward to 2011.  No matter if it’s jobs, politics, the economy or the real estate business, we all have our own reasons to look forward to the new year.

Professionally for me, I’m looking forward to the year of adoption. Or rather – the implementation and embracing of the tech opportunities Carpenter Realtors® offers its agents.

In 2010, we introduced a completely new custom-designed website with more bells and whistles than anyone else can offer.  With that website came customizable agent web sites at no charge.  Not just a web page that they can change some wording on, but a custom site to which they can add as much individual and local content they want.  Plus, we offer a very robust Client Relationship (CRM) program that rivals the offerings from SharperAgent, Top Producer and others.  Again – $0.

No matter who you are, or how tech-savvy you are, this is a lot to learn and absorb in nine months.  That’s why 2011 is the year of adoption/implementation/embracement (real word!).

My goal:  To make all our agents (and the public for that matter) more aware that callcarpenter.com now has more tools and more detailed statistics on homes for sale, neighborhoods, cities, schools, local economies and more.  The site can even automatically recognize a smartphone to display the mobile site and now has a GPS location search to ID properties near your current location!  I’ve always said that home buyers are information junkies.  This new site gives them more tools and more stats – a better, quicker “fix,” you could say.

My goal:  To continue to show our agents how their individual websites can be customized to create more value to them and their careers.  While technically these are Carpenter sites, they can be customized to have a totally personal look that matches the agent’s personal “brand.”  An agent can also create custom content that better serves the neighborhoods and groups they’re targeting.  (here’s an example)  See what I mean that it doesn’t “look” like a Carpenter web page?  This is a huge, valuable tool.  Not only do other brokers not offer this option, but the agents who want this are paying hundreds of dollars a month out-of-pocket for the same product we’re offering our agents for free.

My goal:  To show our agents how easy and valuable the Carpenter CRM program is.  We call it iContact and it can be used as a one-stop location for list management, scheduling and emails.  Even more valuable are the many action plans available.  From automated emails (monthly, quarterly, etc.) to action reminders to direct links to any resource, iContact is the Swiss army knife of CRM programs.  And yes – we have agents cancelling their subscriptions to other CRM programs, again saving hundreds of dollars.  And again – our iContact is a no-charge to Carpenter agents.  It’s like a MasterCard commercial.  No cost, but it’s priceless.

Add to these the Microsoft Tag, mobile tagging program we adopted and our PinPoint Perks affiliation and you have a lot to absorb, implement, embrace.


My goal:  To make this happen early in 2011, and painlessly, so our agents see the results a quickly as possible.

Don’t look for me in the office over the next few months.  I’ll be out working to build careers.  Sure hope gas doesn’t get too expensive.


Posted by: Jim Newell

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