Janet DeBusk Hensley
Knoxville, TN REALTOR® Janet DeBusk Hensley’s website highlights elements that make her a top contender, including her experience, client testimonials, and finance tools to assist buyers and sellers.

Nowadays, it is simply not enough to just be a good REALTOR®. In order to garner more customers and more sales, it is imperative you stay at the forefront of the real estate industry. In order to do so, utilizing technology is vital. Here are three tools that can help you elevate your REALTOR® game and break away from your competitors.

1. ESTABLISH A SOLID WEB PRESENCE. You’re probably saying to yourself, “I already have a web presence.” Yes, you are listed on your realty company’s website with other members. Yes, your properties are listed in the MLS database. Go past the obvious. As a REALTOR®, you are your own brand. Buyers and sellers who choose you, do so because they trust you will guide them as they undertake the most important financial decision of their lives. More than likely, they researched several REALTORS® and asked their friends for referrals before they selected you. Having your own website puts the focus solely on you and the properties you represent. It provides you with an opportunity to toot your own horn and flex your realty muscles. In addition, if your site utilizes search engine optimization, the more likely it is for people to find you and access your website due to its increased visibility and ranking.

images
Houston-based Jamele Mason has over 3,500 followers on his Instagram page. In addition to eye-catching photography, Mason includes his handle in case others repost his images.

2. BECOME MORE SOCIAL AND VISUAL WITH INSTAGRAM. “There is definitely a movement to use more technology in real estate,” said Steve Haid, CCAR Chief Operating Officer. “There are apps for almost everything.” As social media apps ramp up to an all-time high with no signs of slowing down, more REALTORS® are going where people are. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and yes, even Snapchat, have millions of users. For the visual-minded individual, there is no better format than Instagram. Using Instagram has its advantages. It allows you to instantly communicate with interested parties and analyze your reach. During an open house, you can tease potential buyers with short, digestible videos of the property. You can highlight features that may be easily overlooked, like that impeccable crown molding, backyard landscaping, or picturesque bay window. There are, however, several things to be wary of. Always keep your personal account separate from your professional account. A good camera phone or one of the latest crops of point-and-shoot cameras will do. If interested parties can imagine themselves living in the house, even before they set-up an appointment, you are a step closer to it being sold.

drone3. TAKE IT TO ANOTHER LEVEL. Drones aren’t just for hobbyists. Once limited to commercial real estate photography, residential REALTORS® are seeking the aide of professionals to capture high-definition aerial photographs and videos from different, often times hard-to-capture angles. Prospective buyers can gleam a lot of information from drone photography and videos. They can view the entire property and the land it sits on and they can view the neighborhood and nearby amenities, among other benefits. It is important to note that according to the Federal Aviation Administration, all unmanned aircraft (including drones) must be registered or the individual will be heavily fined.