What is an ePRO®?
A REALTOR® ePRO® is a digital expert that is highly in touch with today’s connected world. ePRO® REALTORS® have successfully completed an intensive course endorsed by the National Association of Realtors on the ins and outs of working with real estate and clients online.
ePRO® REALTORS® are not only more high-tech savvy but they embrace technology. They are able to make the most of the online tools available to make doing business easier, quicker and more efficient.
This is an explanation of how the REALTOR® ePRO® designation applies to me and my business.
“On the go” Hardware
Like many people today, ePRO® REALTORS® are highly connected. They utilize the latest hardware from laptop computers to SmartPhones to tablet PC’s like the iPad. This enables them to do their jobs from anywhere and remain constantly connected. As such they can be more responsive to client needs and always have their tools of the trade at hand, thus eliminating roadblocks.
I would be surprised to find a REALTOR® today that does not have an email account… whether they use it or not I can’t say. And I think most REALTORS® at least subscribe to the MLS as it would be next to impossible to do our jobs without it. But does it end there? Not as an ePRO. Today just about everything a REALTOR® does can be done online or on a computer. From listing agreements to offers to Smartphone applications, the possibilities are almost endless and a good ePRO® certified REALTOR® makes the most of them to streamline processes and help eliminate errors.
I am also well equipped to handle large file transfers electronically as well as proficient with spreadsheets, documents, presentation software and more. Software tools to size and manipulate photos and work with video are also essential to a tech savvy real estate professional.
Using the Internet
A REALTOR’s® job often has them on the go and the Internet helps REALTORS® stay connected and always have access to what they need. Cloud computing enables us to access our files from anywhere. E-mail allows us to quickly share information and is a non-intrusive way of staying in regular contact. Text messaging can also be utilized for quick updates where appropriate. There are also a multitude of software applications that REALTORS® have access to to make sure they always have the latest information on everything from listing updates to breaking news and market trends.
Working with Remote Clients
Buying a second home or investment on a Hawaiian Island over 3000 miles from where you live? Or maybe you are relocating to or from the Islands? Most people don’t do real estate transactions blindly but many have the need to conduct part of the transaction from another place in the world. In cases like these a REALTOR® that is digitally inclined can be huge benefit.
Using tools like DocuSign allows for digital signatures on all real estate paperwork eliminating the need to shuffle or fax documents back and forth. Clicking a link in an email and electronically signing them is all that is needed.
Digitally savvy REALTORS® also tend to be able to find and manipulate data quicker and more easily. Being able to take raw data and turn it into useful information though spreadsheets or other means can be very helpful for things from CMA’s to help determine the right price for a property to making sense of what is happening in the market.
A technically savvy REALTOR® can also easily share listings matching your property criteria. If you wish additional reports can be built so you can get emails on a set schedule of listing updates or updates as they happen. This way you always know what is happening with properties that you might be interested in.
Video and Photography
ePRO® REALTORS® receive special training in capturing the best photography as well as producing video. These are great tools for sharing properties with clients in different geographical areas and are incredible tools for marketing a property. I have been a shutterbug for years and shoot some great photos. I have also become quite adept at producing videos using iMovie on my Mackbook. Video has become a priceless tool in which to market real estate.
Use of broadcast syndication networks allows REALTORS® to have a much greater reach. Listing and video feature syndication means that listings are not just seen in the local Multiple Listing Service, local papers and the company website. When these things are syndicated they are sent to services with worldwide reach. You may be aware of and have used services such as REALTOR.com, Trulia, Zillow, Homes.com and other similar services. Syndication allows us to put listings on all of these services and many more (40+ and counting). Similarly video syndication allows for video property features have a reach far greater than YouTube giving these much more exposure.