Mega-mansions, celebrity clients, and over $1 billion of real estate transacted in 2014 alone. I really pulled out the big guns to talk about new technology in this article. This prestigious panel of fellow top-producing realtors is a group worth listening to! The topic of the hour is technology and real estate business "on the go." Which mobile apps are the top agents using to aid in their extraordinary success? Are apps really that important or popular?
"CURRENTLY, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOBILE REAL ESTATE APP?"
MADISON HILDEBRAND - Malibu, CA
"My favorite mobile real estate app: Hands down, it is DocuSign. Its impact on my business is incomparable. Electronic signatures and the file maintenance that is possible with Transaction Rooms has created a seamless workflow for my team and increased the speed and ease to obtain signatures exponentially. This app creates true mobility to get deals done with anyone, at any time, from anywhere."
Madison Hildebrand is Bravo's star agent on Million Dollar Listing L.A., founding member of Partners Trust Malibu, and internationally recognized top producing realtor.
THE JILLS - Miami, FL
"Anytime I'm in meetings and need fast information from a mobile device I go directly to TheJills.com app; for my business that is an essential tool when looking for properties and time sensitive information."
The Jills have been named the #1 real estate team by the Wall Street Journal and have closed over $1 billion in sales the last two years alone.
BEN CABALLERO - Dallas, TX
"I don't have a traditional real estate business and don't use any real estate apps. I use mobile devices, iPhone and iPad, just no real estate apps."
Ben Caballero is the Wall Street Journal and REAL Trends' #1 ranked real estate professional in the USA in two individual categories: (1) number of homes sold, and (2) transaction (dollar) volume. Ben has been the #1 agent in the nation in these categories for the last 4 years. In 2013, he had 2095 home sales representing more than $737 million in volume. Between 2010 and 2013, he had 8467 home sales representing $2.557 billion in volume.
STEVE FRANKEL - Beverly Hills, CA
"I use social media like Facebook and Instagram on my mobile devices, I find them very useful in reaching out to my past clients and friends, but otherwise I do not put heavy emphasis on the newest apps. I use established business models and find the MLS and dedicated web sites for each property very effective. In addition, being with a large brokerage firm like Coldwell Banker helps me market my properties world-wide. CB supports my business so I can truly serve my clients."
As the #1 Agent in the top producing office in the world for 2014, Steve Frankel is one of the most successful Realtors in the nation. Steve has a proven track record of more than $1 billion dollars in residential real estate sales, including many record-breaking sales.
STEPHANIE VITACCO - San Bernardino Valley, CA
"Don't laugh at me, but I just got an iPhone in December and my business is not primarily run by mobile apps."
Stephanie has consistently been named one of the Top 100 Agents by The Wall Street Journal and in the Top 10 of Keller Williams’ approximately 90,000+ agents in the nation.
BRIAN ERTEL - Wayzata, MN
"I use the Salesforce1 app to help stay on top of deals & leads."
Brian Ertel is a high-volume commercial broker at Keller Williams Realty in Wayzata, MN.
LEE ZIFF - Beverly Hills, CA
"The MLS is still my favorite real estate program. I don’t use it as a mobile app on my phone though, I’m kickin’ it old school!"
Lee Ziff is a mega-agent at Keller Williams Realty in Beverly Hills, CA.
The evidence is in, and it is simpler than anticipated
Frankly, I was surprised by these responses. The agents chosen for this article are titans of the real estate industry -- most sell more real estate in one year than the average agent will in a 30 year career! One would expect to read about an expensive new mobile technology that only the elite know about or can afford. However, the answers were quite the contrary; many top agents used no mobile apps at all and the others simply relied on mobile CRMs and digital signature apps.
While technology, mobile devices, and apps can be a great supplement to your business, they seem to be just that: a supplement. Supplements are incredible and can take you the additional 10-15% in business, but the foundation of a solid real estate practice appears to be the same it was 50 years ago: hard work, good communication, and being a master of your trade. It is evidently clear that many agents are finding incredible success sticking to these foundational basics. It turns out this "old school" method of business is still alive and well in the new millennium!
where i personally stand on the topic
I find myself to be a combination of everyone. The foundation of my business was built by all of the classic approaches: phone calls, lunch meetings, open houses and personal connections. This structure of business will probably never change and technology will always be the supplement. However, the reality is that my day-to-day schedule has me all over town at various properties and I really enjoy the luxury of being able to transact a high-volume business on the go. To do so I utilize apps like DocuSign, Pipedrive, MLS mobile and eKey to name a few. I am continually impressed by the amount of work I can complete while on my phone waiting in line at Chipotle!
thank you to our experts!
A big "Thank You" to Madison Hildebrand, Jill Hertzberg, Jill Eber, Ben Caballero, Steve Frankel, Stephanie Vitacco, Brian Ertel and Lee Ziff for being a part of this article and blessing us all with insight into the business of a mega-agent!
Luxury agent at Keller Williams Realty, Santa Barbara, C.A.