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92 Brilliant Ideas to Help Realtors Save Time & Make Money

We rounded up the newest, greatest and proven real estate ideas on tech, marketing, recruiting and business from been-there, done-that experts.

A killer listing description can make or break the traction a property garners in the marketplace. That’s why Paul Saperstein, a broker-associate with eXp Realty in Delray Beach, decided to outsource his.

“Last fall, I started working with a professional copywriter who specializes in real estate content,” explains Saperstein, who’s used professional photography in his listings for years. “I think that professionally written listing descriptions help to further differentiate the homes I sell.”

Property descriptions are probably the most dreaded part of preparing a listing for most agents, admits Saperstein, but outsourcing it has made the process more efficient and effective. 

 “This streamlines the process and timeline of adding new listings to the MLS and brings consistency to the quality of each home's marketing materials,” he notes. “It's also a great value-added service that makes sellers feel that they are getting a high level of care and professionalism from me and my team.”

 Tips like this—from experts who have been there, done that—can help you build or expand your business. With that in mind, Florida Realtor magazine gathered nearly 100 ideas from top real estate coaches, educators, trainers, brokers and agents.

Here’s what they had to say:

Technology

1. Voice marketing is huge! Host your own podcast or an Alexa Flash Briefing. Use the Anchor app on your phone to record your first episode. — Michele Bellisari, Realtor, RE/MAX Services Boca Raton

5 New Must-Have Tech Tools for Realtors

We’ve all been excited to find the “perfect” technology solution only to realize down the road that it doesn’t really solve the problem we wanted it to. Many Realtors end up with programs that don’t talk to one another, and they end up wasting time and money by duplicating work. Here’s a look at how to avoid buying the wrong tech tools — and how to find the right ones for your business

2. We hire virtual assistants for administrative tasks, creative work and tech help through Upwork and use Fiverr to get odd jobs done quickly and inexpensively. — Josh Rogers, Team Lead, eXp Realty

3. Write emails in batches and schedule them to send in the future. You save time, and it allows you to write important emails when you are most focused. Two email scheduling programs I recommend are Boomerang and RightInbox— Craig Proctor, Owner, Craig Proctor Seminars & Coaching 

4. The most valuable piece of data you should collect is an individual’s personal email address. With companies like Adwerx and Facebook, you can target ads to individuals using their emails, then retarget them with other ads year-round. — Jeff Lobb, Founder and CEO, SparkTank Media and Coach52

5. We use the Ylopo platform to create, review and monitor all of our digital marketing campaigns, and to connect with customers and help our agents serve them better. — Collin McDowell, Vice President/Partner, Greg Garrett Realty 

6. Select innovations that fit your needs and enhance your style and personality without losing your human touch. — Jessica Rosato, Broker-associate, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

7. Pick core apps/products carefully. Re-evaluate your tech annually and ask is there a better tool this year? — Hal “MiamiHal” Feldman, Realtor, RE/MAX Advance Realty

8. Video is king! If you haven’t got a goal to shoot at least 52 videos over the next year, you need to get to it. How else are you going to stand out, get noticed and earn the business of your dreams? — Tom Ferry, CEO, Ferry International

9. If you want your local business to rank higher on Google, claim and optimize your Google My Business profile.— Sherry Bonelli, Owner, early bird digital marketing 

10. Make sure that every page of your website has a unique Title and Description tag. — Sherry Bonelli, Owner, early bird digital marketing

11. When did an email, text or tweet ever reach out and shake someone’s hand? Everyone’s losing out by relegating rapport-building to digital messages that can quickly be deleted. — Martin “Marty” Rueter, Executive VP Coldwell Banker Commercial

12. When working remotely in public places, avoid public Wi-Fi. Use a wireless hotspot or virtual private network (VPN) like IPVanish for the best protection and safe browsing.  Burton Kelso, Chief Technology Expert, Integral 

13. I use Home Wizard’s cloud-based suite of tools to generate referrals and repeat business by sending my customers branded e-newsletters and tailored home-care reminders and tips.— Laura Russell, Charles Rutenberg Realty, Clearwater

14. Using Smart Marketing, a predictive marketing tool and CRM system, I can reach out to the right seller at the right time with the right message. This all-in-one automated marketing approach saves me time and money. — Dana Hall-Bradley, Owner, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Fine Living 

15. When considering new technology, do your research on what tools work with the tools you already have. Otherwise, you end up with programs that don’t “talk” to each other, costing you time and money. — Craig Grant, CEO, The Real Estate Technology Institute 

16. To create social media content that wows readers, use tech tools that can elevate a snoozy picture into a share-worthy graphic masterpiece. Two to try: WordSwag (turns an image into a story by adding a text overlay to photos) and Animoto (creates a movie in an instant).  Beth Ziesenis, “Your Nerdy Best Friend”

17. Focus on apps that help you work efficiently and increase sales, such as WorkFlow (an automation app) and QuickBooks Self-Employed (categorizes expenses and tracks mileage).  Carlos Melendez, Broker-associate, Florida Premier Realty 

18. We encourage customers to post a review of their transaction on Zillow Agent Reviews. We’ll also copy and paste them onto our website and company blog and use these testimonials in listing presentations.— Jenny Wemert, Keller Williams Advantage II Realty 

19. A CRM is the lifeblood of an agent’s business. Opt for a real-estate-specific platform with a proven track record that will be around for years to come. The more common the platform, the less time you will spend training people on the team. — Travis Robertson, Real Estate Coach

20. Invest in BombBomb—it’s email video marketing made easy and it’s trackable. My email open rate is 45 percent (industry norm is less than 20 percent). The new app makes it easy to record and upload videos. And there is no more mistaken context of your words. — Sue “Pinky” Benson, Realtor, RE/MAX Realty Team

21. Just because you wear a Fitbit doesn't mean you're fit. Remember that technology is a tool to make you more effective and not to replace the work you need to put in. — Tommy Choi, Co-founder and Owner, Weinberg Choi Residential/Keller Williams Chicago-Lincoln Park 

Recruiting

22. People like to follow successful and genuine individuals. Just be real when recruiting. — Nury B. Cunha, Realtor, eXp Realty

23. Recruit based on attitude not aptitude. Make sure the potential agent or staff member is a good cultural fit for your brokerage so that you aren’t poisoning the well. — Collin McDowell, Vice President/Partner, Greg Garrett Realty

How Brokers Can Use Facebook Ads to Recruit Agents

If you’re looking for a new way to recruit agents to your brokerage, Facebook ads is a strategy worth trying. Unlike print and direct-mail campaigns, Facebook ads let you customize your message and target a specific audience — at a very reasonable price. Learn more about promoting your brokerage on Facebook.

24. Our best agents were previous customers. Offer a referral fee to agents and ask them to be on the lookout for great agents. — Betsy Pepine, Broker-owner, Pepine Realty

25. Think long term when building your team. Many brokerages go for quick profits when taking on team members, but leveraging long-term potential is a winning strategy. — Paul Saperstein, Broker-associate, eXp Realty

26. Great recruiters start with relationships not tied to an outcome. Serve others’ needs, and they will naturally be attracted to joining you. — Josh Rogers, Team Lead, eXp Realty 

27. Open a real estate school so you can form a relationship with prospective agents. — Betsy Pepine, Broker-owner, Pepine Realty

28. When recruiting experienced agents, keep in mind that the process is similar to a buyer consultation. Ask more than you talk. Do your research—know their history better than they know it. Remember, it’s all about them, not you. — Tom Ferry, CEO, Ferry International 

29. Track your recruiting efforts like a marketing campaign. Before you start running ads or making phone calls, set up a tracking system that measures your recruiting performance. — Andrew Flachner of RealScout writing on Inman 

30. Facebook ads lets you customize and target your message. And the price is right—a basic pay-per-click campaign could run around $150 per ad. — Sonny Downey, Broker, EXIT Real Estate Gallery 

31. Developing job descriptions is an essential key to building your team. Write down everything you do over two weeks. You’ll see a pattern—revenue and non-revenue producing tasks. Have team members sign the description, so everyone’s clear about expectations. — Leigh Brown, Broker-owner, RE/MAX Executive Realty 

32. Real estate is about serving others, so I chose to build my team around a giving-back and paying-it-forward culture. I hire people who have big hearts—who truly care about people—and teach them about real estate. — Patrick Stracuzzi, Broker-owner, RE/MAX Community 

33. Understand a prospect’s motivation. The goal of making money isn’t enough. Look for salespeople who will be passionate about helping others through real estate. — D. Dewey Mitchell, Co-owner and Broker, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group 

34. Videos introducing me, my team and my office are helpful recruiting tools. Prospective recruits get to know us and what our culture is like. We already have, in theory, a relationship when somebody walks through the door. — Lisa Treu, Owner, Treu Group Real Estate (Vid-E-OH!, September 2015, p10)

35. To recruit younger agents, build relationships offline. Yes, offline. If you want to get people excited, you have to get them into the office. — Travis Robertson, Real Estate Coach 

36. Look for an outgoing personality. A tool such as the DISC personality assessment can be very helpful in identifying prospects who are comfortable meeting new people and building a personal network. D. Dewey Mitchell, Co-owner and Broker, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group 

37. Ask the interviewee to tell you about a business in which there was a conflict and how he or she handled the situation. — Eric Sain, Realtor, District Sales Manager, Illustrated Properties, Palm Beach 

Marketing

38. I’m known for my A-List that has the best of the best suggested vendors for all types of services from home, to living, to activities around town. This helps me promote my business as well as local businesses. — Jodi Avery, Real Estate Broker, Realtor, P.A., Keller Williams Realty

39. Social media has become the best source and highest ROI marketing. Learn to use it and make three-fourths of your posts personal and one-fourth of your posts about real estate to enhance your brand. — Collin McDowell, Vice President/Partner, Greg Garrett Realty

How to Use Storytelling in Your Marketing

Facts are facts. But facts can also be boring. Yes, the school may be just two blocks from the home you’re listing. Yes, the house may have a deck in the back yard. But what does that actually mean to potential buyers? That’s where storytelling comes in. Here’s a look at how to hone — and profit — from this craft.

40. In a fast-paced email world, snail mail wins. I send a note a day on personalized cards to someone in my sphere of influence. — Diana Galavis, Broker-associate, Watson Realty Corp., Jacksonville

41. Be professional, return calls, and be the go-to Realtor for real estate needs (i.e., roof repairs, septic issues, etc.). — Brett House, Broker-associate, RE/MAX Florida & Alabama 

42. Consistent income = consistent action, and consistent action = systems. — Karen Coffey, Coach, Karen Coffey’s Making Agents Wealthy

43. My marketing plan is me! With every customer, with every listing, another sign goes up, another customer is talking about me—without fees or contracts, just good, old-fashioned pavement pounding. — Shirley Weems, Broker-associate, Waterman Real Estate Inc.

44. If you aren't getting any results from your Facebook business page, it’s because no one cares about your content. Instead, bring value to others by creating a page of helpful content that promotes your community and the people. — Jeff Lobb, Founder and CEO, SparkTank Media and Coach52

45. Volunteer with an organization in your niche market. People work with people they connect with on a personal level. Giving back to the community, purposefully and with enjoyment, is the best advertising money can buy. — Julia Montei, Sales associate, Keller Williams Classic Group, Sarasota

46. YouTube videos of local happenings and businesses have made us the local experts.— Josh Rogers, Team Lead, eXp Realty

47. Consistent and effective marketing helps you brand yourself and stay top of mind. Focus on innovative marketing that brings you desired results. Track those numbers so you know exactly where to best put your efforts and dollars.— Jessica Rosato, Broker-associate, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

48. Mix online, print, video, word-of-mouth and social media marketing. Think outside the box (signs on your car, coffee shop seminars, etc.) Whatever you do, the branding and message should be exactly the same across all your marketing. — Hal “MiamiHal” Feldman, Realtor, RE/MAX Advance Realty

Branding That'll Make You Stand Out From the Crowd

When developing your brand as a Realtor, many people make the same mistake — they think it’s all about them. What you really need is that special something that makes you stand out from crowd, whether it’s a certain location, style of architecture, or a type of client.

49. If you run paid digital ads, make sure you send people who click on your ads to pages on your site (or landing pages) that are relevant to the topic of the ad they clicked on. — Sherry Bonelli, Owner, early bird digital marketing

50. When creating your marketing message, always think about what problem your customer has and what solution you can offer to help fix that problem. — Sherry Bonelli, Owner, early bird digital marketing

51. The right messaging will get leads. Correct targeting is what makes it profitable. Metrics will prove if it’s working. Cleverness does not outweigh metrics. — Kyle Sasser, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty

52. When marketing, always ask yourself, “Would I buy what I’m selling?” Unless you can truly answer “Yes,” rethink your approach. — Imran Mohamed, Broker, IM Global Realty 

53. The only purpose of your marketing is to get appointments. It’s the litmus test of your marketing ability. You send an email—how many appointments did you get? You do a Facebook post—how many appointments did you get? That’s the game. Tom Ferry, CEO, Ferry International 

54. Give prospects a non-threatening way to do business with you. Share clear calls to action to move your prospect towards the next step in doing business, in a way that makes them feel comfortable.Craig Proctor, Owner, Craig Proctor Seminars & Coaching 

55. Don’t just tell customers that a house is close to the school. Instead, tell an authentic story of how easy it will be to walk to the school when your child leaves his lunch at home. Show customers how that fact will benefit their lives.  Corey Poirer, Chief Storytelling Officer

56. Make your brand less about you and more about your clients. Create a clear vision of who you’re talking to and find that special something that makes you stand out from the crowd, whether it’s a certain location, style of architecture or a type of customer. — Ines Hegedus Garcia, Realtor, Related ISG International Realty 

Low-Budget Marketing Ideas with High-Dollar Results

Meet or call 10 people a day. The only cost is your time. Prospects can be customers, colleagues, vendors, friends and even people at the grocery store. Your goal is to establish business connections that will help spread the word that you’re the real estate professional of choice.

57. Meet or call 10 people a day (although face-to-face is best). When making phone calls, pull up prospect information from social media profiles and email signatures. This will give you a head start on information for your database. — Rich Hart, Business FOCUS Dynamics Coach 

58. I built a persona, so anything I posted on social media, any email I sent, any business card I hand out—everything said, “Your Favorite Realtor.” I’m all about building relationships, and having a customer experience with my customers and my brand is where I started. — Saria Finkelstein, Sales associate, Keller Williams Realty Partners (6 Steps to Marketing Magic, October 2017, p24)

59. To write compelling listing copy, the best way to engage buyers is to capture the seller’s feelings on why they think it’s a terrific home. — Leigh Brown, Broker-owner, RE/MAX Executive Realty (Your Listings: Staging With Words, July 2017, p34)

60. If you solve people's problems, they will solve your problems. Find ways to make connections with people to learn the problems they need support with. — Tommy Choi, Co-founder and Owner, Weinberg Choi Residential/Keller Williams Chicago-Lincoln Park

61. Figure out who are the influencers in your space, such as local social media bloggers, real estate trainers and affiliated industry blogs and online publications. Connect and build relationships with them and ask for feedback about your post or video. Then, when you create something, they’re ready to help you share it. — Vinny La Barbera, imFORZA (Hey, Look At Me!, October 2015, p26)

62. Podcasts bridge the gap between text and video perfectly, creating a third channel, which includes new, untapped times to connect with prospects, such as while the prospect is exercising or driving. — Chris Smith, Co-founder of Curaytor, excerpted from his book The Conversion Code

63. Video is still key in marketing, but be strategic. Take a social media class and learn how to use Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to get in front of your audience. You have to market where the eyeballs are. — Sue “Pinky” Benson, Realtor, RE/MAX Realty Team

64. Remember that social media is social. It allows you to connect with people you may never meet, but who would be happy to recommend you. — Kevin Tengan, Director of Marketing, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Verani Realty

65. To create impactful audio content, you have to connect with the listener. Be conversational, deliver your message through storytelling and add value. — Kevin Tengan, Director of Marketing, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Verani Realty 

Business 

66. To be productive, consistently choose to invest your BEST TIME (focused, energized, distraction-free time) into your BEST ACTIVITIES (the actions necessary to achieve your goals). — Amber De La Garza, Owner, The Productivity Specialist

67. Find an accountability partner. Two questions to stay on track for the week: What are you doing to move forward professionally?  And, what are you doing to be better personally? — Diana Galavis, Broker-associate, Watson Realty Corp., Jacksonville 

These Small Gestures Can Make a Powerful Impact for Realtors

It’s not always what you do for people that lands clients. A lot of the time, it’s how you make them feel. Real estate is about making people — because happy people will refer you. Tiny but thoughtful things you do for clients, such as sending a gift on the first anniversary of their closing or packing snacks and games for their toddler during a day of house showings, can have a huge impact.

68. Be an active member of a national or International real-estate­­‑based organization outside your association. You will develop lifelong relationships and receive numerous referrals that will more than cover your annual dues. — Julia Montei, Sales associate, Keller Williams Classic Group, Sarasota

69. This is a people business. Engage and listen to your customers, deliver service that matches their needs, and then over-deliver on that value and you will succeed in any market. — Collin McDowell, Vice President/Partner, Greg Garrett Realty

70. Your thinking dictates your actions. If you're not where you want to be in your business, review your thoughts daily and how they hinder your actions. — Jessica Rector, Consultant and Keynote Speaker, Jessica Rector Enterprises

71. The book, “Profit First,” has radically changed the financial health of our business. — Josh Rogers, Team Lead, eXp Realty

72. Relationship building is key. Love your customers as yourself, whether they have a $7,000 lot or $1.3 million commercial building—treat them all the same! — Brett House, Broker-associate, RE/MAX Florida & Alabama 

73. In business as in life, it’s critical to listen–to yourself, your gut and your customers. People want to be heard and they want to know that they are truly important to you. Be diligent about follow-up and always be honest. — Jessica Rosato, Broker-associate, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

74. Follow the Golden Rule and the Code of Ethics, and always be the professional you would want to work with. — Patty Renna, Broker, Comprehensive Real Estate Advisers

75. You are not a salesperson. You are a life-altering voice. Customers come to us for much more than buying and selling. They need guidance and advice based on their particular situation. I take great care to provide this and keep clients’ interest far before my own. — Shirley Weems, Broker-associate, Waterman Real Estate Inc.

How to Translate Business Action into Strategy

Have you ever implemented a wildly important goal? If you are looking for a new method to reach goals and objectives, consider following the advice in the book: The 4 Disciplines of Execution. By focusing on being measurement-oriented rather than being goal-oriented, brokers and Realtors have more specific ways to track and improve business.

76. To empower your team, keep a file on each of them that includes personal/professional goals, schedule, decision strategy, monthly motivation factor and numbers if you’re tracking them. Tom Ferry, CEO, Ferry International 

77. Start to work on your business rather than in it. If all you ever do is “do, do, do,” you'll never gain the perspective of how to do better. Statistically, until you start to work on your business, nothing will change—zero improvement. — Craig Proctor, Owner, Craig Proctor Seminars & Coaching 

78. It’s not always what you do for people that lands customers. Often, it’s how you make them feel. Small, thoughtful gestures (such as sending a gift on the first anniversary of a client’s closing) can help you stand out. — Ellen Bessette, Sales associate, Florida’s Finest Team of Premier Realty Partners 

79. Build a culture of giving at your brokerage by getting involved and encouraging your sales associates to participate in community services. Make it easy and fun, and keep an eye out for what your community really needs. Barry Grooms, Co-owner, SaraBay Suncoast Realty  

80. To reach goals and objectives, focus on being measurement-oriented rather than being goal-oriented. This gives you more specific ways to track and improve business. — Mike Pappas, President/CEO, The Keyes Company 

81. The one action that negatively impacts a real estate professional’s image the most is failing to communicate on a timely basis. Set a time each day for communication, whether that’s returning phone calls, texts or emails. Linda Yates, The Image Energizer, Linda H. Yates Coaching and Consulting Group 

82. One way to build a great office culture is to create a business model built on teamwork and respect. Everyone must know that they’re equally important to the group's shared success. Your office culture should dictate who you hire and how work is processed. — Tim Weisheyer, Founder/Broker, Dream Builders Realty 

Selling Fixer-Uppers? Build Your Own Dream Team of Contractors

When clients are interested in buying "a diamond in the rough," your job is to help them make a smart choice. It's all about building a team of professionals. Not all agents know what to look for in distressed properties, so build your team with contractors and engineers that can point out problems and offer solutions. When you surround yourself with pros, you reaffirm to your clients why they should work with you. Watch the video for more tips.

83. Surround yourself with a team of professionals, such as a home inspector, designer, lawyer, mortgage broker and contractor. That is how you will service your customers best. — Drew Scott, HGTV’s Property Brothers 

84. Too many people set vague goals, such as, “I want to sell more houses.” Instead, select goals that are as specific and measurable as possible. For example, “I want to grow my referral business by 20 percent within 12 months.” Then, build a daily plan to get there. Louis Savinetti IV, Buyers Agent Specialist, RE/MAX Dynamic

85. It’s vital to have clearly defined roles and systems for your team. I developed a team playbook that details the expectations for each team member and covers production and education.  Renee Butler, Managing Broker, Butler 

86. I went to my local association when I first started and signed up for education classes. Someone asked me to get involved, and one thing led to another. From that, my association involvement mushroomed and I started getting and giving referrals. — Matey H. Veissi, Veissi & Associates 

87. Learn how to manage and stay true to a schedule that is productive and filled with prospecting, not busy work. Work expands in the time you allow it. — Christine Hansen, Century 21 Hansen Realty 

88. Build a brand of reciprocity, service and a client-first mentality that others can’t compete against. — Bubba Mills, Owner/CEO, Corcoran Coaching 

89. Make sure that the Realtor does an “in-office” consultation with a new buyer during which they listen more than talk. — Eric Sain, Realtor, District Sales Manager, Illustrated Properties, Palm Beach

90. My biggest breakthrough was finding a niche that I felt passionate about. It felt counterintuitive to put limitations on the market I was going after, but once people saw how confident I was in my niche, they began to confide their real estate needs to me. — John David Ellis, Sales associate, Main Street Properties 

91. Be intentional and purposeful about the people who you choose to surround yourself with. If those people are not pushing you to be your best and raising the bar on your standards, you need to find new people! — Tommy Choi, Co-founder and Owner, Weinberg Choi Residential/Keller Williams Chicago-Lincoln Park

92. If you show enough houses, you learn all the tricks. Every Realtor is just a Ninja with a blazer. — Phil Dunphy, Realtor on ABC TV’s Modern Family