Tech Profile: Daniel Del Real

Daniel entered the real estate industry straight out of the Air Force, and his team has now sold over $100 million in real estate.

Website: www.danieldelreal.com

Computer: PC and Mac Desktops, iPad

Website/ IDX Provider: Z57

Prospecting/ Contact Management: ACT

Overall, where does technology fit in for you: supporting role or a major part of your strategy?

It’s a big part of it, and I think most of it goes to help me do the volume that I do. You want to have the horse before the carriage, though.  I see a lot of agents that are coming in and getting overwhelmed with all the sites out there like Trulia, Zillow, Facebook, Twitter, etc., but then they forget about the face to face interaction. I use technology as part of the support to grow my business. It does also help me generate business, but for the most part it’s generated from my face to face contact and referrals.

If I were to tell someone what’s best, I would say establish yourself first then use technology to boost your business. Don’t depend on the technology to generate you business, instead use it as a tool. At the end of the day it’s about the old school fundamentals, and getting in front of people, especially if you’re new in the business and don’t know that many people. Open houses, Door knocking, mailers, whatever it is, that’s what’s going to really start you off with generating business. If you have a brand new blog post with one post, that’s not going to generate you a ton of business.

When I started I was 22 years old, fresh out of the Air Force, the only thing I had was a work ethic. I came out of an industry where it wasn’t how many hours a day you worked, it was when were you not working basically. For me getting out of the military and putting in 12 hour days was a break. I gave up all my weekends for six years, and didn’t start taking Sundays off until my sone was born 10 months ago. I was doing open houses for the most part to meet people. Anybody I met, I put in my database and I kept in touch with them.   The people that I did help buy or sell, they usually liked the style that I had, how customer oriented I was, and they usually ended up referring more people.

Do you change your tech use to fit different clients, for example texting, etc, or do find everyone’s comfortable with the same level?

You change technology just like you change the way you’d speak with different clients.  With the market shift being the way it is, I’ve been doing a lot of business with first time home buyers, and they range from twenty to thirty-two, thirty-three years old, and those people are all very tech oriented. Updates are usually via text or email, or even though some people might not think it’s as professional, through Facebook. There’s so many avenues to stay in contact, and we tend to use those more now because our generation is more on the go, and for us it’s more about sharing info when you have it as opposed to longer conversations which older clients might expect and want.

What one piece of technology/ software has been the biggest time saver or productivity gain for you?

I’m a big fan right now of my iPad. It’s a total lifesaver when it comes to accessing both my desktops remotely using LogMeIn. I basically have the power of my PC and my Mac in the palm of my hand. That’s been a big part of making my business more efficient. I use it all the time with buyers, not as often yet with sellers.

We’re also trying different kinds of video tours, where we take the buyer through the home without them leaving their chair. That’s been a big advantage with listings, and it’s helped me get a couple multi-million dollar listings. I don’t do the video myself, I use a videographer for it. You can see a video example at www.discoverrivernine.com.

What’s your thought on Blogging? Valuable or a time sink?

I think it’s great. Right now, people are tired of being sold to. In real estate, it’s something that people are afraid of. I use blogging as an educational tool.  I show people what they can and cannot get, and what they can expect when going in to short selling or purchasing an investment property. If I was buying, I would want to know what other people are getting. When I go to buy a television set, I google the heck out of it so I know what to expect. That’s the kind of thing I’ve been trying to do with my blog, and that’s been working well for me. I just try to educate the reader, and it tends to work because once you show them, they’ll come to you when they’re ready to buy.

Do you use Twitter?

I do use Twitter, but I’m not a very active user. I go on maybe once a week.  It’s another tool, and it goes back to not overwhelming yourself with technology, and instead focus on the goal of selling real estate.. I don’t know if it’s going to be the next phenomena in real estate, right now Facebook has been working very well for me and it’s an extension of my database.

I’ve thought about having a Facebook fan page, but I think it’s more part of the empty calories that are out there. I have a regular page and I update it more with my personal life, and I incorporate real estate into it so people know what I’m doing.

How do you track and manage prospects/ leads?

I use ACT, and I’ve customized it so that I can use it to reverse prospect with buyers and sellers.

How do you manage your transactions?

We use excel spreadsheets. We have a computer on a remote server which we can all update calendars and track a transaction. We have that setup with a 42 inch flat screen at my office that’s on all the time instead of having whiteboards.

What’s the most important thing you do on a daily basis that contributes to your sales success?

Showing up to work. Being present. A lot of agents come to work and they’re not really ready to work, they’re thinking of other things. When you come to work you have to be ready to work. Whenever we’re here we try to be as efficient as possible with our job, and get things done. That’s my biggest thing: don’t get caught up in a negative aura in your office, you can control that yourself. Whatever you put into it, you get out.

I think the biggest thing is to not get overwhelmed by the technology out there. Focus on a few traits and master them, and focus on selling real estate, not being the most popular person on Facebook.  You could have two million friends and sell two homes. That’s the biggest thing: focus on a couple things that work for you, make your business efficient, and at the of the day know why you’re doing it: to sell real estate and get in front of people.