Tech Profile: Valerie Almanzar

Valerie Almanzar is a Top Salesperson at Keller Williams Realty in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a member of Realtor Magazine’s 2010 30 under 30, and has been featured on HGTV, where she introduced Albuquerque, site of the 2010 Dream Home.

Websites: www.findyourcasa.com and www.buyandsellinalbuquerque.com

Phone: Droid Eris

Computer: Mac laptop and Apple iPad

Website/ IDX Provider: One custom, one by Market Leader

Prospecting/ Contact Management: Wise Agent

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

Before it was a supporting role, and now it’s becoming more of  a strategy. My business leads come from about 60% online prospecting, 40% networking and picking up the phone. There’s so many ways we can grow our business, it’s really about trying to master a few of those ways and being prepared to implement  the other ways. I also recently started working on my IMSD Desination (info can be found at www.imsd.net) , which has had a huge impact on my business and I highly recommend to anyone who is interested in technology and wants to move their business to the next level quickly.

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

Absolutely, how I deal with different clients changes. If I know that my clients are ok with text messaging I try to reach out to them that way. There are many different ways of touching people, and it’s about finding which way works for them. I had one client, I left him several phone messages, I emailed, and never got a response. I then finally sent a text basically saying “hey this is Valerie I’ve been trying to get a hold of you” and he ended up telling me basically his life story via text message! Part of our job is being excellent communicators,  and finding the way that people prefer to be contacted.

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

The biggest time saver has been Docusign. Specifically I like the ease of it, of automatically being able to send a document to the other agent simultaneously after my client signs.  I don’t have to pick up the phone, call the agent for their fax number,and coordinate- it’s just gets done. The minute my client signs it, the other agent gets it.  I’ve only run in to an issue twice, once when the system was down which was very stressful. The other time was when a lender wouldn’t accept the documents. At closing, the buyers simply had to resign a paper version, so it didn’t negatively affect the transaction.

The biggest productivity gain has been Youmail and MailChimp. Youmail is a phone application for people that don’t have iPhones. I don’t have an iPhone because the service in New Mexico isn’t very consistent, and I can’t risk poor phone service. Youmail texts you what the message is, I can listen to messages through my computer, and it allows you to pick and chose which messages you want to listen to first. So I can choose between a title company, a co-worker, and the client wanting to list an $800,000 home, for example.

Mailchimp is good for my monthly email newsletter, though the templates can sometimes be time consuming to work with.

How are you using the iPad in your business?

I use it in my listing presentations, and I use it when I’m with buyers to look at properties. Before I was printing off lots of paper, and there was always an issue with the buyers wanting the private agent comments, which would get awkward because I couldn’t give those to them. Now I have them all on the ipad, they can see everything in color, and I get to keep control of the documents.  Our MLS lets us email the properties, so I email it to myself then pull it up. If clients want to write their own notes I provide them with a pen and paper.

For listing presentations I give them some paperwork, and show them sales comparables on the iPad. We’re a non-disclosure state, which essentially means sales data isn’t available anywhere except the MLS. We can’t advertise to the entire community that a house sold for x. If you call me and ask, I can tell you, but I can’t broadcast it. What I do is I email myself what the home sold for, and review that data on the iPad during the listing presentation.  (Take this out?)

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

My issue has been it’s really tough to set the time aside to do it. I do blog frequently on ActiveRain, and I’m a huge fan. The Search Engine Optimization on ActiveRain is amazing. When I was blogging on ActiveRain at the previous company I was with, my name was coming up first for my company! It is truly one of the best tools I use.The SEO optimization is truly amazing on ActiveRain.

My next venture is blogging with video, I think that is going to be way an easier route for me. It’s more interesting and I like the idea of doing something visual, words only do so much, but to actually get the camera and show what the house looks like along with commentary is more interesting, and it’s more fun.  I have some video about 30under30 at valeriealmanzar.com/about/Press_Video.html. The plan is to  really start focusing on that and doing more of that.

Do you use Twitter?

I do. I just recently started doing it more, and it’s a great source of information. I think it’s a great way to get information out. I mix up info about my city, what’s going on, my new listings, and photos of my city.  I try to use it daily. No leads as of yet, but I’ve only been doing it for a few months. Like anything, consistency is key.

How do you track and manage prospects/ leads?

I  just started using Wise Agent. Honestly I don’t think I use it to it’s full capabilities. It offers a lot but you have to do training on it, and I’ve only gone through 1 or 2 of the modules.

How do you manage your transactions?

DocuSign helps to manage it a lot.  I also try to do all my paperwork right away. Not just the Purchase Agreement, but everything else put together right away. I also use an assistant to help with the paperwork.

How do you manage your website?

Right now it’s through the web design company, www.peaksystems.com and marketleader.com.

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

Prospecting and follow up.  Facebook is one of my favorite tools, along with my website through market leader. It is amazing how many people do not follow up.  Most people don’t respond until the 7th or 8th time, whereas most agents quit by the 4th or 5th time. Also keeping in contact with people, staying top of mind.

I would wholeheartedly encourage people to check out the Internet Marketing Specialist Designation. I’ve taken many classes and as an agent you spend so much money trying to figure out where you can grow your business and how to do it. This designation is from top agents and the tools they use to grow their business. It is practical applictions you can use immediately and I call it a Boot Camp to get serious about your business.