As a real estate agent, there’s plenty of work that you want to manage yourself — as Jessica Stanley, founder of HomeFile, says, “Anything that has to do with negotiations or money … you should be aware every step of the way.” There are plenty of professional and personal tasks that require your oversight, but there are others that take up time you could be spending on more important things.
It makes sense to outsource some routine tasks because it’ll free you up to focus on things like business development and lead generation, and that can lead to faster revenue and growth. So where can you start to get some time back each day? Here are six tasks — with accompanying apps — that you can leave to someone else:
1. Photography (Call in a Professional)
“Really good quality photography? It takes time,” says Jay Stringham, Internet marketing coordinator at Real Tour Vision. “Both taking your time to photograph the home, but then also in post-processing of the images and those sorts of things. Realtors really should be focusing, in my opinion, on their core business — marketing themselves, getting more listings, closing deals rather than working in Photoshop.”
You can find a professional photographer through the Professional Photographers of America or the Real Estate Photographers of America & International, or through websites like Stilio that help real estate agents find photographers by price and also schedule shoots.
2. Scheduling & Planning (24 Me)
You probably rely on your smartphone as much as you’d rely on a personal assistant, but an app like 24 Me really functions like a virtual assistant by organizing and syncing the many notes, tasks, calendars and accounts living on your various devices. “It’s a good little way to give me some reminders and keep me on track with my schedule,” says Christy Murdock Edgar, the owner of Writing Real Estate.
You can add tasks and meetings to your calendar by voice, and you can get alerts about when to leave for meetings based on the current traffic conditions. It’ll even remind you of upcoming birthdays — like a former client or colleague — and suggest gifts you might send their way, too.
3. Digital Marketing (Homesnap Pro Ads)
We can’t leave a conversation about how to save time without mentioning our Homesnap Pro Ads, which make it super easy to automate digital ads across Google, Facebook, Instagram and Waze. You preset a budget and pick where you want your ads to run, and we’ll do the rest to make sure they get in front of the right people.
How do we do that? We design the ads so you don’t need to bring in a graphic designer, then we optimize the placement and target the audience for you. You can monitor ad performance with our easy-to-read reporting, too. When you leave that digital marketing and potential lead generation to us, you have more time to meet with clients, follow up on leads, and focus on your bottom line.
4. Household Chores (TaskRabbit)
You need to rearrange the room because you just ordered a new couch. You’ve been talking about mounting the TV to the wall for weeks. You need someone to come and clean the house. There are more than 50,000 vetted people on TaskRabbit who can help you accomplish those everyday tasks so you can focus on more important things. “I use apps [to] outsource tasks that I need to do daily,” Jessica told us. “I use TaskRabbit a lot and my agents use it a lot as well.”
TaskRabbit can also help you professionally — if a client needs a handyman or someone to clean the carpet, you can easily call in a “Tasker” to help them get the job done.
5. Buying Groceries (InstaCart)
Another tip from Jessica? InstaCart — which delivers groceries right to your door the day you order them. Its shoppers will travel to the grocery stores, pharmacies and pet stores that you know and love to pick up items for you. You’ll browse the product lists ahead of time online and choose what you want, and you can even review nutritional info and discounts along the way. Then, they’ll do all the shopping and deliver everything you ordered so you don’t ever have to step foot in a store.
6. Making Dinner (Galley, Seamless, Grubhub)
Cross another thing off your to-do list with meal delivery apps like Seamless and Grubhub, which let you order from restaurants through your phone if you want someone else to make dinner instead. If you want more home-cooked meals but don’t have the time to cook, try Freshly. Freshly has a menu of chef-made meals that you can pick from, and it delivers them already-cooked right to your door so all you need to do is heat them up. Here in Washington, DC, Galley is also a local meal-delivery app that people love, and there could be similar local apps near you, too.