Global Tech Series Part 2 – The International REALTORS® Tech Toolbox

Intro to Global Tech Series
by Craig Grant, President, EasyRealtySites and The Real Estate Technology Institute

A recent study from the National Association of REALTORS® estimates that in 2018, foreign buyers spent over $120 billion in U.S. residential real estate market. And it is my goal to show you how you can leverage technology to get a slice of this amazing pool of business.  

Just in case you missed last month’s series intro article, my name is Craig Grant, a national speaker/instructor on technology and in this second installment of the series I will be doing for The Global View, we will go through the basics of how to be a tech-savvy International REALTORⓇ.   

As a heads up, next month I will expand on this and feature some cutting edge, innovative tools you may not even know exist.  But before we get there, in this article we need to address the foundational or core International Technology Tools (NAR Resources, Hardware, Software, Apps, etc.) that you need to be a Global REALTORⓇ.  

NAR-Provided Tech Tools
Whether through education, participation or access to a network of allied REALTORS® around the globe, the National Association of REALTORSⓇ has the following resources to help you extend your international reach.

Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) Designation

At Home With Diversity (AHWD) Certification

International REALTOR® Membership

NAR’s Global Alliances Network

Ambassador Associations

Allied Industry Partners

Global Business Councils

Real Estate Practices Around the World

Online International Portals
Gain international exposure for your listings on some of the largest international real estate portal sites.

Hardware You Need to Work in International Business

  • Premium Smartphone – Whether international or not, I’ve always said that a smartphone is a REALTOR’S most important tool because it is a mini computer that is always with you.  But to work globally, you will want to make sure you have a great one (think newer iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or Note line, Google Pixel, etc.) that is capable of producing high quality photos, video, streaming video calls, social media activity, augmented reality and more (many tricks we will be covering later in this series).
  • Portable Computer – whether you opt to go with a Tablet, 2-in-1 or laptop is up to you, but you still need a good computer to run your real estate business.
  • If you plan on traveling to any international country for research or for business reasons, you might also want to invest in an International SIM Card kit that will allow you to swap out the phone’s SIM card and not get hit with exorbitant international roaming charges while abroad.  Some other items you might want to invest in include power plug adapters & chargers that will work in other countries that use different electrical frequencies.

Software & Apps

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – System that will allow you to manage all of your contacts and/or leads and help you decide which ones to follow up with for communication, marketing or task/activities.  This will be vital if you plan on spending a significant amount of time out of the country building your international pipeline. Examples include Contactually, LionDesk, Chime, Firepoint, PropertyBase, RealtyJuggler, Realvolve, Streak, Top Producer & Wise Agent
  • Forms & Contact Management – System that will allow you to create and execute agreements with your clients from anywhere, whether it be you and/or the client that is on the other side of the world.  Examples are ZipLogix, AppFiles, FormSimplicity, DotLoop, SkySlope, Transaction Desk & DocuSign Transaction Room.
  • RPR – NAR’s member-only tool is an amazing resource (app or website) that allows you to do incredibly detailed property or neighborhood reports, investment, commercial & renter analysis and more.
  • Google Translate – While I will be providing some more advanced tools to help you communicate with people in other countries, there is nothing as free and as readily available as Google Translate that can now translate over 100 languages on any device and even convert audio recordings or entire documents on the fly. While the translations can sometimes be a bit robotic or clunky, the person on on the other side of the world may chuckle, but will understand the gist of what you are trying to say and vice-versa.
  • Conversion Apps – When working with people in other countries, they have different standards of measurements and forms of currency.  The Handyman Toolbox app will help you solve the measurement and MoneyCorp or PalmAgent One will help you work with international clients on the financial side of the transaction.

As mentioned, these are just the basic or starter tools, but I encourage you continue on the journey with me and follow this series over the next few months and in doing so, empower your international business through  technology! If you have any questions along the way, please feel free to leave them in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

Craig Grant is president of EasyRealtySites and The Real Estate Technology Institute, two companies whose goal is to elevate the real estate industry through technology &
education. With over 150 speaking engagements around the U.S. each year he is
considered one of the top technology, marketing & risk management instructors around.

As his motto, “Advanced Real Estate Technology Instructed at a Pre-K Level” states,
Craig is able to take extremely complicated technology topics and present them in a fun
and engaging way that the average non-technical person not only understands, but is able apply to improve their business.