Digital Business; How To Bring Your Business Out Of The Dark Age?

Digital Business

Digital technologies have profoundly changed everything in our lives. From our daily tasks to the way we do business, work, buy and live, digital technologies play an important role in everything. They have altered our society and are even impacting all the business functions and industries, either directly or indirectly.

Digital business today is mainly used in the context of digital transformation. Digital businesses today are largely impacted by digital technologies. These technologies offer new ways to collaborate, connect and conduct your business and build bridges between people and technology.

The ever-evolving digital technologies have also challenged the existing business models. The key driving force behind it is the capacity of innovation that it offers and the increased consumerisation of IT. Digital business is at the stage where you can call it ‘converged’.

It is fully integrated and connected. From the perspective of technology, it goes beyond the famous third platforms, and we are witnessing some amazing evolutions today, including but not limited to the Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Mobile, etc.

Digital business is a business with agile processes and a people-centric view. Digital technology, on the other hand, is used to enable all the players (employees, managers, customers, etc.) to optimize all their business functions and succeed in making their business more profitable and relevant. In short, it creates value for the digital business.

Digital technology helps digital businesses make themselves better and hence more profitable. Digital technology means that the devices can be lighter, faster, versatile and more compact today.

Large amounts of information can be stored remotely or locally and can be moved around virtually almost instantaneously. The term ‘information’ has also expanded to include audio, video and photos and is no longer limited to just numbers and words.

With digital technology, businesses are able to yield the following benefits:

Ability to Open Up New Frontiers, New Business

Digital technology opens up new frontiers for businesses. They are not limited to time and space anymore. Thanks to digital technologies, businesses can now venture into unexplored terrains.

The boundaries of time and space have been eliminated. They can now touch all corners of the globe and get customers from anywhere on the planet. In addition, digital technologies have also helped in improving access to learning opportunities.

With communication advances, you can easily communicate with anyone anywhere in the world. In short, digital technologies and digital transformation have actually changed the business landscape altogether, and in a good way.

Ability to Adopt/Imbibe/Invent New Business Models

With emerging ‘smart’ technologies, digitization, virtualisation and modernisation of IT, businesses today have an improved ability to invent, adopt or imbibe new business models.

They can work on what they think is the best and test all the possibilities before deciding on anything. Business decisions become easy when you know the outcome. This has helped businesses all over the world in adopting new business models.

These new models have improved not only their return on investment, but also the strength and longevity of the relationship with their customers. 

Ability to Adopt to Think Around the Customers

In today’s competitive business world, understanding your customers is more important than ever. If you want to run a successful business, you need to provide a strong customer experience.

Digital businesses today need to invest in digital technologies to make sure they provide their customers with the best possible service. The idea is to think around the customers and plan your digital business accordingly.

With everything digital, businesses can use digital technology and analytics to learn about the buying journey of their customers, as well as the right time and place to engage them.

Organisations today live in a world where a business’s competition is just a click away. Thus, customers expect exceptional customer service from businesses.

If a business fails to impress them, they are not shy in expressing their level of dissatisfaction among their network of friends and even beyond. They are more powerful than ever, and it clearly seems that the power balance between the business and the consumer has shifted.

Most of the organisations these days are configured for the mass market and mass media era. There are some digital elements bolted onto the traditional sales funnel that consumers have to move through in their buying journey.

Digital transformation, on the other hand, takes a step back and examines the journey of the new digital customers. It takes a look at how consumers interact with organisations in real life and online.

All these different things are looked at by the organisations, allowing them to adapt to this new flow with necessary changes that are driven by a digital strategy.

Thanks to digital technology, digital businesses today are able to analyse the user’s traffic paths to find out the web pages and links that are engaging them and the ones that are driving them away.

This helps businesses by providing them insights into what they can do to retain their customers and drive them down the funnel. The customer’s user experience can also be significantly improved through digital analytics.

Bottom Line Improvement

Thanks to digital technologies, digital businesses have been able to improve their bottom line. Their businesses are giving them a better return on investments.

Their profitability is improving while there is a marked decrease in their expenses. Thanks to the ever-evolving digital technology, nothing is impossible now.

Just as digital transformation constantly changes, so does its constituent elements. Most of the digital transformation activities today involve innovative use of digital technologies.

It includes but is not limited to analytics, machine learning, new devices, IoT, etc. In fact, digital transformation has evolved into a data-led change centric medium for businesses, which is working for them currently.

This may change into something different as we continue to get more elaborate and effective technologies in the future.

Investing In Digital

Ask yourself and your team these questions BEFORE you decide to invest in digital:

1. What are we prepared to invest NOW and what rewards should we expect from this over the next 1-5 years?  Where is the payoff point, financially speaking?

2. If we invest $ in one space, what might that save us in time, resources, process and other systems and what does that equate to in a $ sense?

3. What does digitising a part of our business do to our customers? Does it engage or negate them and what is the cost of both scenarios? Over time, how will digitising this part of the business help them do business with us?

Come back to this space for more information on digital business view.

5 Reasons Why Digital Isn’t Just for Marketing.

We have seen a surge in the field of digital marketing in the last decade. So much so that most of the businesses have gone digital to make sure they stay in line with, if not ahead of, their competitors. For a common person, the only thing that comes to mind when they think of digital is ‘digital marketing’.

But is digital only for marketing?

Are there no other sides to it that one may tap into?

Other than in digital marketing, can digital transformation be used in any other context?

The answer to all these questions is that ‘Digital isn’t just for marketing’. In fact, it is related to all things digital. To keep it simple, what we think of digital spans around five major components:

  1. Social
  2. Mobile
  3. Analytics and Big Data
  4. Consumerisation of IT and
  5. Cloud

All of these things together describe what digital actually is and why it is not just related to digital marketing. These factors help take digital in terms of commercial realities and how they should be introduced into the business.

Social

When talking about social, one actually needs to consider why social is happening and not just think about social in terms of only tools such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.

These are only tools, and the main question is, why do people use them? It is similar to when the Internet first came about. It was a tool, but now it has become an important part of our daily lives. It allows for increased freedom and access to information that we could never have otherwise.

A digital business interacts with customers, both responsively and proactively, using social. Social is pointless without meaningful interactions. Likewise, it is important to have specific and SMART goals and objectives for social to achieve.

It is something to look out for as it is common for businesses to undertake social strategies without having any efforts or proper measurements to back them up.

Another important aspect that is commonly overlooked is user experience. When running campaigns on social media, one needs to consider user experience and their journey.

This means that social is actually a multidisciplinary effort, which takes a specialised UX support to be successful rather than just relying on the marketing team alone.

Mobile

Just as social, one needs to consider why people actually use mobile devices. The easiest way to understand this concept is to consider the appeal of mobile devices because of their non-interruptive and non-intrusive nature.

Mobile devices allow people to get on with their lives and also blend into the digital aspect of their lives easily and without any hassle. They have made it simpler and easier to connect with others.

Instead of waiting to get home, log on to your desktop PC, and then do something as simple as responding to an email, mobile devices allow you to complete all the important tasks on the go.

It is important to note how social and mobile have allowed customers to converge into a pattern known as ‘non-voice customer service’. Individuals can now use digital mediums to interact with businesses digitally rather than have interactions that intrude their real lives.

Analytics and Big Data

Big data is all about deriving understanding about behavior by statistically analysing clumps of data. This allows you to have control over what you want and what you don’t want.

What’s lacking in the concept of big data is that you may be able to determine the behaviour of a person, but determining the motive behind this behaviour is an altogether different story. Once again, this brings us to the big question, is it not enough to know that something is happening?

Consumerisation of IT

Tech companies these days are looking to ensnare normal consumers. The things they produce are getting better and cheaper. As a result, businesses take advantage of these facts, and this decreases the need for IT to be specialised.

A perfect example of this is BlackBerry. It involved specialised software and hardware to get your work email onto a phone. In fact, it a was a relatively painful and long task. The same task is no longer a problem and needs no specialisation, thanks to BYOD and CYOD.

Another thing this has done to the consumers who are employed somewhere is that it has exposed them to various apps and services, which have made them better at innovation.

A simple example of this is using Dropbox to get data in and out of the business. Companies may be wary of these things, but the act is innovative. This has made IT innovation from bottom-up possible instead of just relying on a top-down-effort.

Cloud

Cloud has become a major part in the lives of businesses and organisations. One may do it just to buy functionality on a SaaS basis or use a load of servers for your data as if they were your own. But is cloud really necessary for digital? It likely isn’t, to some extent.

However, it is important. Firstly, because it is a trend these days and also because a number of tools and services which are involved in the digital are unlocked when a business is taking a cloud-based approach. Thus, it is an important part of the digital.

The 4 things you need to consider if you’re going to start digitising your marketing:

1. Don’t think just marketing – review your whole business strategy and look at how digital relates to them all;

2. Ask yourself not just WHAT it means, but HOW it changes things for your business – be clear on your WHY;

3. In normal business, what comes before marketing?  Consider what you’d usually do without digital and start there. For example; you might normally have a product agreed and a sales process enabled, which then feed into your marketing.  Look at the digital space in these first to then inform your digital marketing strategy;

4. Don’t be afraid to test and take risks. In the digital world, it’s about finding what works and this can take a number of tests to find that channel.  In digital, this happens fast and can be inexpensive, depending on how you approach it.

In summary, what’s important is the fact that ‘digital’ means something that is specific and reasonably clear. It is not just an opaque buzzword; in fact, it is a sociological change that is not just related to marketing.

It is about giving answers to questions that ask ‘why’ it is happening: why customers are using social and why they are using mobile devices? It is also about answering why big data shows the trends that it does and why companies are buying and using consumer products and running their systems on clouds?

It is also about answering why big data shows the trends that it does and why companies are buying and using consumer products and running their systems on clouds?

Digital marketing is just one part of what digital actually is.

To limit digital just to marketing is not the best approach towards digital.

Let’s Get Digital, What The Is Digital?

FeaturedWhat is digital?

In this article, we explore the assumptions people have made about what digital is (and isn’t) and we ask 3 great questions if you’re conversing about the world of digital.

This is the digital world. Everyone is going digital.

They are doing all they can to enter the digital world.

But, do they really know what digital actually is?

Businesses, companies, organisations and individuals—all are rushing headlong to go digital. It is the biggest goal of nearly all organisations— small, medium and large— to tap into the digital world.

The main reason for doing this is that it is the only way of surviving in their relative industries now. The world has gone digital and so people and businesses are following suit.

Thus, to make your presence felt in your industry, having an online/digital presence has become mandatory.

So, What is Digital and Why Is Everyone Running After it!

To some people, digital is all about technology. On the other hand, digital is a new, better and transformational way to connect and engage with customers. However, for others, digital represents an What Whawentirely new way of doing business.

While none of these definitions is incorrect, there is a diverse perspective of digital that changes from leadership to leadership and from person to person.

Such diverse perspectives on what digital is often reflect a lack of common vision and alignment in the minds of leaders about what a business needs to do and where it needs to go.

It often leads to misguided efforts and piecemeal initiatives that lead to sluggish performance, missed opportunities and false starts— all of which tend to affect the health and growth of your business.

Thus, it is important to fully understand what digital and other corresponding terms mean before you go on and enter the digital world.

The better you are able to understand these terms, the better your performance will be in terms of your digital transformation efforts.

Even with CEOs pushing forward their agendas to go digital, it is worth pausing to sharpen your language and clarify vocabulary.

It is important for business leaders and owners to understand and have a clean and common knowledge of exactly what digital means and how it is going to affect their business.

While it is tempting to look for definitions that are simple to understand to be able to do meaningful and sustainable things, it is best to take digital less as a thing and more as a way of doing things.Let’s get answers to the questions related to all things digital.

The 3 Key Questions To Ask

The 3 things you need to ask people (or yourself!) when they start talking digital:

1. How do they see digital creating value for business? What is their experience of this?  They need to consider that value comes in all places: for them and for their customers, stakeholders, users, employees and brand.

2. Are they ready for change if digital is introduced? What is their level of digital maturity?  Their company culture will struggle (if it isn’t already) if they don’t explore digital impacts, maturity and capability first to build a common language and readiness for change.

3. What is the risk if they don’t explore digital for their business? How might they get ‘left behind’ with their competitors?  Think Kodak – they refused to listen to change and no longer exist.

Let’s explore the answers to these in more detail….

What is Digital?

So, the big question is: ‘What is Digital’?

The term digital, for us, means a convergence of many technologies and social changes that have made the digital reality possible.

While it may sound pretentious, but this fact is not far from the truth. Digital is the convergence of mobile, web and social media.

All of these have come together to create a different kind of a user – someone who has access to the web 24/7 and has email and social media in their pockets.

The power of digital is so transformational that it is reshaping the behaviour of the customers and is creating a new breed, unlike anything we have seen before.

What does digital do for business

What Does Digital Do for a Business?

What Does Digital Do for a Business? To make the definition of digital more concrete, we have broken it down into three main attributes that are linked to it. Let’s take a look at them one by one.

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Creating Value

If you are tapping into the digital world, you need to be open to reexamine the entire way of doing business and understand the new frontiers of value that come with it.

For some companies, catching up on new frontiers means developing entirely new businesses in categories that are adjacent to what they are currently doing.

On the other hand, some businesses take it as an effort to identify and go after the new value pool that exists in the current sectors.

Whatever you choose to do from your digital efforts, you need to understand the implications of marketplace development and evaluate the presentation of opportunities or threats that come with it.

At the same time, being digital also means being closely attuned to the evolution of the customers’ decision-making journey and understanding the customer behaviour and expectations that come along.

Building Digital Capabilities

The next important element of a business’ digital journey is finding out and rethinking what these new capabilities mean for the business and how to improve the way your customers are served.

For this, you need to understand each step of the customer’s purchasing journey and rethink how digital capabilities can be used to design and deliver the best experience to all the parts of the business.

It aims at making those business decisions that can help deliver insights on customers that lead to better marketing and sales decisions.

Last but not least, digital is about organisational and technological processes that help an organisation become fast and agile.

This change can be brought about by making better and faster business decisions making use of data.

In the context of IT, digital refers to being focused on creating an environment based on decoupling the legacy systems.

Digitised IT is based on the commitment to build networks that help connect object, devices and people.

With clear benefits of going digital for the business, it is important today (more than ever before) to not ignore the importance of digital transformation. 

With the world becoming more digital every passing day, it is important to address the digital aspect of your business as soon as possible if you haven’t already done it yet.

Design digital with consumer in mind

Digital Consumer

Digital consumers are a new generation of customers and users who see the world in a different way. Consumers have equal relevance for physical and virtual worlds.

The consumers have social media apps on their mobile phones which they use to carry their family and friends anywhere they go.

These consumers are more likely to consult with their network when they are making a buying decision rather than listening to traditional advertising.

They have a different view of privacy and share everything online. They will seek advice on their decisions from people that are connected to them digitally.

Consumers will scan a product while standing in a store to check if they can find some deal.

Since they live in a world where business competition is just a click away, they expect exceptional customer service from businesses.

If a business fails to impress them, they are not shy in expressing their level of dissatisfaction among their network of friends and even beyond.

They are more powerful than ever, and it clearly seems that the power balance between the supplier and the consumer has shifted.

While many consider the millennial generation to be the digital consumer, the truth is that digital behaviour is not slowing down.

In fact, it has stretched all the way to the baby boomers and continuously developing.

This new league of consumers is choosing products and services in an entirely different way and are also demanding higher levels of service from businesses.

This is why we are hearing a lot about the latest buzzword: digital transformation.

Digital Transformation – What is it?

Digital transformation is not what most people consider it to be. It is seen as an attempt at integrating emerging technologies into the core business processes.

The belief is that it is related to technology at a superficial level. However, digital transformation is all about meeting the needs of the new group of customers: the ones we know as digital consumers.

While it does involve some amount of adaptation in how organisations approach new technology, it is more linked to how one can alter their business processes.

Most of the organisations these days are configured for the mass market and mass media era. There are some digital elements bolted on the traditional sales funnel that consumers have to move through in their buying journey.

Digital transformation, on the other hand, takes a step back and examines the journey of the new digital customers. It takes a look at how consumers interact with organisations in real life and online.

All these different touchpoints are looked at by organisations, which helps them adapt to this new flow with necessary changes that are driven by a digital strategy.

Digital Strategy

While digital transformation caters to the new technology, digital strategy, on the other hand, is related to devising strategies that serve the needs of the new customer.

A digital strategy is not just a list of vague goals that an organisation wants to achieve, but it also incorporates practical ways that address the problems being faced by the company’s digital consumers and customers, both new and existing.

Your strategy needs to be backed up by concrete actions which should address the immediate digital transformation issues.

These strategies should also adapt to the changes that may take place in consumer behaviour in the future as changes keep on emerging with the creation of new and better technologies.

Start you digital journey now

How Important is Digital Transformation?

Worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies reached $1.3 trillion in 2017. – IDC


The spending is expected to double between 2018 and 2021. It is expected that the total spending on digital transformation will surpass $2.1 trillion in the coming three to four years.

A recent survey of senior financial executives and CFOs conducted by Grant Thornton revealed that 69% of the respondents planned to speed business change and increase their investments in digital technology.

40% of them had planned on increasing their investment on digital transformation by more than 10% in the next year.

All of them believed that these increased investments in their digital marketing efforts will help them overtake their competition.

By 2025, the value of digital transformation is expected to reach $100 trillion. – World Economic Forum.

 

All of this information and stats reveal that digital is the future. If a business is not spending on its transformation, they are definitely missing out on a lot of opportunities that will most likely be captured by their competitors.

Digital transformation is one of the most important things for any business in any industry to have a profitable presence in their industry.

Just as digital transformation constantly changes, so does its constituent elements. Most of the transformation activities today involve innovative use of available data.

It includes, but is not limited to, analytics, machine learning, new devices, IoT, etc. In fact, digital transformation has evolved into more of a data-led change-centric medium for businesses, which is working for them currently.

This may change into something different as we continue to get more elaborate and effective technologies in the future.

Unlock Business Growth Now

Digital is all about unlocking business growth now. Thanks to a number of digital transformation consultants and transformation companies, the transformation journey has become a little easier. Even those who have no experience and expertise in the field.

While how companies interpret or act on the digital transformation definition may vary from one to another, having a clear understanding of what it means will allow business leaders to take their business in the right direction.

With a shared vision of achieving digital transformation and making it a success, businesses will be able to create and capture value like never before.

As the idea of our transformation continues to evolve, so does the process of defining digitalisation.

It is becoming more complex and more contested with each new innovation. However, regardless of whatever form it takes, digital tansformation is here to stay.

Thus, it has become more than necessary to have a sustainable and sound business strategy that takes into account all the aspects of the digital world and digital transformation.

In Conclusion

Not sure about how to go forward with transformation for your business? you can always get help from a digital transformation consultant who will guide you through the process.

However, as a business owner, you need to understand the transformation definition. If you really want to tap into the world of digital transformation for your business.

Good luck and let’s get digital!

Matthew T Barton

P.s As promised, if you want to learn more download this Free 40-page detailed analysis research report. It gives insights into Digital Transformation Market Trends and Challenges in the United States and Australia.

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14 Tips for Your REI Digital Transformation

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While technology has reshaped how most organisations do business, the real estate industry has for long remained a stranger to technology. With digital disruption approaching all kinds of industries, the real estate as a business today has changed too – and it isn’t just for the buyer’s side.

Investors too can benefit from the digital tools and strategies on offer and make their lives easier and better. So, what do you do if you are looking to digitally transform your real estate business? What are the technologies that you need, and how can you go about it? This guide talks about the REI (real estate investor) digital transformation, and how you can make a successful one easily.

The Top Technologies That the Real Estate Investor Can Use

Listed below are some technologies that have helped real estate investors make fantastic progress. Also, note when I say Real Estate Investors I also mean me.   To provide full transparency, I have active memberships with each of the companies mentioned below.  My intent as an affiliate member is to: 1) Ensure the Technology is maintained and iterative enhancements released; 2) Each Company has a healthy subscriber list, to ensure the company’s longevity; 3) Subsidise my own Membership costs, and 4) Only ever recommend Technologies I use myself.   Enough about me, let’s see how we can digitise you!

Real Estate Investor Digital Transformation with Big Data

Traditionally, real estate investors only made such decisions looking at deals that seemed hot at that time and the current economic situation. But the fact is that several markets had shown a surge during the worst of times and some markets had even gone down the spiral, also when the economy was booming.

No need to rely on your network and real estate agents while investing in a real estate property for flipping or leasing or any such activity. Big Data Analytics is changing the way we do practically everything. We don’t have to stress ourselves anymore about finding a property dealer who won’t make a fool out of us.

Housing Alerts is one such tool which I have personally used. It provides projections on average cash on cash return of the neighbourhood, it’s rental income, occupancy etc.

Big Data has essentially brought a lot of transparency to the real estate industry. Be it owners, lenders, brokers or investors – everyone is benefitting by partnering with Big Data.

Investors can now make better-informed decisions by crunching numbers available from public and private data sources. Without the use of Big Data, they were only reliant on unprocessed data, which never gave utterly accurate results.

Housing Alerts to Help Stay in the Loop at All Times

Housing Alerts offers real estate trend forecasts.

Big Data applications from Housing Alerts have brought about a turn by processing such data obtained from geographical information, census outputs, and the catalogues of property sales, as well as added transparency to this business by providing insights into the buying patterns of customers. The data obtained can be utilised by real estate investors to decide which property to buy, and the ones to avoid. That’s not all – the data is also helpful in designing homes.

Identifying trends is critical when it comes to online real estate investments. An investor must be aware of future risks and future values of properties. It has served as a guide to the real estate investor who can decide how to manage their property most effectively. They can make calculations as to what factors will help them increase returns because of the real-time forecast of trends in the industry. It does save a lot of costs and improves the efficiency of operations.

The insights obtained from Housing Alerts help Investors buy the best property

When investors can predict trends using predictive analytics they can buy the best properties that hold the most value for the future and are also able to predict what would be the best design to take forward. It also helps them conclude what kind of tenants they should be targeting and whether the tenants will be able to maintain positive cash flow.

Housing Alerts offers real estate investors like me, a detailed picture of what the market is going to look like. This gives them complete and accurate data which they can filter to suit their requirements and gain a competitive advantage in the market which they want to target. It can help them devise an optimal strategy for making investments based on a particular location. As well as added ease to investments although real estate is still a very volatile arena and highly complicated.

Pricing and Analytics Tools for Growing your Online Real Estate Business

Considering the volatile nature of real estate markets, investors often end up in situations where they buy a property only to find that in a short period, its value has depreciated.

Another challenge that real estate investors face is deciding the pricing. They must tag a price that brings them good returns and at the same time should not be so high that it drives buyers away. The same applies when they are purchasing a property. Pricing and Analytics tools from rehab valuators are the answer to every online real estate investor’s pricing woes.

Save your precious time with Rehab Valuator

To be honest, nobody has the luxury of time on their side today – unless you’ve left it all and gone to the countryside. In the business of real estate investments, timing is everything – you need to know how to play it right.

When there are good deals on the market, they sell like hotcakes – and it’s only if you can spot them quick that you can tell your customers about it. Real Estate Investors cannot wait around for an agent or someone else to say to them about a good deal and why exactly it is good.

If you wait around calculating and weighing all the data, you will probably have lost precious time, and that will have cost you the deal. Rehab Valuator has given investors like me tools that have made it possible for me to find, evaluate, analyse and make an offer on a lucrative deal.

Investor Friendly Tools

With the tools that Rehab Valuator has empowered me with, not only have I been able to save time, I have also been able to keep a lot of money by not overpaying and have also been able to get better returns. Whenever I want to make a deal, I know exactly what kind of profit this investment will bring me because the tool provides investors with all costs involved in financing, partner splits, and exit strategies, easily.

When you want to flip your property, it gives you the right marketing tools to use, which you can make into a point and click presentations for marketing within seconds. Investors can now sell their deals faster and for more money. The tools also help us find lenders and raise money for your real estate projects with their flexible financing options.

Make Use of unbiased data and opinions with Rehab Valuator

The tools provide you with some great data which gives you a complete picture of the market. They are also easy to use as they are all automated and come with great mobility. You can access all the features from any device, anytime. You do not have to be confined to your office anymore and never miss out on any deal just because you were not sitting in front of your office computer.

Stay updated with all price drops, seller types, etc. Make quick assessments on properties and make your investment decision with these tools.

Inbound Marketing Systems to Get your Real Estate property the right exposure

With the world rapidly going digital, everything happens online. If your business is not online, your business cannot exist. Motivated sellers are quickly on the lookout for someone who will buy their property, and they are doing it online. This is the place where you generate leads – leads without which, your online real estate business isn’t going anywhere.

Inbound Marketing is one of the most effective techniques for generating leads for your online real estate business. Inbound Marketing helps you attract potential buyers and sellers and essentially directs them to reach out to you. It is a passive technique of drawing business. These are techniques that help you develop clear strategies using SEO tools that will help optimise your site with targeted keywords and helps take your site to page 1 of Google’s search results. Not only that, but it also improves your site gain visibility and drives traffic to your website.

Utilise some of the best Inbound Marketing Systems created by Investor Carrot

One tool that has been a life saver for me is Investor Carrot. Several Online Real Estate Investors like me have benefitted from the leads generated for their real estate business by Investor Carrot and have witnessed tremendous growth in the leads they were able to produce, converting their investments into solid returns. They have built an industry-leading Conversion Methodology which they integrate into every website they create. They also keep testing their systems and upgrade them regularly so that the performance of your lead generation website will keep improving.

These tools help your site rank higher and market in smarter ways. The reason why On Carrot has been able to figuratively control page 1 rankings on Google is their strategy which relies on inbound marketing tools that generate leads and the exclusive training they provide to their members for marketing strategies. Whenever I have had a question, I have had them in my corner, and they have always had my back.

Create Mobile-friendly Websites with Investor Carrot

With a fast-progressive world where everyone is always on the move and yet wants to stay updated with everything happening around them, Investor Carrot creates websites that are friendly for every kind of portable device. They create sleek interfaces that look, as well as operate, with great efficiency on mobile devices and do not waste any load time. The team uses very secure infrastructure for their enterprise applications. They take care that there is no downtime and put a lot of work into maintenance, hosting and recovering.

The websites are equipped with integrated tools like instant text, email and message notifications about leads which make everything possible on the go.

Jumpstart The Online Marketing of your Real Estate Business with Investor Carrot

Investor Carrot provides all kind of marketing strategies to take your website to the top, no matter if you are a new entry in the business or have been here for a while. It has made the lives of so many investors so much easier. Considering that it may sound all technology and marketing to someone coming from a real estate background, it actually provides a hassle-free experience.

If you ever find yourself struggling with the competition, Investor Carrot will help you find more deals with their marketing strategies. Find motivated sellers and buyers off-market with the tools that Investor Carrot has to offer you.

Investor Carrot provides a simple property Listing Engine that helps you sell your properties faster.

You can also build a buyer list with a more powerful cash property. If you are into renting, you can find tenants and fill your rented spaces faster. All of this is done by adding more credibility to your brand which is achieved by strategies created from extensive research.  Could I have done that kind of extensive research on my own? I don’t think I would have the time or that level of deep understanding of what I should be doing, or in which direction I should be headed; so basically, Investor Carrot served to me on a silver platter that helped me grow my online real estate Business and get the right bang for my buck.

Investor Carrot has empowered me with a powerful lead engine page, a website that is fully customizable, responsive and has all the features even on a mobile. It also has capabilities for social media and blogging. And I can’t say enough about the training and support that they provide along the way.  Amazing.

Social Networking and Must Have Apps for your Online Real Estate Business

When it comes to investments, a significant focus area for the millennials is the real estate market. They represent 68 per cent of today’s first-time buyers. When it comes to the generation of millennials, they are the nomads of the digital land and want instant access to everything. Even when it comes to real estate, they want information on the go. That said, it is also a fact that the real estate market has been a little slow in embracing technology.

Until a few years ago, social media did not even exist for real estate agents. But with the entry of millennials, that is no longer an option. The millennials expect everything to have a social media presence. If a business is not on social media, then it practically does not exist for them, neither do they find it credible.

Surveys also show that the significant chunk of the home buyers is the people who are the most active Facebook users. This calls for real estate professionals to give social media some serious thought. Luckily, it isn’t rocket science.

Improve your real estate connections with Connected Investors

There are several social media websites out there. Not everything can work for every kind of business. For example, if your business is in retail fashion, then you probably have no business being on LinkedIn. Connected Investor is a platform that helps you make the right connections in your industry. Needless to say, it is how vital connections are made in the world of real estate.

Without connections, it is like being stranded on a secluded island. Relationships are necessary for your deals to happen. If you want to improve your net worth as a real estate agent, you need to have a robust network. The advantage with Connected Investors is that they provide you with a real estate investing community for each and every city so that you will be able to connect with investors and professionals of your choice.

I have been able to grow my real estate business with Connected Investors who helped me expand my network far beyond what I initially thought was possible. I made connections inside the community and gradually my profits started increasing.

Upscale your real estate investments with Connected Investors

Connected Investors have a crowdfunding portal where you can find investment properties in bulk packages. You can also choose from several local investment properties, making your searches much easier. Just select the ones you need, and you can be done in minutes – no need to search for the right properties for hours – you’ve got it all in front of you.

Apps for Investors

We have a complete app savvy generation today that demands portability. They want access to things on the go, and they want super-fast apps to do the work for them. Connected Investors also offers investment apps that are suitable for mobile as well as desktop use. They are simple to use and help solve many of the problems that a real estate investor encounters.

These apps help them make optimal use of resources. By simplifying their tasks and streamlining their activities, they have now become central to their productivity. The best part is the freedom and the ease of access they bring.

There are several good ones out there – so you may just want to head off to the app store to see which ones you would like – it’s an excellent way to know if there is any new property up for sale in your neighbourhood.

I have no clue how many times I have sat back at my home and let the app do the number crunching for me, find me hot deals, helped me generate leads, raise capital and so much more.

With my life becoming so much easier, I now have the luxury to solve my day-to-day challenges and make money with ease.

It is, in fact, the first app that was built for real estate investors and I have been enjoying it as a complete blessing.

Connected Investors has genuinely come to the aid of real estate investors for raising funding, finding new projects for flip investors and matching us with prospective buyers. In case you are wondering how much you will need to shell out to avail all these features, the answer is that there are no fees nor any commission involved. Just sign up and get connected with potential investors for free.

Making the Right Moves as a Real Estate Investor?

No matter what level of Digital Maturity you and your business are at, I would highly recommend joining Connected Investor for free, build your network and then get access to multiple time-saving Apps as required.

Also for those who like making decisions based on Statistics and Data (like me), I also endorse using Housing Alerts (Free).  Market trends are so volatile and ensuring you understand your markets before you purchase is a high priority requirement.  You need to provide your decisions are calculated, and you minimise your risk position.  It frustrates me when I hear sad news stories, even though I feel for people losing money (and often it’s their life savings), proper Due Diligence is non-negotiable.  Decisions based on facts, not emotions are a must.  Watching the news on TV or getting a tip from friends, is often old information and often is the cause of bad investments.

Both Investor Carrot (Free Resources) and RehabValuator (Free) are great, however, start with the above recommendations and onboard technology when you are ready.  Worried about how you can go about it all? Don’t worry – I can help you.

Your first step is formulating a Digital Transformation Strategy and Plan; the next step is taking action.  I’ve always been a believer of one change a day, keeps the doctor away.

P.s. You might be able to tell I just made that up, however, if you can do one little change a day, after a year you have complete 365 things, that’s a big list to complete in a weekend, however, in bite-size chunks it is very achievable. Like all things in life, consistency is critical, have a plan and stick to it.

It’s time the grab the digital bull by the horns and gets in touch now! Don’t leave it to be long or it will become one of those things you should have done but didn’t. 🙂

 

7 Digital Marketing Tips For a Real Estate Investment Business

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In a world that is continuously going digital, it’s imperative that you reach out to your prospective clients in the most effective way possible.

Like other industries, the real estate sector has not been left out in the digital revolution. Many home buyers are using the internet to gather all the information they need in their house-hunting process.

In fact, a recent study by Google and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that more than 90% of home buyers use the internet as a source of information in the home search process.

The internet has become the definitive research portal for home buyers. Realtors have learned how to leverage the power of digital marketing in their real estate investment business.

One advantage of digital marketing is that the internet provides a platform where you can challenge and compete with the big players in the industry. It gives you a golden opportunity to reach out to clients from all corners of the globe.

As a realtor, when don’t have a robust online presence, you could be missing a large part of your potential customers. In this guideline, we’ll discuss the 7 digital marketing tips for your real estate investment business.

real estate investment business 1The 7 digital marketing tips for your real estate investment business

The first step to succeeding in your digital marketing efforts is to establish an online presence.

Once your site is up and running, you can now implement a marketing strategy that will draw clients to your site. Here’s how you do it.

1. Get a mobile-friendly site

Site responsiveness is a factor that you cannot afford to overlook if you want your website to rank higher in Google search results.

Let’s get to the stats first.

1. Mobile devices account for 66% of email opens, according to a 2014 report by Movable Ink.

2. As of January 2017, Facebook had 1.74 billion mobile monthly active users.

3. Nearly 60% of searches now come from mobile devices.

If that’s not enough to convince you why your site should be mobile friendly, here’s a big one from Google.

In 2015, Google introduced the Mobile friendly ranking algorithm, MobileGeddon that penalised sites that were not mobile friendly and at the same time optimised rankings for sites that were responsive.

In a nutshell, your ability to reach out to prospective buyers and investors hinges on the experience users get from the information displayed on their devices. This experience portrays a positive perception of your real estate investment business.

This means that to deliver your brand message articulately, your site must adapt to the screen size of whatever device it’s viewed from. It should be optimised for all platforms (Android, iOS, Windows) and all devices (smartphones, tablets, PC)

2. Maintain an active blog

‘Content is king’ is a universally accepted principle by all digital marketers. Now that you have some followers, you will need to update your blog regularly to keep them engaged.

Feeding your blog with high-value content and links from reputable sources is a great way to earn an online reputation.

Just like in social media, an active company blog is a great place to communicate with your clients and potential customers. You’ll need to know what customers are saying about your real estate investment business.

By following blog post comments, you can learn a lot and get ideas of what to drop and what to improve. Use your blog to demonstrate your finesse in that field and position yourself as an authority.

Some of the ways to establish brand authority include publishing market reports, updating the blog with industry news and by educating your clients with useful tips and advice.

An email newsletter, for instance, can be a useful tool to get more followers where you’ll be sending monthly or quarterly reports for the real estate industry.

Also, updating the blog with press releases, survey information related to your niche, and company updates are great ways to signal to Google that your site is active – a critical trust factor.

3. Have a social standing

Did you know that in 2015, Facebook influenced 52% of consumers online and offline purchases? Or that around 93% of B2B marketers use social media to optimise their online presence?

No matter what you sell, using social media as your marketing tool can have a positive impact on your real estate investment business.

In addition to conveying your brand’s message, it links back to your site and even shows the number of people reached.

And if you opt to use Facebook paid ads, you can choose a specific geographical location where you want to market your property.

Many realtors who have leveraged the power of social media marketing consider it a ‘real gem’ in the digital marketing world. They know how fast a single social media share can travel around the world and generate results.

Here are some of the benefits that come with social media marketing:

Social marketing Boosts your search engine ranking

Every digital marketer’s goal is to increase their search engine rankings, and your social media presence can contribute to that.

Search engines, Google, in particular, considers a company’s social media presence as one of the ranking determinants.

Though not a weighty determinant, your social media sharing among your followers is a good signal of growth which Google wants to see.

Improved customer service

Whenever customers want to give feedback or air their grievances about a product/service offered, their favourite point of interaction is through social media channels.

If you are not active on social media, your business will miss those conversations which can taint your online reputation.

By following what people are saying about you on social media, you can address those issues and improve your service delivery.

Increased brand recognition

Social media boosts your business recognition to both your existing and prospective clients.

Also, customers who have a good social media experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. Increased brand recognition brings in more prospects who in time convert to customers.

4. Real estate video marketing

Video marketing has undeniably earned a good place in the hearts of marketers. It’s the next big thing in content marketing, and researchers have projected its growth to increase in 2017.

In fact, YouTube is now the second-largest search engine on the web, processing more than 3 billion searches a month.

With that in mind, it goes without saying that you need videos in your content marketing strategy. The very nature of a real estate investment business requires videos to be an integral part of the marketing strategy.

People searching for properties online will want to watch videos to determine whether the price justifies the value. They also need live videos to estimate the size, outdoor space and learn more about the surroundings.

A recent survey by Kissmetrics also observed that more than 80% of home buyers are likely to purchase after watching a video.

Besides, online video marketing is cheaper than TV ad commercials.

5. Participate in forums

One of the easiest ways to create an active online community for your real estate investment business is by answering questions others have asked. Keep a running list of the active question and answer sites and participate regularly.

An essential component of buyer persona entails knowing your audience, even where they hang out after work. If you know, they are always active on Quora, that is where you should direct your real estate expertise.

The more information you can give, (by answering questions in a detailed and professional manner), the more people will view you and your company as a useful and trusted source of information.

You should also make sincere but not spammy interactions on social media, with links pointing back to your site. This way, you will be boosting your site’s visibility and recognition from all fronts.

6. Build your marketing campaign from conversions perspective

Your marketing strategy and campaigns should be built from conversions perspective.

You could have millions of visitors per month, but if you cannot convert them to customers, all your marketing efforts will be for nothing.

The best way to increase conversions is by having a strong call to action in place. If you don’t tell your audience what to do after reading a post, or after watching your brand’s video, they will not make an effort to act further.

Your call to action should be irresistible. The content should also be great to compel your audience to act either in the form of commenting or requesting for more information.

Your landing page should also be honest. It should tell the reader exactly what they’ll get upon hitting the CTA button.

7. Don’t forget offline marketing

A common mistake that marketers make is forgetting to include offline marketing in their content marketing strategy. While online marketing is the key, offline marketing does wonders behind the scenes.

By combining the two and implementing a plan that incorporates both online and offline tactics, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience.

Your real estate investment business needs offline marketing tactics to reach prospects that you can’t contact directly with your on-page marketing methods.

Such tactics include asking for referrals, backing a local charity or organisation, attending conferences and professional events, among others.

For instance, there are commercial real estate events that bring people together to discuss shared interests. By attending such events, you get to share your knowledge, widen your network, and build connections easily.

Summary

Over the years, the real estate market has been growing at a frenetic pace. To remain competitive, you’ll have to implement marketing strategies that align with the ever-changing digital landscape.

These tips will help you stay ahead of the curve in this digital age.

And the good thing; it doesn’t cost you anything if you do it yourself unless you opt to pay for Facebook ads.

Contact me or bookmark this page for more information on how to grow your real estate investment business through digital marketing.

4 Cool Digital Trends for Real Estate Investors

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The future requires us all to adapt.  In the early 20th century, those who did not change to “horseless carriages,” or cars as we know them, were left behind.  Similarly today, businesses that do not adjust to the digital world and follow digital transformation trends will be left behind.  But those who do adapt, they will be the kings of the digital market. They will have the innovative digital tools to improve their processes continuously when others stagnate.

Many factors affect our digital future. We are looking at a generation of employees who never knew life without a computer or smartphone.

This generation will thrive in a telecommuting workforce. Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce. And they will drive innovation as we move forward.

And the pace of technological change hasn’t slowed a bit in the last few years.

While this is all great to keep in mind for any sector of the market, real estate has always been at the forefront of some technological change. And at the same time, this sector was slow to adapt in other areas.

Today, the real estate market is making strides in technological change. And in the next few paragraphs, I’m going to share with you how you can apply digital outsourcing and digital transformation trends to your real estate business.

1. Digital Transformation Trends In Cloud Computing

Did you know it’s possible to move your entire real estate investment firm online?

Imagine that instead of buying software for your local computers, you log-in from anywhere and on any device.

You no longer have to pay for expensive in-house networks or IT professionals to run the tech side of your business.  Essentially the height of digital outsourcing.

By operating remotely, you can reduce or eliminate office space. You no longer need office staff as cloud services can do most of the work for you.

And you may even already be using cloud technologies and not know it.

If you’ve heard of the NetSuite accounting tool, you’re probably already using cloud technology.

But if you haven’t, you could reduce IT costs by 93% if you used a similar cloud software solution for your Real Estate investing firm.

But what are the benefits of adopting cloud technology and software for your firm?

Mobility

Like I said at the beginning of this section, what if you could move your whole firm online?

If your management software is accessible from anywhere, you can be mobile with your business.

And you can use any tech platform that make you comfortable. If that’s a laptop, then you can connect to the cloud from there. If it’s a smartphone or a tablet, you have instant connectivity.

Data-Driven Real Estate Investment

No longer will you say, “I don’t know.” You can have your data when you need it.

Having to wait until you could reach the office slowed you down. And in the real estate business, time is of the essence.

Efficiency

With instant access to data, metrics, construction reports, inventory statistics, rent data, payment data, and marketing information, you will be more efficient.

You can manage multiple transactions and deals at once from anywhere you want.

That’s the power of cloud computing. And that’s why it’s one of the top digital transformation trends on the horizon right now.

2. The Remote Workforce As Digital Outsourcing

As I mentioned earlier, one of the most significant digital transformation trends in real estate is the remote workforce.

When the financial crisis occurred in 2008, many sectors went belly up. But the center of the crisis, the real estate market, eventually took a turn for the better.

But this means that investors are now looking for ways to regain a work-life balance and improve efficiency amidst the chaos.

Enter the remote workforce.

Investors now can outsource a large chunk of their business. This allows time to focus on deals, data, and whatever else matters.

3. Remote Investment As Digital Outsourcing

And working remotely also means being able to invest remotely.

Your reach as a real estate investor doesn’t need to be tied to your current location.

For years, the mantra has been location, location, location. But there are incredible investment opportunities all over the world.

Many investors shy away from foreign investment.

Remotely Investing means having to hire property managers. And this can be risky.

But if you end up with the right team, you’ve made a wise investment. You’ll grow your investment portfolio and increase your returns in that area. Doing this will open up new investment opportunities.

Digital transformation trends such as foreign investment could mean the ability to take advantage of better investments.

While the cost of living might be high where you live and operate, other parts of the world might have lower costs of living.

In essence, your money could go much farther if you invest it in a remote location.

For example, if you’re from Sydney, you could invest in Florida and possibly earn more than if you spent locally.

And if you’re worried about risk, you can rest assured that all the information you need is available through digital technology. If you have the right sources, you can invest securely without fear of a Ponzi scheme ripping you off.

Laissez Faire

Another benefit of remote investing lies in the hands-off approach. When you spend locally, especially as a landlord, you are obligated to perform specific day to day tasks.

Of course, some investors use property management locally for their properties. And this is a wise thing if you have investments in many properties.

But some investors like the hands-on experience. And that’s fine.

If you’re looking for a more straightforward way of investing, however, outsourcing your investments to another location will benefit you in the long run.

Safer Investments

Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket. We’ve heard the phrase a million times, but as investors, we need to take it to heart more often.

Remotely Investing means your whole ship won’t go down if the local market tanks.

Is your local market is rock solid through all ups and downs? If not, you might want to consider remote investing in several other markets to tie up your investments more securely.

4. Digital Transformation Through The Internet Of Things

The internet of things (IoT) is one of the top digital transformation trends on the horizon.

As an investor, the internet of things will help you keep track of your properties.

The internet of things is encouraging a reimagining of the tenant experience.

But wait, what is the internet of things?

It’s mostly a network of smart devices and sensors. It’s a way of gathering data remotely about anything. From foot traffic in a building to lighting patterns and a building’s energy efficiency.

IBM, of course, is at the forefront of this emerging trend.

With their Watson IoT platform is at the forefront of the real estate IoT revolution.

In the future, an investor and landlord will be able to charge a tenant for exactly how the building utilized.

If you are afraid of the laissez-faire nature of remote investing, you can regain control of your property through the magic of IoT. Gain access to a “constellation of data.” It will you about every aspect of a building’s operation.

Energy Efficiency

One of the future digital transformation trends through IoT is in energy efficiency. Imagine a world where the HVAC system you install tells you about problems before they occur.

You’ll save money on significant HVAC overhauls by getting a technician out to your property to fix something before it causes a problem.

Property Conditions

Or the ability to monitor the condition of your property without relying on a management company’s honesty.

Perhaps one day we’ll be able to install wear and tear sensors on a property’s floor. Imagine the cost saving measures you could take when you sit down with a tenant to draw up a contract.

If a property is equipped with smart technology on the IoT, imagine how much easier negotiating a purchase price will be.

While most countries have passed laws protecting real estate buyers, you never know what a property owner might be hiding from you.

And an inspector might not catch everything on one pass through.

With digital transformation trends like IoT, as an investor, you’ll be able to know the integrity of a building before you make an offer.

From the energy efficiency of the building to the condition of its floors, IoT is set to revolutionize the way we invest in properties.

Safety

Safety is the last aspect of these digital transformation trends we know as the Internet of Things.

When lenders invest in a property, they require mountains of information about a property to keep their investment safe.

But when you invest directly in a property, a lot of uncertainty about the safety of your investment could be mitigated by the IoT.

Fire alarms are useless if there’s nobody to hear them.

An early version of the IoT has existed for a while. Fire alert systems packaged into security systems are a type of IoT system.

But the entrance of other technologies strengthens the safety factor through IoT.

digital transformation trendsConclusion: Get An Edge With Digital Transformation Trends

Staying up to date with digital transformation trends will give you an edge over the competition.

Are you looking to make a digital transformation of your real estate investments? Consider building digital equity with Matthew T Barton.

5 Factors to Consider When You Start an Online Real Estate Investment Business

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Interested in starting your own Real Estate Investment Business but not sure where to start?

Starting a real estate investment business requires planning. A successful investment business begins with a solid, well-researched, and well-outlined plan. Think of this plan as the blueprint for your business’ foundation.

Establish this plan before you invest in your first property. Use it until your last. If you do, you’ll reap the many benefits of a successful real estate investment business.

These benefits include numerous tax benefits, great cash flow, and a cushion to any retirement saving.

Owning your own business also means you can ride out a volatile market with ease. But before you do, you should consider a few factors.

This article will go over 5 factors to keep in mind as you begin your online real estate investment business.

real estate investment businessTake Stock of Your Current Position and Save up Funds

Consider your present financial situation. Conduct a credit check on yourself or ask a mortgage advisor for assistance. Determine where your credit falls short.

Correct for any shortcomings before you begin to invest.

Take stock of your down payment sources. Analyze your access to cash, your investments, and equity in any real estate.

This last one is important! Don’t quit your 9 to 5. Consider your employment situation and how it will allow you to borrow.

While you get these things in order, you’ll need to save up enough funds to cover any start-up costs.

Looking for examples of start-up costs? These may include:

  • Cost of renting or buying a space to operate
  • office equipment
  • graphic design including logo
  • website design and hosting
  • insurance costs

You’ll also want to enough funds saved to pay for operations for 3 to 4 months. These include rent, advertising, online fees, utilities, etc.

Beyond your financial position, consider where you stand in the current market. Do you meet your state’s real estate broker’s license?

Most states require completion of an approved course by persons 21 and older. You may also need to practice real estate as a salesperson for two years.

The Legal Aspects of Your Business

As far as the legal set-up of your business, you should create your business as a business. Buying properties in your own name could result in massive failure.

Most real estate investment businesses set up shop as LLCs. LLCs allow you to separate yourself from any liability. This protects your personal property and finances in case of failure.

What are the requirements for LLCs?

Typical requirements include:

  1. filing articles of incorporation with a state agency
  2. maintain a business in good standing

Next, you’ll need to secure proper insurance. Insurance protects your business from litigation. You’ll want rock-solid insurance that includes explicit sections about what the insurance covers and what the renter is responsible for.

Even if your investment is short-term do not skimp on insurance. Even an instance of black mould could set you astray.

Once you’ve considered your financial position and the basic logistics of running your business, it’s time to start planning the less tangible parts of your business blueprint.

Define Your Value Proposition and Your Ideal Client

Your Value Proposition

Real estate, like many other industries, is saturated with competition.

Most of your competition believes that price is the cornerstone of competition. This is incorrect.

Instead, you need to determine why you’re different. What makes your real estate investment business stand out from the crowd?

Competing based on price is distracting and easy. Competing on a unique value proposition that no other business can execute is the more beneficial choice.

Is your service unique? Do you deliver and communicate your service in a unique way?

A great way to begin determining how you stand out is to make a list of your skills. What do you do well? What can you improve on?

These answers will help narrow down why your business is unique.

Once you determine how you’re different, use this value proposition to define your ideal client (your target audience).

Your Ideal Client

You cannot cater to every single type of buyer. Determine the kind of client you want to work with. Determine the type of client attracted to your unique value proposition.

Knowing this information, you won’t waste valuable time and resources on clients unlikely to do business with you.

Many real estate investment business owners start by defining the type of client they don’t want to attract. What kind of buyer will drain your resources?

Answer this question to work your way toward your ideal client.

Next, with your target client in mind, you can craft a personalized marketing message.

Build An Effective Marketing Message and Follow Through

You’ll need to fine-tune your marketing efforts to appeal to your target market or ideal client. You’ll also need an appropriate marketing budget. Do not cut your marketing budget short.

Do not make the mistake of using a broad or general approach. Casting a wide net results in more work and more costs for you. You’ll need to spend more time and money wading through false leads.

Determine how you can communicate your unique value proposition to your ideal client. Do so in a manner that makes them want to do business with your company.

Of course, this process involves trial and error. You’ll need to edit and rework your marketing message and efforts as you find out what works and what does not.

Remember to ensure that all marketing material fits the message and impression you want to convey to potential clients.

They might not choose to do business with you but you’ll want them to regard you with positivity in any case.

Deliver on your marketing message. Shortcuts will cause your failure. Do not copy someone else’s marketing message or methods.

Make good on your promises to clients. Your real estate investment business will reap the benefits.

Implement Your Plan

If you plan to manage a group of people, remember that hiring the right people will make or break your business.

Your employees need to believe in your mission and work to achieve it.

Next, work to pre-position yourself for investing in properties beyond your first.

Refinance equity in your primary residence to include a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) with a re-advanceable line of credit. Your credit limit increases as you pay down your mortgage principle.

Buy properties with good cash flow. Once you exceed five properties, your Debt Service Ratio cash flow determines your eligibility to borrow additional money. Buying the right properties will put you in a great position to avoid any obstacles in the future.

Beyond buying, set up a well-designed website.

Four out of five home shoppers begin their search online. This makes your website a crucial tool toward reaching clients.

Your website will provide the first impression for many clients. A website designed without your consumer in mind will turn people away. Choose a reliable web hosting service.

You can transform your business by using digital tools. Online equity is as crucial as financial equity to your business.

Plan For The Future

This might sound cliche, but planning for the future of your real estate investment business is paramount for your sustained success.

Consider refinancing before your fifth purchase. As you approach your fifth investment, review your portfolio for equity. Include your residence as part of this review.

Attempt to increase your Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC).

Refinancing will provide access to more cash. Once you surpass five properties, this option may disappear.

Take stock of your amortizations. Amortisation is the process of paying debt with a fixed repayment schedule of regular installments. Examples include your mortgage or car loan.

In some cases, you can get 35-year amortizations.

Keep thorough financial records. Your mortgage records should include:

  • all leases (keep these up to date)
  • statements of net worth
  • proof of income
  • property tax records
  • mortgage statements
  • identification

Set goals. Think about your long-term revenue targets. Determine your end-game.

A Successful Real Estate Investment Business Is Possible

We know that starting a new business can seem overwhelming. But you can create a successful real estate investment business.

The key is to define your strategy and make an in-depth blueprint for how you want your company to operate. This strategy requires financial planning, legal set-up, defining your value proposition and ideal client, and planning for your future.

None of these steps are more important than the others.

Remember that this blueprint will need adjustment. As you engage with clients you’ll learn what works for your ideal client and what does not.

There is no shame in fine-tuning any part of your strategy. Running a successful business is a learning experience.

Before you begin this planning phase, ask yourself why you want to start a real estate investment business. What kind of lifestyle do you want to live? This will dictate the kind of real estate investment business you create.

These 5 factors will help you move forward in your business plan and operation. If you want to learn more about transforming your real estate investment business using digital, contact me today!

6 Fundamentals of Real Estate Investing

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So you’ve decided to start investing in real estate. Congratulations. You’ve chosen one of the most complicated (but potentially most rewarding) investment fields.

Getting started in real estate investment can be a complicated proposition. There’s legalities to think about as well as hefty financial obligations. It’s not an endeavor for the faint of heart.

But for those exceptional individuals who can take the heat, real estate investment can be a gold mine.

So, what property investment strategies do you need to know before getting started?

Honestly, that’s too long an answer for any one blog post. Instead, I’m going to give you a few key property investment strategies to help you get started.

What these six tips will do is help you lay a solid foundation on which to build your real estate empire.

property investment strategiesThe 6 Basic Property Investment Strategies

A lot of you are probably reading this blog hoping for specific tips for the best properties and deals, and don’t worry, that’ll come eventually.

But today, we’ve got to lay the groundwork. You can buy the most amazing property out there, but if you haven’t done the legwork to back it up, the whole thing will crumble.

So what do you need to do to build a solid foundation?

1. Keep Looking Ahead

The real estate market isn’t static. Nor is it even consistent from location to location.

For instance, at the writing of this post, in May 2017, the housing market in Madison, WI is exploding. We’re talking million dollar homes selling in two days, twenty offers on starter homes, tens of thousands above asking price.

Contrast that with the nation at large, which is seeing a slight slowdown in terms of residential real estate.

Will those two trends continue? Maybe. Maybe not.

Part of your job as a real estate investor is to keep an eye on the markets and past trends and make predictions about what is coming.

You can’t do this with 100% accuracy, of course, but you’ll find that the longer you stay in the business, the easier it is to predict what is coming next and adjust to it.

There are no property investment strategies that will help you more than this one.

Keep in mind, too, that your goals have to mirror the market. They can’t be static.

As the markets change, your goals will have to change too. Learn to be fluid as you look at the future of real estate so that you are ready to take the opportunities that come at you and make wise choices about where to invest your capital.

This doesn’t mean that you should have no goals at all and simply invest your money wherever the spirit leads you.

Establish goals each year, but be willing to change your property investment strategies if you find they are no longer serving you.

2. Maintain an Online Presence

This really should go without saying. In real estate investing, you are your brand, and your brand is nothing without the power of the Internet behind it.

People are using the Internet to do everything from watch cat videos to deciding who to work with when it comes to investing.

You must use this to your advantage.

Pick a social media site or two. Facebook and Twitter are old standbys, although Instagram works great for real estate investing as well, and Linkedin is great for networking with other professionals.

Whatever you decide to use, maintain an active presence on that platform. Learn to use the platform effectively and make sure you keep your audience (which is just fancy social media talk for client base) engaged.

Beyond social media, build your website, your blog, and your email list. This online presence is going to make your business more searchable, driving traffic and a potential client base.

This is one of those property investment strategies that sounds ridiculous until you actually do it. And don’t get me wrong, there will be times when you are updating your Facebook account and thinking “How can this be helping my business?”

The truth is though, every update, every tweet is getting your name in front of an audience. It’s building name recognition and helping build that client base.

3. Maintain an Offline Presence

Yea, you still have to do this. Social media is a vital part of marketing, but real estate is still a largely face-to-face game.

Make sure you are getting out and networking in person, attending investment events and getting to know your peers in the field. Not just peers, either, but investors and potential clients as well.

Again, this is building brand recognition and getting your name in front of people who matter.

And in a business that is moving huge amounts of money around, you want to be well-connected. That social currency opens doors that might otherwise be closed and helps you achieve your goals in the investment world.

An important note here: Your online and offline presence are separate entities, but your brand has to remain consistent. All the property investment strategies in the world are useless is you can’t present a consistent brand to your client base.

Chances are, people who meet you in person will take a look at your social media accounts. Who you are in person should mirror who you are online. Always stay on-brand when you are on the job.

4. Develop a Buying Strategy

When you’re talking about the kind of capital it takes to invest in real estate, the last thing you want is to be throwing money at every property that comes your way.

Unless that’s your strategy. It’s not a very good one, but hey, more power to you.

The point here is that you have to have property investment strategies that are unique to your business.

When we’re talking property investment strategies, this is what we’re talking about. As you are getting your feet wet in the business, you have to think hard about how you’ll determine what is worth your time and money, and what isn’t.

Once you have a general idea, make sure you have your plan written down as a legitimate policy. This makes it part of your brand and holds you to your own standards.

Buying property is a waiting game a lot of the time. Having a well-thought-out strategy is going to give you the patience to wait during those times when you really want to jump on something but wisdom tells you to wait it out.

It will also give you the confidence to know when it’s time to throw caution to the wind a bit and make a quick, but lucrative, buy.

5. Work on Your Personality

I mean, I’m sure your personality is fine.

But real estate is a face-to-face industry. It’s vital to identify the weak points in your public persona so that you can present the best possible face to your clients and peers.

Even if you are an introvert — actually, especially if you are an introvert — you have to be ready to cultivate the kind of personality it takes to win in real estate.

You’re going to be meeting people constantly, shaking a lot of hands, smiling at a lot of people, and making a lot of small talk.

You have to get good at those things. It was Maya Angelou who said that “They won’t remember what you said, they’ll remember how you made them feel”.

That’s true here.

Every word you say is unlikely to be remembered by each person you meet, but confidence, a friendly demeanor, and ambitious attitude will make a mark. People will remember ‘that guy’ at the party.

Which is exactly what you want.

6. Continue Growing

Remember what we said about the real estate market not being static?

Well, you shouldn’t be either. A property investment career is not meant to be maintained, but constantly fed and nourished, so that it will continue to grow.

The market changes constantly, audiences change, and the world changes. Processes of doing business will change, and you have to be able to keep up.

Attending conferences and continuing your education will give you an edge in this business and prepare you to meet the challenges of building a successful real estate investing business.

Use networking to your advantage here. There is always someone who has been in the business longer than you. You can learn from the successes (and failures) of these real estate veterans.

Never, ever assume you’ve arrived or that you’ve figured out everything there is to know. The market is in constant flux, and you have to change and grow with it.

Getting into the real estate investment business is daunting. It is far from a simple industry, and it is fraught with risk.

For those who are up for the challenge though, it can be a lucrative path.

Build yourself a solid foundation using these property investment strategies, and you will be on your way to a building a successful real estate empire.

For more information on property investment strategies and how you can build your business, Contact us today!

10 Trends to Nail Digital Transformation

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Are you a real estate investor who wants to transform your professional life? You can change your future through digital outsourcing and digital transformation.

The tech markets have been moving in different directions in recent years.

This is why you may need to better understand the trends in digital outsourcing. A Deloitte study found that outsourcing has been growing fast. 35 percent of survey takers are measuring the value of innovation. Survey takers measured this in their outsourced partnerships.

You’ll need to stay up to date with digital outsourcing trends due to the significant growth. Keep reading to learn about the top 12 trends for digital outsourcing. Let’s get right into it!

The U.S. Presidential Election and Brexit Will Impact The Markets

Information technology and digital outsourcing will be changing course. This is due to Donald Trump winning the US presidency. Also, the United Kingdom exiting the European currency has affected digital outsourcing.

This is part of a much broader problem that we’ve seen in the world, in which countries are turning inwards and reacting against globalization and open borders,” Richard Aboulafia, vice president of Virginia-based Teal Group, told Fortune.

Companies have been rethinking what they plan to do for outsourcing. The Trump Administration has a general stance against global trade. Also, Brexit has a real impact on the economy in the UK.

The policies of both the United States and Britain will likely change in the coming years. This will have a strong impact on digital outsourcing.

Companies will need to renegotiate their contracts. They’ll have to decide on what’s best for them going forward.

We have seen a large section of the population that has not benefited in the past decade and we are seeing support for populist politicians with simple answers. Unfortunately, a lot of those answers are for protectionist policy solutions and air transport flourishes with open borders,” Brian Pearce, chief economist of the International Air Transport Association, told Reuters.

More jobs may stay within the countries instead of moving outside the country.  There’s only one thing we know for sure. The Trump presidency and Brexit will play a big role in digital transformation.

digital outsourcing 2Companies Will Have to Step Up Their Security Game

Data breaches were growing in 2016. IT departments are likely to step up their game and secure data in better ways.

In fact, big data has been growing over the last several years. This further amplifies the need for safety and security.

Digital outsourcing has changed due to changing company needs. The infrastructure and data delivery will have to change as well. This may cause more security concerns.

Companies are likely to improve their security infrastructure. This is because of greater awareness of data breaches.

Automation and data analytics solutions are likely to grow in demand. Vendors will start popping up to deliver key security products and services.

Artificial Intelligence Will Play a Role in Digital Outsourcing

Before you know it, the world will change. Robots and artificial intelligence will start taking up some key automation jobs.

This could happen in companies around the world.  Businesses will begin outsourcing jobs to artificial intelligence automation software and robotics.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence can decrease costs for businesses in any industry. Automation can help standardize processes and offer benefits to both suppliers and customers.

Artificial intelligence may lead company leaders to begin renegotiating outsourcing contracts. Automation will play a key role in changing trends in digital outsourcing.

The Customer Service Call Center Will Continue to Decline

The customer service call center used to be a major part of outsourcing in earlier years. This has changed due to new communication channels.

Self-servicing tools and intelligent virtual assistants are replacing customer service call centers. Today, you can go on plenty of websites and a virtual assistant will pop up to offer feedback.

These virtual assistants have overtaken the role of the call center. They are now answering customers’ questions online.

Expectations for the Cloud are Growing

The early popularity of the Cloud is wearing off and users are looking for more than the basics. Cloud software and products will need to grow capabilities to meet greater expectations.

Consumers and businesses expect more from cloud computing.

Cloud vendors will need to adapt. Customers have become more knowledgeable and no longer want the least. Both home-based and outsourced vendors will need to expand the Cloud experience.

Different expectations for the Cloud will become a new trend in the digital market.

Growth in Consolidation Expected for the Digital Market

Many factors will shake up digital outsourcing. This includes policy changes, growth in automation and data security awareness. These factors will also stimulate companies to merge.

Mergers and acquisitions may grow for the digital market in the coming years. Expect to see spin-offs in the IT and digital technology world.

Business owners will create new structures to improve working relations with partners. Outsourcing partners will need to have stronger communication channels and solutions.

Some vendors may not be able to handle the changes coming their way. The ones who are flexible will have greater success. The ones ready to move right alongside the new policies will succeed.

Smaller companies will begin to merge within the digital industries. This will keep costs down and help them manage better in the fluctuating market.

Offshore Companies Change Their Strategy Plan

Growth in digital outsourcing will likely dwindle with offshore companies. This will change their strategies to remain in business.

The new presidential administration in the United States will change digital outsourcing. Brexit will also have an effect. The rise in automation will also make an impact.

Yet, offshore providers have also had to manage currency exchange issues.

There has been greater pressure on offshore companies to reduce their costs. As such, greater staff downsizing has been taking place at offshore companies.

“We’re entering into a new phase of workers who have a reasonable amount of technical savviness. That’s the first thing that’s causing trends that more work will be done in-house.”

“At the IT level, [in-house personnel] don’t have to be superstar developers – you can give them one of these low code products and make them productive,” Richard Rabins, CEO of app development provider Alpha Software, told the publication Enterprise Apps Tech.

Things will definitely be changing for offshore companies. The new trends in outsourcing will have a big effect.

Outcome-based Services Will Grow in Demand

The outsourcing market will focus more on providing positive outcomes for their consumers. They won’t be able to only provide a service and receiving payment.

Outcome-based pricing will become more imperative for the digital industry. This pricing is due to the capabilities of cloud computing.

Clients are more interested in obtaining more managed services and outcomes-based management. Everyone is looking for results instead of chugging along in their relevant industry.

Outcome-based services will become a key tenet of outsourcing in today’s digital market.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Trends Expand

More people are searching for companies that allow them to use their own digital devices. Employees want to use their own laptops, tablets, and smartphones to work on.

A Unisys survey of more than 500 workers shows that 36 percent prefer to use their own devices. These workers want to use personal computers at work instead of the ones provided.

This Bring Your Own Device or BYOD trend may grow in the coming years.

More companies are offering employees the chance to bring in their own devices. Outsourcing businesses will need to consider how to put in place BYOD strategies.

Digital Transformation Impacts Traditional Outsourcing Market

Both IT and BPO buyers are moving toward as-a-service offerings. They are moving away from the more traditional outsourcing applications. This is due to digital transformation developments, according to CIO.

They are compelled to connect their legacy systems with the digital operating models required to meet the needs of their customers. The current market environment is one in which speed, mobility, productivity, innovation, and intelligence are all interwoven and necessary for survival,” President of North EMEA and Asia for ISG John Keppel told CIO.

Over nine months, the traditional outsourcing market has produced less than $6 billion. This is a decline from prior years.

The traditional outsourcing market is in a decline. Yet, digital transformation is leading more buyers to look at as-a-service offerings.

Outsourcing Partnerships are Growing in Complexity

More and more companies are expecting more from outsourced partnerships. Business owners see that these partnerships can become much more than a simple way to cut costs.

Outsourced partnerships due more than help cut costs from hiring more workers.

Digital transformation programs are bringing more capabilities for businesses. This, in turn, is creating more complex and reliant outsourced partnerships.

Much more collaboration is taking place between offshore companies and local businesses.

The business environment is a lot more complex and dynamic than 20 years ago, and time to market is important since even a 6-month lead can give you a competitive advantage,” Leon Coetzer, redPanda Software Chief Operating Officer, told MyBroadBand.

These outsourcing partnerships are becoming more complex due to digital transformation trends.

Conclusion:

Have you seen any other trends in digital outsourcing? If so, let us know in the comments below!

If you have any questions about digital transformation, please contact me here.

Your Time is Valuable, Let’s Get Digital!

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When running a small to medium sized business, information is power. If you plan on investing in real estate, it can enable you and your team to provide excellent service and make smart decisions.

Real estate is a competitive market, in which even minimal advantages can separate you from the pack.

As someone who wants to travel the world and experience all that life has to offer, I have found that real estate is the perfect opportunity for me. It allows me to grow wealth from anywhere.

I love this business. It would be easy for me to sit back, make money, and call it a life, but that’s not how it works when you love something.

Love means giving, and I want to give back to this industry. I’d like to help teach you how to transform your future using this information.

With my years of experience in the real estate business, I can speak first hand to the importance of IT in creating small business opportunities.

IT can be a powerful tool for your company. When used efficiently and combined with the other aspects of your business, it can help your team make better informed decisions and help you work smarter.

If you are interested in making your business stronger, let’s talk about IT and how adding it to your playbook can help create small business opportunities.

What is IT?

To put it simply, Information Technology is using computers in order to store, study, and manipulate information.

It’s what a business looks at when determining who their customers are, the best way to reach out to them, and what type of product they are wanting.

It is a function that helps to meet your company’s goals.

For real estate investors specifically, it allows us to see what similar houses are selling for, whether or not a particular area has a population growth or decline, the types of customers looking to move to a certain area and more.

In other words, it helps us to make a decision on whether an investment in small business opportunities is a good idea or bad.

A lot of people who are new to the business will find a house that is selling for cheap and decide to dive in. This can be bad without having proper data. There is normally a reason that a house is selling well below market value.

Maybe the neighbourhood has undergone a massive decline.

The house might have severe problems.

Having a proper IT structure in place can help see problems as well as potential. Small business opportunities are reliant upon informed decisions.

These decisions should be driven by facts, no matter how good your gut instinct might be.

IT isn’t the end all be all of making decisions, but it is a tool that can make your team better.

Team Involvement is Important

I would love to tell you that I’ve never made a bad decision, but it would be wrong. We all have “followed our gut” on small business opportunities and regretted it later at some point.

One of the best things about using IT to create small business opportunities is that it can be set up to increase team involvement. Imagine having multiple people that you trust looking at the same data you see.

This can help to ensure that your decisions are made after all information is evaluated. Having multiple sets of eyes on data can lead to multiple perspectives.

Your team might see something that you don’t or vice versa. Data can often be interpreted in many different ways. IT helps make sure that your interpretation can withstand healthy scrutiny, making your decisions smarter.

It also helps your team feel as if they a part of the decision-making process, and that their input is valuable. Small to medium businesses that have team involvement almost always perform better.

If your team feels valued, they will stay longer and will not be afraid to come to you with ideas. IT helps with more than just data. It helps to build a solid foundation for your company.

Your team will only be as good as the data it looks at, however. Luckily for you, I can help you find the information you need about your customers. The best part is that it’s cheap and easy.

Social Media Builds Small Business Opportunities

Just about everyone has a Facebook. Almost every customer that you have had or will have has a profile on their page. This is a very good thing for your business.

According to studies, 71% of people are likely to buy an item or service because of social media referrals. With Facebook being the king of social media, your company almost has to have a Facebook page.

This can help in two ways: First, it makes you look more legitimate. With social media taking over our lives, people or companies without a profile can seem as if they have something to hide.

There is also a natural distrust of businesses. This might seem unfair, but think about it; would you rather give your money to a company or a person?

Being likable is important on social media. People will use companies if they like the people behind it and will stay away from them if they don’t. If you can get customers to like you, half the battle is won.

You can also use these new connections to help with your IT development. By getting positive reviews from people that you work with or that use your service, it will get other people to check your profile out.

If you can get them to go from your profile to your website, you can get them to fill out a small form telling you a little about themselves, and sign up for a newsletter of some sort.

This will enable you to get more information from people and cater your business towards them, creating more small business opportunities.

If you are a real estate investor, this will help you garner small business opportunities in other ways. You will be able to see what houses are on the market, as many people use Facebook to advertise.

You can build relationships with others that are in the business of selling houses to yourself and can advertise that you are always looking for a good investment opportunity.

More importantly, you can build the brand of you.

If someone has a good experience selling you a home, ask them to write something positive for you and tell their friends. Before long, you will have people approaching you about investment opportunities.

small business opportunitiesYour Time is Valuable Too!

If you are like me and want to travel the world or hit the ski slopes instead of sitting at a desk all day, you understand the value of managing your time as well as your money.

This is easier to do than most people realise. The first thing you’ll want to do is set up an electronic based client file. This will put all of the information you need about someone right in the palm of your hand.

Utilise scheduling software so that if you need to be somewhere to see a house, you’ll get a notification on your smartphone instead of having to thumb through an outdated appointment book.

If you link the two, you can have all of the data at your disposal in real time. Instead of having to spend two hours before arriving at a house you might purchase studying, you can pull up the data on your phone then and there.

This will help your negotiation of pricing as well. Instead of letting someone tell you that 150k for a house is a good price in that neighbourhood, you can instantly pull up the data that says it’s too much to pay.

This will often lead to the other party having to negotiate then and there; creating better deals for you.

If you are going to be in a neighbourhood that you normally don’t do business in, you can also use data that you have collected to see whether you should do a quick search for a potential deal.

You can create small business opportunities for yourself no matter where you are, as long as you have the right tools at your disposal.

The best part of properly setting up IT for your business is that it’s not only rather affordable but will almost guarantee you an excellent ROI. It makes your company smarter, quicker, and better able to respond to customers.

The real estate market might seem like it changes daily, but you can always stay ahead of the curve by gathering the data you need and using it effectively.

Small business opportunities don’t create themselves. You have to go out and make them.

You will know beforehand where to look for an investment. You’ll be able to stay ahead of any market bubbles. You’ll be able to think long term instead of settling for what keeps you afloat now.

Get Ready to Work

Of course, it won’t be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is. IT doesn’t mean that you won’t have to work hard. It means that you will be able to enjoy more reward for your work.

With IT, a solid team, and a strong work ethic, there’s nothing that you can’t accomplish in real estate investing.

If you are willing to do whatever it takes to find and capitalise on small business opportunities, you should read my other blogs or contact me with any questions you may have or comments.

I’m always looking for like-minded people, so always feel welcome to say hello.