Go Green, Save Green: 3 Easy Ways Real Estate Agents Can Save Money Going Green

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Innovative real estate agents are realizing that going green doesn't just help the environment - it can dramatically lower the costs of doing business in the paper intensive real estate industry. Below are three simple ways savvy agents are using to save money right now.

It was a miserably rainy Friday afternoon that finally pushed Alfie LaPeter, a Boise, Idaho real estate agent, over the edge. As he pulled out a clump of soggy property flyers from his leaking flyer box, he knew there must be a better way. His new, paperless solution is just one of several simple ways real estate agents are saving green by going green, and part of a larger trend reshaping the real estate industry.

Instead of paper flyers, he now uses a product he co-developed called Agent Text ( http://www.AgentText.com ), which lets buyers text a special code for more listing information, including pricing, details, photos and more. In short, everything on a paper flyer delivered over the phone. “Compared to the gas and paper I was wasting, it’s a no-brainer,” Alfie says. “Not to mention how impressed my sellers are when I mention it at listing presentations”. Nearly half a dozen other companies provide a similar service, which saves paper, gas, and the environment while saving agents money and time.

Green Tip #1: Switch From Paper Flyers To Text Messages

The concept is simple: a potential buyer texts a special code listed on the real estate sign. Within seconds, they’re receive a text message back with information about the property, plus a link to a mobile website with photos. Everything happens automatically, with nothing for a real estate agent to maintain or refill. More details can be found at the http://www.AgentText.com website. To celebrate their launch, they're temporarily offering substantial discounts on pricing.

Green Tip #2: Put Property Disclosures Online Instead Of Printing Them

Anyone who’s ever purchased a house knows how much paperwork is involved. Busy agents are nearly drowning in disclosures, contracts, and notices that add up to hundreds of pages per transaction. And multiple offers means printing multiple sets of disclosures. Instead of giving potential buyers a paper copy, upload them to a free online disclosure service like Full Disclosure (http://www.getfulldisclosure.com) and buyers and their agents can download them or view online. It’s as simple as emailing them a link.

Green Tip #3: Skip The Postcard, Hop On Facebook and Craigslist Instead

Online marketing is not only greener and less expensive than direct mail, it’s becoming more and more effective. Savvy agents are now starting their online marketing with a service such as My Virtual Tour ( http://www.my-virtual-tour.com ), which acts as an online “hub” for your listing. You add your listing photos and details, then it broadcasts it out to major real estate search engines and creates easy templates for posting to Facebook and Craigslist. If an agent can copy and paste, then they can master online marketing with systems like these.

These are just a few of the ways real estate agents can help the environment and their checkbook at the same time. There’s no need to invest in complex technologies that may take years to pay off; now all it takes is a few minutes of effort for agents to start seeing immediate savings, not to mention the environmental benefits. And in this economy, who wouldn’t mind seeing a little extra green?

About Agent Zen

Agent Zen, LLC is a new company devoted to creating simple, environmentally friendly web and mobile applications that make life easier for real estate agents.

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Michael LaPeter
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