Whether you’re a late adopter or a creature of habit, conducting business the same way just because that’s how you’ve always done it comes with a price.
While doing-it-yourself may work well up to a point, not adopting certain digital tools can end up costing your business money by making you appear behind the times. This is especially true when compared to other estate sale companies willing to adapt to changing technology.
Whether your business is a two-person mom and pop operation, or a large team with several estate sale employees, one thing is certain: buyers want speed and convenience when they’re shopping.
To stay relevant, it’s important to keep up with the latest tech tools. While a pen and paper might seem fine for now, digitizing is more efficient and keeps better records. Plus, it sends the message to customers (and your employees) that you’re serious about your business.
The good news is, there’s a reason these apps and devices are called “tools” – they essentially do the job for you, making your life easier.
Trust us. A few hours spent up front installing and learning how to use these tools can save hours of work in the future.
Estate Sale Company Essentials
While you don’t need all three of these devices, some combination of them gives you the greatest flexibility.
Smartphones, either iPhone or Android, really are must-haves for estate sale professionals. If you’re still using a flip phone, it’s time to upgrade! Besides phone/video calls, you can use your smartphone to check email from leads and clients, update social media accounts, and take great estate sales photos.
Get online to get answers for appraisal questions and comps. Download the Google Maps app to find clients’ houses. And those are just the basics!
Your smartphone will soon become another arm of your business, so definitely make the switch if you haven’t already.
Get all the advantages of a smartphone (minus the ability to make calls) with a bigger, easy-to-read screen that’s great for older eyes. You can also use it at your sales to let customers sign up for your email list via a digital form like the one Estatesales.org provides here:
You may think every house has wi-fi, but you’d be surprised. Especially when estates are in the middle of moving, counting on Internet service is iffy. Better to come prepared with your own mobile hot spot so you can have Internet service wherever, whenever. Contact your cell phone provider for options.
If you’re still figuring out how to pay your employees using a spreadsheet, or worse – pencil and paper – stop it! The industry standard is digital, and a little time spent learning the program up front will save you lots of wasted hours later. Plus automation and accuracy go a long way when it comes to handling taxes and people’s pay checks. Here are a few programs estate sale companies like to use.
- Intuit Quickbooks
While some estate sale liquidators swear up and down that taking cash-only doesn’t affect their sales, many companies find sales go way up after using apps and devices that make electronic payments possible. The truth is, we live in a cashless society and many buyers find it an inconvenience to be forced to pay cash – and checks are too risky to count on.
Eliminate any inconveniences by accepting credit or debit cards. Don’t worry. Fees are usually minimal and you’ll make it up with the sales you no longer have to turn away.
The following services can be used with your smart phone or tablet.
- QuickBooks GoPayment
- Bank of America’s Clover Go
- Paypal Here
Bulk Email Services
The success of your estate sale company depends largely on the size of your email subscribers list. This is a direct channel to your customers and an easy way to communicate with a captive audience – one that signed up especially to hear from you. Even if you don’t have a lot of email addresses yet, you’re on the road to building your list to become a big marketing avenue for your business.
However, when your list is substantial enough, your Gmail or Yahoo account will no longer cut it. You’ll want to sign up with a bulk email service that can send to several hundred people at once, plus offer features that will help you tweak your email marketing strategy so it reaches the right people at the right time.
Check out these services for easy-to-use bulk newsletters:
- Constant Contact
- EstateSales.org’s Integrated Email Service
EstateSales.org’s service sends slick email newsletters with photos and sale details to bulk emails. It can also grow your email list while you sleep as traffic is driven to your sales pages, where they can sign-up. This service also allows you to keep complete control over your subscriber list.
Social Media Management
The larger your online presence gets, or as the number of accounts you manage grow, you’ll want to automate as much of it as you can. A little time spent planning ahead, either by scheduling posts or uploading them in bulk can mean a lot of time saved on the back-end later. As an estate sale company your time is money, so the most you can save can end up a profit.
Plus you’ll get access to data analytics so you can see which posts are performing in order to post more of what people like.
- Sprout Social
Online Auction Software
More and more buyers are expecting to be able to bid and buy online. It’s also known there are several benefits to online auctions, like being able to make the most on your item and forgoing security issues or overhead costs. These are a few tried and true platforms for selling by online auction.
- Xpert Online Auctions
- EstateSales.org (Coming soon!)
Which tech tools do you use to help your estate sale business run more efficiently? Let us know in the comments below!