Whether interfacing with home buyers or sellers, most real estate agents are accustomed to taking a proactive, entrepreneurial approach to their business. It’s just part of the job. However, no matter how much of a self-starter you may be, continuously marketing your brand and building out your client database can feel time-intensive and segmented. Activities like organizing client lists, keeping track of correspondence (like emails, phone calls and social media tags,) and compiling available listings can feel never-ending.
Often agents may look to the newest technology trend or solution as an easy and quick fix to broaden their customer base and revamp their digital marketing strategies. This is especially true now as COVID has pushed more real estate activities online, like virtual open houses, 3-D floor plans and ad-hoc FaceTime calls to see new properties. While it’s always beneficial to stay informed of the latest technologies, a more savvy agent will look into using the right technology solution to best meet his or her needs.
And more agents are finding marketing automation software helps them streamline and simplify their various online marketing and communication efforts into a more holistic approach that increases efficiency and ROI. It also helps save time by reducing energy spent toward tedious, manual activities that can become a major timesuck. Below are some quick best practices around leveraging automation software to help shift your business model toward growth and broadening your client base.
First to respond gets the worm (or the lead.)
In such a competitive and fast-paced industry as real estate, being the first is imperative. Automation can help position you to be the first to respond to interested buyers on a property. Savvy real estate agents are now using automation to quickly respond in personalized ways to incoming lead inquiries from interested buyers. For example, online tools like Parsey.com are particularly helpful when an incoming Zillow lead hits your inbox and you want to be the first to respond. It allows you to reply immediately to an email or text and also easily integrates with CRM platforms. Another benefit of a tool like Parsey is that it enables realtors to easily merge property details (like the address or zip code) within their messaging to an interested buyer. These introductory emails or texts begin the conversation, but it will then be up to you to close the deal.
Streamline and modernize client follow ups through SMS campaigns
Client follow ups are an incremental part of building out one’s contact database and strengthening new relationships. However it can be tedious and time-intensive. Help free up your time and sharpen your follow up process by automating your communication with interested home buyers and existing clients. Realtors can take a more modern, real-time approach to client follow ups by implementing SMS campaigns, where they can schedule automatic text messages directly to contacts and then schedule ongoing reminder texts. Using SMS helps to directly interact with contacts on their preferred form of communication — their phone. It can also help reduce missed showings or no-shows for open houses. Automated SMS blasts empowers real estate agents to streamline their follow up process so they can put more focus on other parts of business like nurturing client relationships and closing deals.
If you don’t use it, you lose it
When you purchase a monthly gym membership and then don’t show up every day to that gym to work out, you’re not going to get stronger. You’re also not using that monthly gym membership to its full potential. Today’s agents should treat their marketing and software investments the same way. By using one’s automation software daily and executing it with diligence, an agent will start to realize the significant benefits of such technology and help move his or her business toward functioning like a well-oiled machine. And it’s important to not be afraid to get your hands dirty but also recognize your comfort-level with automation. If you aren’t able to manage the software on a daily basis, recognize you may need to hire someone temporarily (who is adept or willing to learn) to get the software up and running. Once it’s running and if you still need guidance, look into getting additional training. Many automation tools provide training to customers so they can get the best ROI from their software.
Be a part of the conversation
Currently, there are so many social media platforms out there for potential buyers to learn about new and upcoming popular properties. Now more than ever it’s important as an agent to create your own individual brand on social media and ensure that your online brand is compelling, consistent and credible. And as crowded as social media platforms are right now with businesses using them as direct channels to market to customers, it’s important to ensure your posts are creative and informational, but not overly self-serving.
For example, is there a way to creatively tell a story about the last house you sold using an animation and voiceover? Or can you start to comment on famous real estate Tik Tok accounts and add to the conversation within the comments section? Always be part of the conversation within social media, and inject your expertise and value. Automation can help you do this more easily and consistently by helping to schedule social media activities like posts or uploading engaging content and photos of properties. Social media enables your contacts to have real-time access to new properties and so it is important to have timely, relevant posts.
Generate buzz for upcoming property showings (whether virtual or in-person)
COVID has changed how agents interact with their clients and incoming leads, with some in-person activities shifting toward virtual. This has been a challenge for an industry that has heavily relied on in-person events to create relationships and garner interest in properties. One of the most popular in-person activities is house showings. However, agents may worry that virtual showings will not have the same impact or “high attendance” as an in-person showing, and even result in no-shows. To counter this, agents can use automation to easily build up buzz and interest among contacts prior to the showing. Agents can use automation to send out notifications of the upcoming showing to contacts, and then schedule repeating text and email reminders to maintain interest as the date gets closer. Then, once the showing occurs, the agent can again leverage automation to easily keep track of attendees, send follow up thank yous and pursue any bites on the property.
In real estate, time truly is money. Automation can help realtors become more efficient and organized in their daily business practices so they can put more focus on generating leads and ultimately, closing deals.