Do you feel like the day has very few hours and that there is not enough time to carry out all your tasks?
Are you having a hard time meeting your marketing objectives?
Yes, real estate is a time-consuming business. You’re not the only one feeling this way.
But real estate is also a very competitive industry. So you have to work extra hard to beat the competition.
What should you do? Give up sleep?
We’d never recommend that! Especially since we know of better ways to make a business work while you sleep.
Every business owner dreams of having their business on auto-pilot. But is this really possible?
It’s possible with automation. Automation helps you improve your marketing efforts and business operations. It helps professionals in the real estate industry perform their jobs better.
Seventy-five percent of marketers currently use automation according to a survey by Social Media Today. In another survey, 37 percent of those seeking to buy marketing automation software were working in real estate.
Most people in the real estate industry have realized that automation solves most of their challenges. They understand the importance of using technology to grow their businesses. Automating their processes helps them spend more time with clients and working on something that brings in actual cash.
They no longer spend time doing follow-ups and chasing paperwork. They are relying on automation to simplify these processes.
Adopting automation for your real estate businesses will help you have more personalized communications with clients, handle your social media interactions better, digitize paperwork, and free up your employees to better connect with customers.
How to Use Automation to Put Your Real Estate Business on Auto-Pilot
1. Property Management
Property managers juggle a lot of routine tasks. In a day, you will have handled several business operations, including managing maintenance, handling complaints, and tracking rent payments.
These operations, however, only cover a fraction of what you have to do daily. This fraction is time-consuming, and by the end of the day, you are overwhelmed.
The top challenges property managers face as they run operations are efficiency, maintenance, and growth, according to research. They are struggling with getting their books in order, effective communication, balancing, keeping clients happy, managing finances, and hiring the right people.
Automating property management helps you handle all these responsibilities effortlessly.
Benefits of automating property management
a) Access real-time information
You no longer need to use spreadsheets to keep track of information. Automation helps you access information anywhere, anytime, and from any device with an internet connection.
Data is automatically updated and stored online. You and your tenants can access the information easily and from any device.
b) Improve communication
When managing multiple properties, it gets difficult to handle each tenant individually. They also come and go, and you must maintain current records and handle each of them individually.
You need to keep track of rent payments and maintenance requests. These activities require excellent communication, time, and availability.
You could use emails or phone calls, but they may not be an easy way to handle each complaint. You may forget what tenant wanted to repair and which one is waiting for a response.
With automation, clients can access your website with ease, log in to their profile, and make a complaint or track updates. The tenant portal eases communication because it will notify your maintenance crew on time, and they can handle issues as fast as possible.
You also never want to miss an inquiry, whether it’s made during the day or at night. Speed is everything in today’s market, and the consumer’s patience wears out after 10 minutes according to research.
Not responding to inquiries about listings in time is the difference between getting a reservation and remaining vacant. There is also stiff competition in the market, and if the customer doesn’t get an immediate response from you, they move on to your competitor site.
Automating guest responses ensures that when a potential client inquires about a listing, they get a customized reply informing them that you will get back to them shortly.
Once they have booked, send them automated messages telling them of the finalized booking, their duration of stay, and their check-in and check-out times. Keep them updated with any other useful information about the property or their stay.
Once you have tenants or guests in your property, keep in touch with them throughout their stay. Provide neighborhood information, including dining options, entertainment, and household items. Your clients will feel heard and satisfied if they can easily reach out to you and receive an immediate response.
Instead of only talking about the property, promote other aspects that they will integrate into their lives. Sell the experience around the property. Research shows that customers will pay 16 percent more if they get a better experience. They are likely to rave about their stay to friends and family, leading to more customers.
c) Easy payments
Manual tracking of payments can be cumbersome. You may miscalculate or enter the wrong records. It becomes an issue when you must remind each tenant to pay on time. It also becomes easy to lose control of your finances.
Automation allows tenants to pay using their mobile gadgets, and you receive payment immediately. You can monitor each client’s payments with online records. It ensures you don’t lose business with wrong financial reports.
With automation, paying for services you receive also becomes easier. When handling several properties, maintenance costs go up, and you need to pay them on time.
Manually paying from maintenance with checks and successfully keeping track of whom you’ve paid or not, can get cumbersome. Payments may also get lost in the mail or never leave the accountants desks.
Automation streamlines the payment processes, so that invoice details are moved from one department to the next with ease for approval and review.
Integrating payment tools with your CRM also ensures that your vendors get paid in the mode they prefer. You will no longer deal with late payments and an irritated maintenance crew.
d) Reduce manual work
Administration, when handled manually, requires entering data into spreadsheets. It’s time-consuming and prone to errors. You also need to analyze the results after tallying the amounts manually.
With automation, data updates automatically. It allows you to generate reports on demand. You get insights to make data-driven decisions and gain control of your finances. It also becomes easy to spot inefficiencies before they escalate and grab opportunities.
e) Stay on top of issues
With numerous properties to handle, you have various personnel waiting on you, including the maintenance crew, cleaning personnel, and receptionists. Automation tools help you and your team to know what area needs handling and when.
Automating tasks assignments guarantees that the appropriate personnel gets notified when a new guest is scheduled to arrive so they can handle the business beforehand.
Automation has also made property inspections easy. There are tools to help carry out home inspections on the go. You can also automate reminders, follow-ups, and inspection agreements so that clients and agents receive a notification when you reschedule an inspection.
You can also sign documents from any location without having to print, sign, scan, and send. Signing apps allow you to write letters to tenants and sign them in either word or pdf without having to print.
f) Manage teams and tasks
Automation allows you to set tasks, deadlines, and reminders for your team. It also helps you sync your calendar to that of the clients to avoid wasting time with emails and calls while trying to find a good time to meet.
g) Secure data storage
As a real estate business, you are privy to sensitive customer data that needs safe storage. For example, you must keep customer credit cards information and lease agreements safe. Automating your processes allows you to save their data securely online.
According to marketers, marketing automation has led to numerous benefits, including the ability to send better-targeted messages, improved customer experience, and gain better-quality leads.
Marketing automation makes it easier for you to execute your marketing strategy. It optimizes your human activities and allows you to scale your business. It helps your business:
- Acquire new clients
- Engage current and prospective clients
- Turn leads into sales
- Get positive reviews and referrals
It helps you track prospect behavior, qualify leads, and automate workflows. Multiple channels are supported so that your brand remains consistent across channels. Some of these channels include social media, search engine advertising, referrals, and email marketing.
How marketing automation puts your business on auto-pilot
The key to a good marketing automation strategy is a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, a website, and email marketing software. Automation then helps you:
a) Reduce cart abandonment
When someone visits your website, you hope that they will make that booking, take that online real estate course, or subscribe to your real estate services. However, that’s not always the case.
They may have just been browsing or looking for something more and realized you don’t have it or that the price was too high for them. It results in lost sales due to an abandoned cart.
With marketing automation, you can use customer information to target this prospective lead. Use follow up emails encouraging them to return and make a purchase or rent. You could offer them a discount or an enticing offer based on their preferences.
b) Generate leads
The process of getting leads in the real estate industry involves either an outbound or inbound marketing strategy.
Inbound marketing lets home buyers find you. You don’t seek them out. It involves generating content which catches the buyer’s attention. This interaction then allows you to build relationships with customers. You can do this by:
- Providing relevant, engaging, and useful content on your website, blog, and social media pages.
- Pay per click ads.
- Email opt-in lists.
- Optimizing your webpage so that you can rank higher on search engines and become easy to find by prospective audiences. Businesses that appear on the first pages of search results get 92 percent of the traffic.
Outbound marketing involves contacting prospects and hoping they engage. It’s great for real estate agents with a source of leads. It involves activities like:
- Advertising on search engines
- Broadcast and print advertising
- Pay per click advertising
- Sending emails to purchased leads
- Social media advertising
A website is also a great place for you to generate leads. Use your landing page and forms to capture leads anytime a potential customer visits your website.
Use your next open house to generate leads, too. Fifty-three percent of those looking to buy homes visit an open house when conducting research. When running your open house, host a Facebook Live Video to reach out to those who could not attend. Live video is a powerful way to capture the attention of buyers.
It makes open houses an efficient and great way to generate leads. After the open house, reach out to those who visited soon and consistently using automation.
c) Nurturing leads
When nurturing leads, you are engaging an audience that may not buy today but will in the future. You can use the blog or social media to nurture them into becoming buyers.
Build an email list using the blog and email subscriptions and then use marketing automation to lead your prospective customers through the conversion funnel. You can also build an email list using incentives like listings info, coupons, and so many other offers.
Use multiple channels to acquire leads and drive them through the sales funnel. Nurtured leads help to increase the selling opportunities by 20 percent.
The conversion funnel helps you visualize the flow from when a customer visits your site to when they convert. It’s the journey from awareness to interest, consideration, intent, and finally to purchase. Conversions can happen at any stage during the funnel, and you must effectively improve the user experience at each stage.
Marketing automation will help you deliver the content customers desire at each stage seamlessly. Lead nurturing campaigns are 58 percent more successful in converting leads during the middle and late funnel stages.
Nurturing leads using automation will involve having an email list, segmenting this audience depending on needs and interests, and then sending them content that is relevant and customized to these needs. Segmented campaigns in email marketing perform better than the non-segmented ones.
Automation will also help you identify what leads are ready to buy. You can prioritize leads depending on the actions they complete. A good automation platform will provide you with actionable data that demonstrate high interests. The information helps you reach out to ready leads at the right time.
d) Maintain brand consistency
Automation also helps you maintain brand consistency across all customer touch points. They get the same messaging whether they find your brand through listings, webpages, adverts, social media posts, or emails.
Cross-channel marketing allows you to drive customers to your site and turn them to buyers from different touch points. According to research, marketers are using multiple channels to drive leads through the conversion funnel.
It’s a good way to ensure your audience converts at different stages of the funnel. Research shows that using three or more channels leads to 90 percent retention rates and 250 percent engagement and purchase rates.
Research also shows that some channels are great at driving early engagement while others are great at driving conversions during the later stages. Cross-channel marketing is therefore great at ensuring the customer does not drop during any stage of your engagement with them, thus increasing chances of conversion.
Ensure that your agents use the same logos, fonts, colors, and messaging (tone, voice, and offers). Consistency makes it easy for the target market to recognize your brand. Remember it and trust it.
Remember that real estate marketing automation goes beyond email. Decide what platforms are essential for your business and integrate them into your marketing. They include:
- A website
- Social media
- Content marketing
- SMS messaging
- Multiple listing sites (MLS)
Sync the leads from all channels using automation so that your sales team operate from one account. It makes it easier to reply to inquiries, know your audience, and communicate with each effectively.
You can also sync them to your phone so that if a lead calls, the caller ID accurately displays their name on your phone. It allows for personalization of customers when they call about a listing or an inquiry.
3. Manage listings
Managing listings is time-consuming and challenging. Automate your listings using a good CRM and you can:
- Get all your listings in one place complete with robust search and updates.
- Match listings to potential leads automatically based on their needs and your business.
- Feed listings to 3rd party portals and sync them to your site.
- Help sellers see how their properties are performing in the market.
Your real estate business gets listings from different sources and consolidating all their data is hectic. With automation, data on all listings are made available in one place.
Fifty-six percent of buyers claim that finding the right property is the most difficult step when buying a home. Automation allows you to match buyers to properties, saving you and your clients time they would have otherwise spent searching for a listing.
4. Analyze, monitor, and get updated reports
As a business owner, it’s important to know if your business is on track. Are you losing money or making profits? How will you handle future business processes? What can you improve?
Automation allows you to monitor your business and get a 360-degree view. You can monitor KPIs like number of completed sales, properties to sell, and so much more depending on your most important metrics.
You also get custom reports that provide analytics of bottlenecks that are holding back your business. Data collected helps you make informed decisions and improve on areas that are not offering good customer experiences.
For example, what channels are working, and what channels are not driving any sales? What agents are doing a good job, and what agents are lagging behind? It enables you to put more effort into areas needing improvement, like offering training to agents who are underperforming and changing strategies on underperforming channels.
Conclusion: Using automation to put your real estate business on auto-pilot
Automating your real estate business has numerous benefits that help your business not only increase conversions but also give you a better return on investment.
- You boost engagement with your clients and customers by providing them with relevant content. You make it easier for them to find listings on your website and other third-party sites. It also allows you to send behaviorally triggered emails targeted to specific customers at the right time.
- You improve lead generation tactics and nurture leads easily through the conversion funnel. Your sales team receives sales-ready leads, making it easier for them to convert prospects. The result is a boost in conversions leading to more profits.
- Your property accounts are in one place making it easy to log payments, note who needs payment, record expenses, know when payments are received or made, automate accounting reports, and digitize receipts.
- Communication improves since you have information about customers and how best to reach out to each of them individually without consuming too much time. They can also reach out to you from multiple channels.
- Automated reminders allow you to remind tenants when rent is due. You also never forget important items on your to-do list. It makes time management easy.
- You get automated reports showing whether you are making loss or profit, rent collections due and paid, expenses you need to handle, and so much more.
- You reduce human errors considerably.
- You gain access to valuable insights that allow you to make informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition.
- You can easily see what’s going on in your business, helping you to organize and manage tasks.
- Allows you to access data on the go. Your data is also backed up and stored safely online for easy access.
- By saving time, you get more time to manage and look for more properties.
- Frees up time for you to focus more on advising sellers and buyers and completing deals.
- You get happy customers, who are likely to become brand ambassadors.
Automation frees up your time and allows you to improve your marketing and operations strategy. With automation, you can increase sales-worthy leads with ease, convert them, and grow your business.
According to research, marketing automation drives sales up to 14.5 percent, reduces overhead by 12.2 percent, and increases the number of leads. Seventy-seven percent of marketers say it helped increase conversions.
With automation, your business almost runs on its own, making it fun and exciting to run your business. Automation allows you to provide excellent services and improve communications. You get time to market, find new avenues, and grow your business.