Automation has become the next natural step for agents and real estate companies serious about scaling their businesses, and has only increased in the last few years because of the convenience, speed and efficiency it brings to the table. Brands that use automation see 53% higher conversion rates than companies that don’t, which is great news for agents who may be inundated with a formidable number of potential leads that need to be managed. In real estate, maintaining relationships with customers is key, and marketing automation allows agents to focus on what’s important while streamlining the rest.
At the end of 2020, over 68% of marketers used MA to:
- Improve the speed of their marketing processes
- Develop a clear system for tracking leads
- Increase accuracy in the sales process
- Gather more leads
- Reduce paperwork
It’s no surprise then, that real estate businesses have been keen to increase their adoption of MA platforms and softwares because of their results:
- ¾ companies generated more leads and increased web traffic
- 70% said MA helped exceed their ROI expectations
- 80% of customers responded positively to intelligent targeting
Here are the top 10 ways in which agents and brokerages are adopting marketing automation to scale for success:
1. Lead Segmentation
Dividing customers into well-defined and distinctive groups is a must for all agents, and automation helps not do exactly that, but fleshes out a comprehensive understanding of who the target audience is. Prospects can easily be segmented according to location, the time they spend on the website, certain activities across social media, and reactions to CTAs etc.
2. Lead Nurturing
Automation lets agents know how far along their prospects are on the sales funnel and can allow them to build a series of lead magnets (triggers that will start the automated processes running, such as a visitor signing up for a newsletter). Automation helps take care of all kinds of customer outreach programs that can be preset and customized, while also recommending next best steps to continue the nurturing process and follow up on interested buyers. Automation has been so key in elevating lead management that a 2020 report by PWC found that the number of companies investing in MA jumped from 20% to more than 80%
3. Facebook Ad Generation
The power that Facebook holds when it comes to advertising is almost unmatched because of its incredibly detailed collection of customer data. Marketers across many industries, real estate included, know the importance of tapping into Facebook means tapping into highly accurate targeted ads. Many agents link an automation tool to their website, which automatically generates ads using information of a new property that’s been posted by an agent on their site, targets those Facebook ads towards users that would be considered ‘best fit’, and even tracks and analyzes the progression of those ads.
4. Email Marketing and Drip Campaigns
In 2021, emails are still the most trusted media source of communication for customers, which explains why 93% of agents prefer to communicate with their clients through this medium. Email is still considered a personal space of the web for many, so messages that make it to the coveted Inbox space (especially with official @domain email addresses) are more likely to be trusted. This is why email marketing automation and drip email campaigns have taken off with such vigor: they allow the agent’s brand to stay top of mind for readers, while also nudging them along with timely messages to keep piquing their interest. Email MA tools today are powerful and wield incredible customizable tools; an agent can schedule an entire drip campaign that will last weeks and campaigns can be combined with customer segmentation to further perfect the tailored messaging etc.
Security is fast becoming a hot topic as automation becomes the norm, and it is no different in the property sector. All automation systems come with security risks, and great agents know that implementing any MA platform or process means taking the time to procure best security practices, and adopting a healthy password management system to ensure that all accounts are safe and to maintain a competitive advantage. Thankfully, many solutions have been developed to help agents with this, from defense software to ward off phishing and malware attacks, authenticate user logins, track user-sharing policies and ensure data backup and data transfer.
6. Social Media
MA helps agents by helping them solidify an online presence and build genuine engagement with audiences. Automation can certainly help with posting property images and relevant information for customers but it can do so much more: carefully crafted, engaging content pieces can be created with automation tools ahead of time and scheduled to post over weeks or even months. These tools will provide tracking and analytics capabilities that reveal exactly how much engagement is taking place with each individual post, giving agents a unique and detailed idea of what kinds of content are working with audiences. Messages alerting agents when a scheduled post has gone live also gives them an incredible opportunity to genuinely engage with users in real time, real conversations. While it could simply be answering questions regarding a property listing, it could also mean describing what a day-in-the-life of an agent is; people get to see the person behind the persona and actually have a lasting, memorable impression of that agent.
Possibly the most obvious and most overlooked benefit of automation - MA allows piles of paperwork to be dealt with automatically, saving agents time and energy while actually allowing them to become more efficient and professional. There are lots of automation tools that allow real estate documents to be shared easily and securely between client and agent, even to the e-signing stage.
8. Time Saver
Automation takes away so many of the time consuming but absolutely necessary actions every agent must undergo: crafting and sending out messages, searching for clients, emailing updates, posting property information etc. Automation allows agents to wipe out a chunk off their everyday to-do list, leaving them free to spend valuable face-to-face time with clients and finalizing more sales.
9. Reporting and Results
Automation tools provide agents with measurable, accurate data through tracking and monitoring. These reports are useful to keep track of the strengths and weaknesses of all aspects of the business, but measurable results also provide something to take back to clients and prove their expertise as an agent.
Scheduling is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to automation, because it can be fail-proof, monitored, customized, and tracked. However, it’s crucial for agents to remember that content is valuable currency, and copy for blogs, websites and social media posts still need to be written. While these tasks inevitably require creativity and time from an agent, coupling an archive of new posts along with a marketing automation software that will schedule all of that content over the next few weeks is a match made in heaven - and an important step in establishing the agent as an authoritative voice in the field.