It’s hard to become a successful real estate agent. It’s even more difficult to stay that way. As your business grows, it is difficult to manage your customers.
That’s where real estate marketing automation comes in. Marketing automation tools segment your customer base. They also guide prospective buyers through your sales funnel. They can craft personalized emails. In short, real estate marketing automation can save you a lot of time.
That will allow you to focus on what’s important. When selling real estate, your relationship with your customers is important.
In this guide, we’ll explain real estate marketing automation:
- It’s importance,
- The benefits of marketing automation,
- How to put it in place it,
- And how it works in real life.
And the tools available go way beyond sending personalized bulk emails. They can even be applied to other areas of your business, such as automating your B2B marketing.
Let’s get started.
What is real estate marketing automation?
Marketing automation for real estate is a process of utilizing technology for marketing. It streamlines your marketing efforts and makes them more effective. Marketing automation platforms manage many aspects of campaigns from the same place.
That includes real estate email marketing. It also includes social media marketing, mobile messaging, and managing ads.
Now, there is a huge range of tools available to you. Most of these tools aim to save you time – time that is better spent focusing on customer engagement.
Most real estate agents will already use automation. But this might be limited to a simple mail merge email.
Tools like this have been around for years. But they are a powerful way to engage with customers. Email is still one of the best collaboration tools, even now. But today real estate marketing automation encompasses far more than this. It can help you:
- Identify leads, and segment them into neat categories for follow up
- Email these leads with interesting listings
- Manage your viewing schedule
- Automate real estate offers
- Prepare and run ads, especially on social media platforms
- Update your social media posts to reflect your current portfolio
- Respond to emails from other agents or customers
For most real estate agents, at least one of these applications of automation will be useful. But it’s also important to keep a sense of perspective.
While automation (as we will see) has many benefits, it should be done slowly and carefully. In the rest of this guide, we’ll show you how to do that.
The Benefits of Real Estate Marketing Automation
There are many benefits to real estate marketing automation. All these flow from a simple insight. That the amount of data and information that the average real estate agent has to deal with is now huge.
By automating the handling of these data, you can realize four key benefits:
- Speed. Automatic outreach marketing and engagement processes mean all your customers know what to do next.
- Consistency. Automation means that you can design a system for following up on all leads. Also, it means that no customers slip through the cracks.
- Accuracy. Automated systems help you to avoid errors made in data entry. They also ensure that all of your marketing meets email compliance requirements.
- Scope. Automation allows you to serve more customers, and handle more sales. This is particularly important because 93% of customers start their buying journey online. Automation allows engagement with previously uncontactable customers.
Real estate marketing automation will offer benefits to most estate agents. Effective automation rests on some practices and approaches.
Here they are.
1. Segment Your Leads
Effective automation relies on customers being divided up into well-defined groups. Some real estate marketing software – as we’ll see – can help you to complete this segmentation.
It’s also important that you have a good understanding of your target audience. So that you can build these customer profiles in the first place.
2. Use Lead Magnets
A lead magnet is a trigger that will start your automated processes running. This could be a customer giving you their email address.
Your real estate marketing software should allow you to build a series of lead magnets. These will deal with different types of customer outreach.
3. Use Sales Funnels
Effective automation relies on you having a good understanding of your sales funnel. These are the various stages that a customer will pass through before making a purchase.
Before you begin to automate your processes, you should at least sketch out these stages. You should also automate some steps. This allows you to focus your automated tools.
4. Improve Security
As with any technological tool, real estate marketing automation systems come with security risks.
When you are implementing them, you should, therefore, make sure you are following the best security practices for real estate email marketing, and using a password manager to ensure that your accounts are safe from hacking.
5. Don’t Forget Your Relationships
Last but definitely not least, try not to get carried away with the time and cost savings you will make through automation.
Ultimately, these tools exist to free up time to engage with customers, not to remove the necessity to form relationships. An over-eager application of automation can make your company appear too “robotic”, and out of step with the needs of your customers, so be careful.
5 Real Estate Marketing Automation Use Cases
The range of processes that automation can help make its actual implementation daunting.
In this section, we’ll guide you through the process. Here are 5 real-world, proven ways in which automation can make your business more successful.
1. Improve Lead Management
The most effective and popular use of automation in real estate marketing is when it comes to managing your leads.
As we mentioned above, lead management relies on you having in place a series of lead magnets. These are actions that your customers perform, and which allow you to follow up with interested buyers.
The most popular form of lead magnet is a CTA that asks visitors for their email address. This can be to access more information on your properties. Or it could be so that your customers can receive automated, personalized emails.
2. Use Email Marketing and Drip Campaigns
For most real estate agents, communication with potential buyers will be over email. Despite the rise of messaging apps in recent years, studies show that 94% of real estate agents prefer to communicate with customers via email.
Email inboxes are still seen as a private, personal space. So messages received via email are more likely to be trusted.
Always use @domain email addresses, which are more trustworthy than Gmail or Hotmail addresses, and can be acquired for next to nothing.
Once a lead magnet is triggered, you can start. You can automate the process of email marketing to your potential customers. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to create a drip-email campaign. This will sends leads to 10 or so emails over the course of a few weeks.
This will keep your properties in the mind of your customer. It will also encourage them to follow up on their initial interest.
A high-quality email marketing provider – eg, Automizy – will offer you many tools that will help in creating a campaign like this:
- You can schedule a series of emails to be sent over the course of a few weeks,
- Ask customers to sign up for personalized email notifications based on the type of property they are looking for.
- This kind of campaign can also be combined with your customer segmentation. Different types of customers receive different emails, based on what they are likely to find useful.
3. Improve Facebook Ad Generation
Segmenting your audience and sending them personalized emails is one way of ensuring that you are able to engage with different customer groups, but there are many others.
One of the most powerful is Facebook advertising. Facebook holds extremely detailed information on its users. For real estate marketers, this means that you can target ads very precisely.
There are plenty of tools available that will allow you to automate the generation of Facebook ads. The most popular approach here is to link an automation tool with your listings website.
When you post the details of a new property, your automation tools will create an advert for it. It will then automatically target this advert toward Facebook users who are interested in it.
Most of these tools will also allow you to analyze the success of your ads. Analyzing engagement with adverts is hard.
Being able to access automatically-generated reports on your marketing performance saves you a lot of time.
4. Increase Social Media Engagement
A 2017 report by the National Association of REALTORS found that 82% of realtors are comfortable using social media.
The majority of real estate agents know the importance of Facebook and Twitter. But few have the time to use them for genuine engagement with their customers.
Most real estate agents will use these platforms to post pictures of new properties. Also to advertise upcoming events. And to share pieces of content that their customers may find useful.
This is great. But it misses the primary value of social media platforms. This is directly engaging in real-time communication with your customer base.
Automation can also help here. There are automation tools available that will allow you to create social media posts, and then schedule them to post over the course of a few weeks.
These same tools will then provide you with information on the level of engagement with each post. This information can alert you when a particular post takes off, which should be an indication that you should get involved in the conversation around it.
It can also inform your future social media ads, and make them more engaging for your audience.
5. Reduce Paperwork
Finally, an often forgotten aspect of automation for real estate marketers – systems that allow you to manage the masses of paperwork that consumes so much time.
The process of buying a property generates a huge number of agreements, contracts, and other official documents, and keeping track of all of these can be a major challenge.
It is possible, however, to use automation here as well. If you want to automate real estate offers, tools such as PandaDoc allow you to share documents with your customers easily and contain an e-signing feature.
Systems like this can even be integrated with your customer database and will pre-populate the fields on a contract with the information you already hold.
Not only does this save a lot of time when it comes to preparing documents, but it also helps to reduce costly errors.
The Bottom Line
Automation is now a key area of development for real estate marketing professionals. The sheer number of potential leads that most of us are presented with means that following up every lead is almost impossible without a little automated help.
Above, we’ve shown you 5 key ways in which automation can streamline your business practices, improve your email list management and marketing, and ensure that you are engaging effectively with customers.
Ultimately, automation is about saving you time. And with more time on your hands, you can focus on what really matters – building a relationship with your customers.