As a real estate agent, one of your most valuable skills is your ability to sell. Day-to-day, you’ll find yourself in situations where you have to sell new leads on the value of your services, sell properties to prospective buyers, sell clients on the merits of certain neighborhoods, and more. The better you are at selling in these situations, the better your chances are of closing more deals.
Part of being able to sell depends on the real estate marketing tools you use to connect with your audience and move them through the sales funnel. Automation helps simplify the sales process, so you can focus on getting leads to list their home or buy a property they’re interested in.
To figure out which tools help you automate your sales process, let’s start at the top of the sales funnel. Specifically, let’s look at how to attract, engage, and nurture leads and the role automation plays along the way.
Here are five tools that let you focus on selling and support you by managing small, time-consuming tasks.
1. Boost: Advertising Automation to Simplify Ad Creation
One of the best ways to get noticed and attract new leads is to run ads. Campaigns can include pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google, sponsored ads on social media, or offline options like newspaper ads and flyers. Whichever option you choose requires you to manually write the ad copy, upload images, and add in property details. It’s a manual process that takes time because different ad types require different types of information. Plus, manual processes leave the door open for data entry errors — you might miss a ‘0’ in the list price, or the HOA fee is mistakenly entered as square footage.
Rather than risk confusing the people who see your ads, use automation to make sure all of the ad details are entered correctly. As an agent, paying attention to details is a quality that will help build trust among your leads and help you close more sales. Plus, first impressions are important. Automation makes sure all new leads receive a similar experience — this starts with publishing complete and accurate ads.
Automation also lets you create ads quicker, so you can focus more on nurturing new leads and moving them from the awareness and discovery phases in the sales funnel to evaluation, intent, and eventually purchase:
An example of a real estate marketing tool that automates ad creation is Boost. It posts ads on Facebook, Instagram, Google, and other sites. Instead of spending hours manually creating new ads every time one of your listings hits MLS, Boost automatically creates ads for you. Based on the data on MLS, your ads are accurate and created quickly.
The benefit of using this marketing tool is its link to large platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and Google. There are 2.41 billion active monthly users on Facebook and over 1 billion active monthly users on Instagram. Plus, there are 5.5 billion searches per day on Google. Considering more real estate journeys start online, automating digital ads lets you reach more audience members in a short amount of time. This improves your chances of attracting more leads.
2. Spacio: Open House Management and Lead Generation
In addition to online and offline advertising, open houses are another way to advertise your services and properties. When visitors stop by, the goal is to get to know as much as possible about their needs. This helps you tailor your conversation to be more relevant and specific. For example, if layout is important to buyers, you can highlight the layout of this particular house vs. talking about features that aren’t as important.
As you’re speaking with visitors and learning more about them, you need a way to track their comments and questions. It’s a little awkward to pull out a pen and paper to start taking notes. It feels more natural when there’s a conversation where visitors have your full attention.
A tool like Spacio helps you capture the information visitors share. You can customize the sign-in form so that it includes the type of information you want to know about visitors. For example, you can find out their:
- Ideal location
- Important features
- Property size preference
Automating this type of lead capture lets you link this data to your CRM system, so skip the manual data entry and go straight into following up with new leads. If you had to manually send a new email to each person who came to your open houses, most of your time would be spent doing this instead of talking to them.
Plus, automation helps onboard new leads. It’s one thing to attract lots of leads, but they’re useless sales prospects if there’s no engagement or follow-up. The right marketing tools help you manage this.
3. Clearbit: Lead Qualification to Maximize Conversions
Marketing and advertising tactics that attract a lot of traffic to your website can generate lots of leads for you. However, having lots of leads doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy or sell a property now or later. What you need is a way to figure out which leads are most likely to convert. These are the leads you need to spend time nurturing and moving through your sales funnel. Trying to nurture all of your leads is a waste of time and doesn’t guarantee more sales.
In real estate, to qualify leads — figure out which ones will become prospects — you need to determine:
- Who’s actively looking to buy or sell a property
- Who has financing in place or at least a clear budget
- Who is the decision-maker
- Is what they want clear
[Source] Only a portion of leads will move on to become prospects
To help you with this process, you need a marketing tool that automates and speeds up qualification. The sooner you know which leads are the most likely to convert, the better. You want to reach out to them quickly, so they’re engaged and moving forward towards a sale.
- Identify how engaged leads are — do they ask questions?
- Analyze their experience before they found you — have they been searching for a while, or are they just starting out?
- Verify how receptive they are to you — are they reading your emails and responding to your phone calls?
If you’re using Spacio to attract new leads, you can connect it to Clearbit with Zapier.
This boosts your efficiency and simplifies the sales process because as new leads are added to your CRM, they’re also reviewed by Clearbit. The additional information helps you determine their potential to convert. You can automatically flag these leads in your CRM so that every time you log in, you know who to reach out to and nurture.
4. Mailchimp: Email Marketing to Nurture Leads
Some of your leads find you through offers on your website. For example, if you offer a service like free home estimates, everyone who shares their email address and requests an estimate can be considered a lead. After you share the estimate, don’t stop there. Use this opportunity to learn more about your leads, so they become clients.
Since you have a list of new email addresses, send automated drip email campaigns. People spend 2.5 hours a day checking email, so send emails that are inviting and engaging. You want leads to not just see them but to feel compelled to click and read your messages.
Instead of sending a series of individual emails that you write and manually send yourself, create an automated email campaign beforehand to help you connect with leads. Even with automation, campaigns can also be customized based on where leads entered the funnel. For example, for leads that came through your free home estimate offer, run a campaign with six or seven emails where each one gives insights. A sample campaign might include:
- Email #1 – An introduction to who you are — include videos of properties you’ve sold
- Email #2 – A report of overall property values and why now is the time to sell
- Email #3 – A needs assessment survey with a call-to-action (CTA) to set up an appointment with you
- Email #4 – Customer testimonials
- Email #5 – Insight into current mortgage rates
- Email #6 – Sample listings of properties in similar neighborhoods
A marketing tool like Mailchimp can help your real estate business by using simple drag and drop features to create email templates and campaigns.
Another way to use email to simplify the sales process is to set up auto-responses in Gmail. You probably receive the same types of questions multiple times in a day or week. Use auto-responses to quickly respond to these types of questions, so you can get back to your value-added tasks.
5. CityBlast: Social Media Management
93% of people start their search for real estate online — this includes social media. Part of your sales strategy to generate interest might include using social media to share your current listings. If this is the case, then you’re likely always looking for new content — like images, events, blog posts — to share with your followers. You need fresh new content because engagement is important to keep followers coming back to your pages — and sharing on their own pages, which sends even more attention your way.
However, coming up with new content to post regularly is time-consuming and stressful. A lack of content slows down the rate in which new leads discover your social media pages and content. This in turn slows down the sales process since you have fewer leads to nurture.
A tool like CityBlast, a team of social media experts, automatically posts real estate content to your social channels every day. Consistent posts help you attract new followers and increase engagement on your social pages. CityBlast’s social experts will create a variety of content — like CTA posts and posts that ask followers for comments — that get followers to do something other than scroll through their feed.
Having a partner like CityBlast, that posts fresh new content daily, frees up your time to work with followers who respond to your social posts — without neglecting your social media audience who are still at the top of the sales funnel.
Real Estate Marketing Tools Give You Back Time
Sales is the most important part of your job. Having the right tools at your disposal makes you more efficient, but don’t feel pressure to use all of them. Instead, figure out what your current needs are and find the right tools for you.
Based on what you decide your needs are, the right tools free up your time, so you can focus on creating a strong sales funnel that moves people from the awareness stage to the purchase stage. Keep testing and trying new tools until you find the ones that complement your sales efforts the best.