Digital technology is quickly transforming the real estate industry, including everything from the way agents find clients to how properties are sold. Back in 1981, 22 percent of home buyers began their property search by browsing newspaper ads, and most found an agent through relatives, friends or neighbors, according to the National Association of Realtors.
But by 2016, technology provided a new, efficient way to seek out desirable for-sale properties, as 44 percent of all home buyers began their searches online and 88 percent found their homes through an agent. In addition to making the home-buying process easier for buyers, real estate agents are also relying more on technology to close a sale, as many prefer to communicate with clients through email, texting, and instant messaging.
Of course, one way that digital technology is saving agents time is by automating common tasks. With that in mind, here are three tech strategies that can help you streamline and scale your real estate business.
1. Create a Lead Generation Funnel
One crucial task that technology can help real estate agents automate is lead generation. A contemporary real estate lead generation funnel should include four stages, says real estate marketing consultant Christina Ethridge, co-founder of LeadsandLeverage.com.
In the first stage, capture, your funnel should use social media and website landing pages to capture the contact information of potential hot leads. The second stage, conversion, uses email marketing to convert leads into prospects, while the third stage includes the closing process. Finally, an effective lead generation funnel should cultivate repeat business and referrals through long-term relationship building with clients.
Implementing this strategy requires effective content marketing (blog posts, infographics and the like) to attract visitors to your website, social media pages, and email distribution list. Of course, offering compelling content that speaks to and addresses the needs of prospective home buyers is crucial in the home-buying process.
2. Automate Your Marketing, Sales and Customer Service
Implementing a content marketing strategy requires managing multiple content distribution channels, including websites, social media pages, and email autoresponders. Now, there’s no doubt this process can become tedious if you have to log into each channel separately.
Fortunately, some of today’s more popular marketing automation tools can make this process easier by providing a single interface for managing all your content channels and scheduling content campaigns. Similarly, customer relationship management apps can help you automate common sales tasks, such as maintaining prospect contact information, tracking client interactions and scheduling follow-up phone calls or emails.
Today, the most effective CRM tools can integrate with software that automates your service and support process. For instance, using a cloud contact center solution allows you to use automated tools, such as chatbots and interactive voice response, to field inquiries. Routine support requests that can be managed by this software will process automatically, while those requiring a more hands-on approach will get funneled automatically to the appropriate live support agent.
Ultimately, relying on these innovative tech tools can shorten the amount of time it takes your employees to reconnect with potential home buyers, which is crucial for closing sales.
3. Hire Remote Staff to Handle Leads and Service Inquiries
Using a cloud contact center to field customer service inquiries also requires having sufficient staff available to address issues that require live human support. Fortunately, using a cloud contact center makes it easy to hire remote staff, reducing the burden on your in-house team. To that end, hiring remote workers to handle customer service inquiries and incoming leads will free up your sales reps’ time to focus on making appointments, showing properties and closing deals.
The best way to find qualified remote workers is to use a company that provides virtual real estate receptionist services. Using this type of service can help ensure your employees are experienced handling any calls related to real estate matters, thereby increasing your efficiency, while saving the cost of hiring a full-time in-house receptionist.
Creating a lead generation funnel supported by a content marketing strategy lays a foundation for automating your marketing efforts. However, by investing in cloud contact center software, you’ll be ratcheting up your efforts two-fold, thereby enhancing the efficiencies of your operation, as well as allowing you to reach more prospects and cultivate more leads.
Using a cloud contact center solution to employ virtual receptionists can further increase your efficiencies and empower your sales reps to spend more time on revenue-producing activity. Together, these strategies can help you streamline your real estate operations while scaling your lead generation outreach, translating into higher profits for your real estate firm.