In the often competitive real estate industry, marketing automation offers a powerful tool. A quick look at some recent statistics over the last few years illustrates the huge need for automation, especially from a lead nurturing point of view. These statistics are as follows:
- 44% of home buyers purchased a home from an online search. (NAR)
- 70% of people prefer to know companies through online content rather than ads. (Easy Agent Pro)
- 72% of real estate agents said they were unsatisfied with the leads generated by their website. (NAR)
- 70% of home buyers forget about their real estate agent after just one year. (ReminderMedia)
What makes marketing automation such an effective tool, and how can it be used for real estate? Some of the most important features of automation include the following:
- Lead nurturing allows you to nurture leads from the very first bite, all the way until they seal the deal. Whether this means targeting new home buyers, renters or those in your ideal target market, this strategy enables a deeper connection, and, as a result, a higher chance of conversion.
- Lead scoring allows you to score leads according to their chance of converting. If you have a number of cold leads that consist of one-time home buyers over a decade ago, and a growing number of warmer leads of those who have viewed show houses and online listings in the last few months, you will be able to focus on the leads that have the most chance of closing rather than waste your time on leads that will never convert.
- Personalisation allows you to connect to your audience in a way that encourages engagement. This goes hand in hand with market segmentation, which enables you to break down your list according to areas, budget, demographics and behaviours such as website browsing, contact page clients and agent calls.
Now that you have a better idea of what marketing automation can do for your real estate business, how do you go about making the most from this strategy? Let's take a look.
Marketing Automation for Real Estate Businesses
Some best practices to keep in mind when using marketing automation strategies include the following:
Focus on content quality
Quality is everything where content is concerned. This applies to your website, landing pages, listings, email content, mobile content, social media content and every other content that is connected to your brand. Quality content will allow you to start building your reputation, which in turn enables you to establish yourself as a real estate expert. To achieve this, you can create high quality content that is designed to help your sales funnel, attracting new leads and taking current leads further up the cycle. Some ideas that are useful for real estate audiences could be any or all of the following:
- Common barriers to entry for first time home buyers
- Challenges faced by home sellers
- Neighbourhood guides and pricing
- Tips on getting home finance
- Any other relevant information that adds real value
Start small and grow slowly
It can be frustrating trying to learn how to use brand new software. Even if you have a small agency, automation can be confusing at first. To help you ease into it, it is best to start slowly. Try simple, smaller campaigns using just a small segment of your list, or one single channel, such as email marketing. This will help you figure out how things work without the stress of trying to manage a larger campaign. You could kick things off with a monthly newsletter to established leads, or a seasonal email to brand new leads in a specific neighbourhood.
Once you have a better idea of how to use the software and segment and score your leads, it will be easier to plan a more complex campaign. From there, you can begin looking at omnichannel ideas that help you expand your reach even further.
Use the functions you have
One of the biggest mistakes you could use is to not use all of the tools you have available. If your marketing automation software allows you to make use of a full digital marketing tool, then use the features it offers. If you end up only using your platform for email, it will not be worthwhile. Automation tools have many amazing features that allow you to create drip campaigns, sales funnels and many other campaigns designed to reach your ideal buyer and seller at every stage of their journey. Features such as behaviour tracking will allow you to fine-tune your content offering in a way that few other tools can do.
Lead segmentation and scoring are equally powerful. Once you start truly seeing what the tool can do, it will soon be worth its weight in gold. You will then be able to follow up at the right time, helping to close more deals, and ultimately, make more sales
Use retargeting to increase conversion
Retargeting is especially effective in the real estate business. Going back to one of the statistics we shared earlier, a large number of buyers forget about their real estate agent within a year of purchasing a property. If you want to ensure that your buyers return to you, you will need to do everything you can to reach them in a way that is geared towards conversion. Retargeting works hand in hand with segmentation.
You can segment buyers, sellers and investors, then further segment by area, behaviour, budget and other factors. You can reach your audience through email, as well as mobile or online ads.
Automate home buyer emails
For new buyers, you can create a special series that takes them through the process. Many people who are wanting to buy a home are not fully ready to purchase when they first make contact. There are many, many reasons for this, from trust to wanting to 'test the waters'. It does not mean that they will never be ready however. The best way to help them be ready is a drip campaign designed to build trust. This could begin with a guide to the property area, and continue with commonly asked questions, typical potential concerns, a detailed overview of properties that have been viewed by the lead, a personalised message from the agent handling the communication, and plenty of calls to action.
All in all, automation offers an extremely valuable tool that helps real estate agents perfect their digital marketing simply and effectively.
To find out more about how marketing automation helps real estate agents, simply get in touch with the Grapevine Interactive team today.