You might have heard of automation as a way to improve your business operations and marketing. But what really is automation, why should you use it, and how can you automate your work as a real estate professional? If you’re asking yourself these questions, you’re in the right place.
Here’s our go-to guide for getting started with real estate automation and achieving the results we know are possible for companies like yours.
Explaining real estate automation
Simply put, automation is your way of reducing manual work and letting your tools do more for you. This could be through email workflows, automated notifications and tasks for your team, and handy integrations between your tools.
Real estate automation takes your business operations and marketing from good to great and reduces workload. It doesn’t mean firing all of your employees to let machines handle their jobs… it’s about making their work (and yours!) significantly easier and more efficient.
How much time does automation take to set up?
You can do as much or as little automation as you want. When getting started, your goal should be to simplify what you are doing already. If you are using a CRM or email tool, it’s likely you can set up some automation right now with the features you have access to.
23 examples of real estate automation to get started with
1. Lead generation via website forms
With landing page and website forms directed to your CRM, you can build a marketing machine that captures new leads while you sleep. This doesn’t need to be complex: you could have a callback request form or even just a simple contact form.
2. Automate open house lead generation
During your next open house viewing, try automating your lead collection with a tool like Spacio. Capture the emails of everyone who attends, send automated follow-up messages, and integrate with your CRM so you can keep nurturing those new leads.
3. Sync your leads from all channels
We’ll make a bet that you get leads from a countless number of sources. That can be tough to stay on top of, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. There are several real estate marketing automation tools to sync your leads in one place.
Follow Up Boss has a great reputation for real estate agents. Their lead management system is trusted by 20k+ agents who use the tool to automatically distribute and follow up with leads from over 200 different sources.
4. Sync your leads to your phone
There’s a clever sync that many Follow Up Boss users have set up with PieSync — connecting their Follow Up Boss account with Google Contacts, iCloud or Contacts+. The sync gives them access to a complete and up-to-date database on their phone, so that when a lead calls them, the caller ID is always accurate.
5. Automate lead routing
If you are currently manually routing leads to the best agents, you can save time with real estate marketing software that automates lead routing and rotation. Route geographically by zip code, pass senior agents your higher-priced leads, or set up a ‘first-to-claim’ process or round-robin.
6. Nurture leads with workflows
Collecting and storing leads in your CRM isn’t enough: you need to nurture them. Lead nurturing consists of sending relevant and timely emails to the right leads to guide them down your funnel.
The easiest way to do this is with automated workflows or drip emails, which are easy to create with real estate systems like Brivity or email tools like Mailchimp. Once you’re set up, you can sit back, relax, and know your emails are being sent to the right people without you needing to lift a finger.
7. Activity-based email workflows
There are certain moments in your buyer’s journey where you need to reach out. Use email workflows to automatically send replies to leads when they request a viewing, sign a contract, or download a resource on your website.
8. Lead management
Use real estate automation to create a list of hot leads that will be the best use of your valuable time. If you use Follow Up Boss, their Smart Lists feature is a handy way to sort your leads by value, such as a list of all leads searching over $1M.
9. Opportunity tracking
Your most important leads are your opportunities—these are leads who know your company exists and people who you know are in the market. Use automation to keep an extra close eye on these leads. In many CRMs, including Contactually, you can use deal stages to track an opportunity’s journey through the common stages of your pipeline—for instance from callback requested, to contract sent, and on to closed-won.
10. Lead activity monitoring and triggers
You shouldn’t be spending your time watching your leads and wondering who is worth contacting that day. Use automated activity monitoring to track your leads’ behavior on your website and use pre-set triggers to notify you when action is actually needed.
Automated business processes
11. Tasks and transaction management
Do you struggle to stay on top of all of your tasks and checklists? With a real estate-specific CRM like LionDesk, you can create automated task lists to help you manage every detail associated with a listing, sale, open house and more. LionDesk also comes with some handy property plan templates, such as their Closing Plans, Listing Presentations, and 30/45 day escrow plans.
The best real estate agents strike when the iron is hot. Let your CRM help you do this via automated notifications that give you a nudge when a lead shows engagement.
13. Accounting & financial automating
Is accounting giving you headaches? A cloud-based system like Xero is a no-brainer for getting your finances under control. However, make sure it’s synced to your other key tools, such as your CRM, so your contacts are up-to-date everywhere.
14. Property management
If you’re subscribed to a real estate CRM like LionDesk, make sure you are using its property management features. You can enter your properties to track closings, automate tasks and manage deadlines so nothing falls through the cracks.
Automation can save you a ton of time managing contracts. To speed up sending out contracts and getting them signed, you could use a real estate-specific transaction management solution like Dotloop.
16. Connecting your tools = no more manual updates
The most effective businesses keep their tools and contacts in sync. Check which tools you can sync here.
17. SMS/email reminders on key dates
Keep your pipeline engaged and on track with SMS and email reminders that radically reduce missed viewings, meetings, or inspections.
18. Automate voicemail messages
With Agent Legend, you can automatically send personalized voice mails, text messages and emails to your leads. By integrating Agent Legend with a tool like Follow Up Boss, you can automatically add a note to the contact to show what was sent to them. You’ll also get a direct notification when the lead replies.
19. Stay in touch with previous clients
If you’re looking for new leads, look at the best leads you already have: your previous clients. Set up automated email workflows to reach out to past clients at set intervals (such as one year after purchase, or on their home anniversary). Or, you could send engagement campaigns via SMS for more personal outreach.
20. Engage past clients with video
BombBomb is a real estate video app that offers a great way to engage with past clients, especially if you sync it with a tool like Dotloop or Follow Up Boss to reach out on notable key dates. This makes for timely and relevant communication.
21. Automated property inspection
Inspections can be tedious. However, tech is solving that problem for real estate agents. With tools like Spectora, you can complete home inspections faster. It’s also possible to automate inspection agreements, reminders and follow-up for clients and agents, and notify everyone involved when an inspection is rescheduled.
22. Agent availability
Make team management easier by having the latest view of your agents’ availability through a calendar sync with your real estate software. This makes setting up appointments and assigning agents a breeze.
23. Analytics engagement and performance
As a manager, your team’s performance matters. With a tool that automatically compiles key reports and dashboards, you can get a quick view of the important stats and identify who would benefit from extra coaching. Two tools with great analytics on agent and team performance are LeadSimple and Contactually.
Get the best real estate automation results by connecting your tools
We’ve mentioned a lot of real estate management tools in this post. We’ll bet you’re using a lot already, too. As automation is about saving time, don’t let it create more work and hassle for you.
Instead, use PieSync to sync your tools and keep your contacts updated in all the important places.
All connections are two-way, in real-time, and trusted by over 180k+ real estate agents.