You might have heard that automation is one of the best ways to improve your business operations, marketing, and sales.
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 that are possible for companies like yours.
What is 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, or handy integrations between your real estate apps.
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 job — it’s about making their work (and yours) significantly easier and more efficient.
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, you can probably set up some automation right now with the features you already have access to.
Here are the best examples of automation you can easily implement in your real estate business for greater productivity and company growth.
Real Estate Automation Ideas
1. Lead Generation via Website Forms
With landing page and website forms linked to your CRM, you can build an automated 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. Open House Lead Generation
During your next open house viewing, try automating your lead collection with Spacio. Capture the emails of everyone who attends, send automated follow-up emails, and keep nurturing those new leads.
3. Sync Leads From Various Channels
You probably 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 examples of real estate marketing automation software to sync your leads in one place.
Follow Up Boss is one of the best pieces of real estate marketing software — and it includes some helpful automation features, too. The 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 Leads to Your Phone
Another easy but very useful automation to set up is to connect your Follow Up Boss account to Google Contacts or iCloud. This means your leads on Follow Up Boss will be synced with your phone’s contact database, so when a lead calls you, their name shows up in the caller ID and you always know exactly who you’re talking to.
5. Automate Lead Routing
If you are 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. Lead Nurture 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 that 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 to clients. Use email workflows to automatically send replies to leads when they request a viewing, sign a contract or download a resource on your website. Real estate follow-up emails are one of the most effective ways to get results from automation.
8. Lead Management
Use real estate automation software to create a list of hot leads that are the best fit for your company. If you use Follow Up Boss, its 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, 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
You shouldn’t be spending your time watching your leads and wondering who is worth contacting each 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.
11. Tasks & Transaction Management
Do you struggle to stay on top of all of your tasks and checklists?
With a real estate-specific CRM, you can create automated task lists to help you manage every detail associated with a listing, sale, open house, and more.
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, 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.
Real estate automation software can save you a ton of time managing contracts. To speed up sending out contracts and getting them signed, you could use a transaction management solution for real estate, like Dotloop.
16. Two-Way Data Sync
The most effective businesses keep their tools and contacts in sync. A two-way data sync will keep all of your contact information up to date no matter which app or platform you're using.
And, when you update information in one app, it will update that contact in all of the other apps that you have synced as well.
17. SMS/Email Reminders
Keep your pipeline engaged and on track with SMS and email reminders that radically reduce missed viewings, meetings, or inspections.
18. Video Engagement
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.
19. Automated Voicemail Messages
With Agent Legend, you can automatically send personalized voicemails, 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.
20. Follow-Ups & Touchpoints
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.
21. Automated property inspection
Inspections can be tedious. However, tech can help solve 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, & Performance
As a manager, your team’s performance matters. With a tool that compiles automated reports and dashboards, you can get a quick view of important stats and identify who would benefit from extra coaching.
Choosing the Right Real Estate Automation
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 a two-way data sync to keep your contacts updated in all the important places, including on your phone when you're on the road. This will save you the hassle of having to track down important information and will make it easier for your to delight customers and grow your business.