Real estate professionals are the largest segment of business professionals on the hunt for marketing automation software, reflecting real estate’s growing embrace of technology in the wake of years of sluggish adoption, according to a new report.

Virtually every phone interaction counted in a study administered by Software Advice, a resource for online software reviews and telephone software consultations, indicated that prospective software buyers were looking for marketing automation software for the first time, with nearly half admitting they are still using manual methods.

Speaking volumes to the demand for software in the real estate sector, close to 4 out of 10 respondents to the survey were real estate professionals. Moreover, 3 out of 10 of real estate professionals who responded to the survey said they currently use industry-specific software.

Source: Software Advice

Source: Software Advice

Given the plethora of real estate marketing tools, that may not come as a surprise. From BoomTown to Kunversion, a wide array of marketing softwares are designed to cater to real estate agents.

Real estate agents’ disproportionately large demand for marketing software reflects the industry’s difficulty with adapting to new technology, according to Vinny LaBarbera, founder and CEO of imFORZA.com, an Internet marketing firm.

“They strongly feel that their business is people- and service-oriented, and they’re afraid of automating anything that may come off as impersonal,” LaBarbera said of real estate old-timers reluctant to embrace new technology, in a statement. “That’s a legitimate concern for people [who] have built their business off of referrals.”

Yet the outsized demand from agents for marketing software also signals a shift “in perspective about how marketing automation software can address some of these buyers’ unique challenges,” he said.

Source: Software Advice

Source: Software Advice

Riding on a wave of new technology are a new breed of agents who are using innovative tools to grow their businesses.

“They’re looking for ways to automate what they do so they can actually spend more time with their clients — not doing paperwork or follow-ups that can, and should, be automated at this point,” LaBarbera said.

Software Advice’s study was based on 365 of the company’s phone interactions with U.S. small-business owners. People involved in those calls represented businesses that earned $50 million or less in annual revenue.

Sixty-seven percent of people counted in the study said their companies generate less than $1 million in annual revenue, and 61 percent said their companies have five employees or less.

Inman’s New York City correspondent, Teke Wiggin, covers the latest tech startups, trends and applications of data in the real estate space.

Email Teke Wiggin.

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