• Marketing can be time-consuming, but it doesn't have to be when the right tools are in place.
  • Automation tools can improve customer experience, therefore, enhancing your service.
  • Scheduling marketing efforts in advance makes it easier to implement your strategy and give clients valuable content.

Maintaining a competitive position in the real estate industry requires consistent process improvements.

We’re all trying to find more hours in the day. And though marketing is an essential business practice, spending your valuable time on it often takes a back seat to nurturing and delivering results to clients.

Thankfully, there are marketing automation tools that can do much of the work for you and help garner a consistent flow of leads.

Here are 10 time-saving marketing automation tools that can help you make a statement in the markets you serve.

1. Social media

Social media can be a big time suck. You want to share relevant and timely updates, but if you’re maintaining Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and possibly more, it’s challenging to keep the updates consistent and engaging.

Plus, who has time to drop everything during peak social media time to be sure they get their latest photos seen on their followers’ newsfeeds?

By automating social media, real estate agents can plan ahead and schedule updates on some or all of their social media channels. It makes strategizing much easier, too, when a post is more than just what seems interesting to share at the time.

Suggested tool: Sprout Social

2. Email newsletters

Sending a monthly or weekly e-newsletter to your sphere of influence allows you to nurture relationships and ensure regular contact with clients and prospects.

Sharing valuable information with your audience can also elevate your status as a subject matter expert in your market. Using an automated email platform helps you manage your contact list and schedule emails in advance.

Once a template is set up, plugging in your content is easy and allows for a quick touch-point that your audience will look forward to receiving on a regular basis.

Suggested tool: MailChimp

3. Text messages

Marketers are taking advantage of the modern behavior of carrying around a cell phone at all times.

Text messages are a great way to reach our audience with a short message, and the likelihood of them reading it is very high.

Just listed a home in a highly sought-after neighborhood? Send a quick text to your clients eager to hear the news.

Chances are, they’re going to text back to ask when they can visit the home with you.

Suggested tool: TextMarks

4. Direct mail

Visibility in the mailboxes within target neighborhoods is critical to the success of real estate marketing, but it can be time-consuming to manage direct mail campaigns and mailing lists.

Utilizing services that allow you to generate geographically or demographically targeted mailing lists can help you reach your ideal audience without having to maintain robust contact lists.

From just listed and just sold postcards to custom home value report postcards, you can engage with your farming area and pique their interest in buying or selling a home with you.

The great thing about direct mail is that it has staying power (whether left on a coffee table or pinned to the refrigerator) and can be easily customized with unique URLs and salutations, which makes your communications more genuine.

Suggested tool: TriggerMarketing

5. Home value reports

Home value reports can also be shared digitally such as through email or your website.

If you’re looking to find homes to sell, informing your farming area about the potential market value of their home can be an enticing fact to provide, particularly if it is increasing.

Positioning yourself as the area expert also improves your chance of receiving that call to discuss their options in more detail.

Suggested tool: Home Value Leads

6. Blog

Blog content about hyper-local hot topics in real estate can make a huge impact on your SEO as well as provide content for your social media and newsletters.

However, keeping up with blog post writing can be a chore. You’re a real estate agent, not a full-time writer.

If you have a topic in mind and can give guidance on how you want it addressed, you can order content from professional writers easily.

Just describe what you think your audience wants to learn about, how long you’d like the content to be, and (voila!) you now have a ghost writer who can channel what you don’t have the time to type.

Although it’s not a conventional marketing automation tool, it certainly takes the detail work out of the job while achieving your marketing objectives.

Suggested tool: RightlyWritten

7. Lead follow-up

Converting website visitors to leads is great (especially when you get their email address or another form of contact information), but then you constantly have a bunch of follow-up work piling up.

What if you could move your prospect through the sales funnel automatically? You can!

Sending an email to your lead to educate them on next steps can help them feel heard and hopefully get another viewing scheduled for a listing.

Using the right language is key, gather tips from “11 time-saving email templates every real estate agent needs.”

Suggested tool: SmartZip

8. Automatic search results

We all know the mega real estate networks, such as Zillow and Trulia, email search result updates — but wouldn’t it be great if you could automatically share your new listings to clients you know would be interested?

Sharing this information not only shows your dedication to service, but it also simultaneously feeds your business initiatives as well. And it saves your clients time because they don’t have to keep coming back to perform the same search every day.

Suggested tool: RealtyNA

9. Live chat: Website customer service

In a time when everyone wants immediate feedback, adding a chat feature to your website can make a big difference.

Large brokerages are doing it, and you can, too.

Addressing a simple question quickly can demonstrate the level of customer service they can expect from you.

When a website visitor engages with your brand, the opportunity is now warm to nurture that lead.

Suggested tool: Zendesk Chat

10. Online scheduling

As you can see, automation can not only save you time but also streamline your customer’s experience.

Online scheduling is yet another opportunity. It saves you from those tedious back-and-forth email conversations to coordinate calendars and directing your clients to your online calendar, which knows your time commitments and displays available time slots.

Extra bonus: your appointment calendar can be a useful link to include on social media and email marketing to move prospects along the sales process!

Suggested tool: ScheduleOnce

Eric Cosway is the EVP and CMO of QuantumDigital. Follow him on Twitter.

Email Eric Cosway

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