More and more, the sales process for real estate agents starts in a digital world. This makes online marketing a whole new area of invaluable expertise that is well worth the time and effort to master it. Even more important is an actionable local marketing strategy – and the tools you use to make it happen. In this post, we’ll take a look at how a CRM for real estate agents helps you create a winning local marketing strategy to catch up with leads both online and offline.
Let’s face it, to be a successful agent, it’s no longer enough to just show up online. While a website or app does help establish your online presence, it doesn’t necessarily capture quality leads, customer reviews, referrals and sales.
Why exactly? Because today’s marketing and sales means on-going connections with people, interactions that may last for a long period of time. You need to fuel them in a non-intrusive way and this process is called lead nurturing. How do you do that exactly?
In a nutshell, you’ll need a targeted content marketing strategy powered by a real estate CRM tool that helps you generate leads, engage with them meaningfully and turn them into loyal customers.
While real estate flyers and direct mail may still do their bit of marketing work, it’s clear that’s not enough. In terms of customer acquisition, the priority is now on instant email response, social media interactions and automated alerts. In terms of online visibility, the priority is on a locally optimized website.
Below is a recap of 5 great techniques to use a CRM for real estate agents to finetune your local marketing efforts.
How to use a CRM for real estate agents to boost your local marketing strategy
1) Lead tracking
Basically, lead tracking is a process in which you define if your lead can become an opportunity. To draw the right conclusions, you use as much data as you can generate about this lead. In other words, you need the right information so you are able to tell the difference between unqualified and sales-ready leads.
Lead tracking is so much more than just logging the data about people who seem to be interested in buying from you. This is the first step but then it goes further. This is actually what makes work with a CRM for real estate agents so exciting. Every record in your contact database is more than a bunch of notes – it tells a story of how people came to discover your properties, find their next homes with you and recommend you to others. You can then fully focus on things that already worked for you and use them repeatedly.
However, the data is only as important as you make it. Your local marketing strategy totally depends on which information you track and if you analyze it thoroughly.
This is where a CRM for real estate agents steps in. To make your marketing and sales efforts more targeted and locally relevant, focus on these 4 core lead tracking rules:
- centralize everything. A CRM for real estate agents is an excellent platform for keeping all customer-centric data in one place. Once prospects enter your sales pipeline, i.e. contacted you, they go to a single lead management system which then makes it easy to understand progress;
- track every interaction, not just the source. Make sure your track everything – how they found you, which resources they downloaded from your site, which email they opened, what they clicked on in those emails, when is the highest response rate, everything. If you know little about these metrics, it’s next to impossible to figure out the most effective marketing activities;
- gather feedback from agents. When your agents make their next call, send a follow-up email or head to a viewing, they can make valuable conclusions about their leads progress towards the purchase. By recording this feedback, your team is getting a 360-degree view of leads and activities that engage people best of all;
- learn from past activities. That feedback you generated – use it in every facet of your local marketing strategy. Locally focused content, follow up emails, buyer/seller guides, social media campaigns that turned out to bring you a wealth of leads – adapt and repeat again and again. By the same token, eliminate everything that doesn’t work out.
2) Higher response times with automated reminders and follow-ups
Customer service response times had always been important but today it’s even more critical. Upset customers don’t keep their negative experiences to themselves but share them across social media hindering your reputation and brand image.
In fact, 25% of Facebook and Twitter users expect a reply to their messages via social media in less than 1 hour, while 66% of social media users expect a response within a day.
This means your real estate marketing efforts should now be centered upon the quick response and follow up rather than old-school marketing techniques. It beats older methods in many ways, be it customer retention or tracking social campaign ROI.
Moreover, as a real estate agent, you engage in customer relationship management every day, even if you don’t have a CRM system put in place yet. With such a system, however, your follow up strategy needs not be hectic and random ever again.
Each type of conversation can generate its own response. What’s great about a CRM is you can create a whole variety of shortcuts to communicate to your leads better, for example:
- create drip marketing campaigns to promote your locally relevant content;
- automate follow up messages which get triggered once a prospect performs some important action (e.g., signs up for a newsletter, downloads a buyer resource, etc.);
- personalize all follow-up messages;
- automate follow up tasks and alerts, organize team activities better and interact with a much bigger number of leads without missing out anything.
[We have a whole post on how to use a CRM to follow up effectively so make sure to take a look: CRM for Real Estate: 6 Perfectly Actionable Follow-Up Formulas.]
3) Locally relevant social marketing
A good CRM for real estate agents boasts a wealth of powerful features but a socially connected CRM entails a completely standout functionality.
95% of people use Facebook to get themselves familiar with an agent’s services.
45 percent of people walk through a home found on social media.
This makes social media a goldmine of leads. People expect you to be there and if you don’t live up to these expectations, they simply switch to the agents who can. So having social media integrated with your CRM empowers you to make your local marketing strategy extremely quick, targeted and result-oriented.
Here’s how to use a social CRM for real estate agents to level up your local marketing:
- monitor social media for hyperlocal keywords including your local area, your brand name and your competition to instantly spot all important conversations and reply to them quickly;
- post your properties to your social media automatically with no hassle;
- view prospect profiles to better understand what kind of a service they need and get better ready to their questions;
- setup alerts and tasks to organize social media activities effectively and free up time for follow-ups.
[If you struggle with social media marketing, here’s the post that will help: 14 Ways to Use Custom Facebook Tabs to Win More Leads.]
4) Higher sales productivity on a team
We already saw a few key benefits a CRM for real estate agents provides in terms of follow up, social media integration and lead tracking. But it’s also brilliant when it comes to sales productivity – overall, a CRM increases sales by 41 percent!
Agents love a CRM because it takes off so many boring manual tasks which would otherwise demand lots of time. You can’t really use a CRM without noticing how it helps to reduce the quantity of work while boosting its quality.
Here’s how a CRM for real estate agents makes your daily work ultimately simpler:
- contact, property and customer requirement management on a single platform;
- accurate records of transactions, referrals, commissions, past clients;
- automated, personalized follow-up;
- social media integration;
- straightforward team collaboration and easy information sharing;
- lead-based funnel reporting – you can see the ratio of contacts in your database that are currently in different stages within the sales pipeline, and plan your next move accordingly.
When there’s more time left for qualifying leads, doing research, promoting your properties and retaining customers, the marketing and sales process yields better results. Your agents are able to find and interact with more leads and at the same time keep growing documentation perfectly organized.
5) Powerful reporting
So far, we haven’t mentioned where exactly the analysis takes place in a CRM. That’s because analysis should be inherent in every local marketing activity. The power of a CRM hinges exactly on its reporting functionality – to provide you with metrics that explain your performance.
A CRM for real estate agents generates unlimited reports, helping you easily explore your sales and marketing data and understand the bottlenecks. You can analyze literally every aspect of your work and plan everything better.
Once you have a CRM system put in place, make sure to track the following metrics for better insights:
- agent sales productivity – obviously, you’d want to see how everyone on a team is performing without putting additional strain on people to compile those reports. Now a CRM for real estate agents does this automatically;
- activities – be it email follow up, blogging, drip marketing campaign, or Facebook campaigns, easily track the results, eliminate ineffective activities and focus on the ones that actually work;
- team performance over time – get historical records of your marketing and sales performance;
- budget – calculate your commissions and revenues and plan expenditure;
- department performance – see how different departments work together and if marketing and sales goals and quotas should be aligned better;
- franchise office – understand how each of your franchise offices is performing, regardless of their location.
[Here’s also a related post on key real estate marketing metrics to track: 5 Insightful Real Estate Marketing Reports Agents Can’t Do Without.]
6) Data-driven marketing campaigns
Real estate marketing and sales go hand in hand and you’d want these 2 components work perfectly well together.
This is where a CRM for real estate agents comes in – with its lead tracking, email automation and reporting functionality. You can make your marketing campaigns targeted like no old-school tools could have made them.
All of your lead tracking data that a CRM carefully stores for you fuels your local marketing campaigns. It helps your agents create meaningful messaging that has the highest odds of resonating with your audience. Not to mention that you can define the best time and means of delivering that messaging and A/B test seamlessly.
Now that real estate marketing became customer-centric, you need some great tools to help you reflect on that change effectively. When the time comes to finetune your local marketing strategy, a CRM for real estate agents is a prime opportunity to double your impact at a fraction of traditional marketing expense – and do that quicker and better than your competition does.