Technology has transformed the landscape of every single industry for the better, including real estate. It has given us the Internet, tablets, smartphones, apps and countless software options — all of which can be utilized to ramp up your productivity and increase sales.
Below, we look at four instances where technology has transformed real estate business processes, leading to increased productivity, improved relationships, and more deals closed.
1. Relationship management with CRM software
Your success depends on your ability to build and maintain strong relationships. CRM tools can help increase sales by up to 29%, sales productivity by up to 34%, and sales forecast accuracy by 42% (Nutshell). In fact, the average return on investment for CRM applications is $8.71 for every dollar spent.
Statistics prove that 90% of buying decisions are the result of recommendations from peers. What are you doing today to ensure the contact details of every person you meet is saved in a database and followed up with in a timely manner?
There are a slew of CRM tools that can help, offering you the ability to automatically store all types of data, and even organize and search through contacts. These tools even have features that allow you to schedule reminders for yourself to follow up with leads. A few popular CRM platforms include Contactually, BoomTown, and Follow Up Boss.
Highlighting the sales impact that agents have seen from using CRM tools, here are a few impressive figures to consider:
- Real estate agents using Contactually have seen up to a 42% increase in gross commissionable income, and have closed more than $3 billion in deals
- 74% of businesses report improved customer relationships from using CRM technology
- CRMs can increase conversion rates by as much as 300%
2. Marketing capabilities through social media technology
Gone are the days when you needed to hire a PR company to build your brand. Agents now have everything they need to do this for themselves, simply by leveraging social media. A recent study highlighted that brands receive three times more engagement on Instagram compared to Facebook, and 60% of people reported that they discover new products through Instagram. Social media allows you to manage your own marketing and build your personal brand.
What’s more, Instagram has the highest interaction rate of any social media platform (2.2% per follower vs. Facebook’s 0.22% per follower), and it has been called “the new home for companies seeking an impact on social media.” Evidently, building a visible brand on Instagram can help realtors reach potential clients anywhere in the world. You can leverage this social channel to share your new listings and upload videos of your properties — all for free. Many agents have successfully used Instagram to amass large followings and increase their business visibility. A few best in class examples of real estate companies using Instagram include Long and Foster, Halstead, and The Corcoran Group.
Paid social ads are another social media marketing benefit that did not exist before. You can now advertise your open houses on platforms like Facebook and Instagram by purchasing ads to geo-target potential buyers with specific demographics and behaviors (e.g. income level, occupation, neighborhood). You can even narrow your ads so that they are shown to everyone on your email list!
A few applications that can help you leverage social media ads effectively are AdWerx and HomeSpotter’s Boost. Both help agents create Facebook and Instagram advertisements for their listings through the use of customizable ad templates. Offering efficient and targeted lead generation, paid social media ads are a valuable way to use this technology to your benefit. Still not sold? Consider these two stats from HomeSpotter:
- Facebook and Instagram ads run through HomeSpotter’s automation platform can achieve a 10–12% click through rate (compared to an industry average click through rate of just 0.90%)
- Depending on the type of ad, there can be a 15–20% conversion rate from people who visit a property lead webpage and will then actually attend your open house
3. Communicating with leads on messaging platforms
Technologies such as email, text messaging, and messaging apps have caused a major shift in how people like to communicate. Are you communicating with your leads in the most optimal manner? If you’re still calling your clients rather than texting them, you may want to think again…
Recent statistics show that one-third of Americans prefer texting to phone calls, and 90% of people read a text message within the first 3 minutes of receiving it. Interestingly, sales prospects who receive text messages convert at a 40% higher rate than those who aren’t sent any text messages. Businesses are quickly catching on to the value of embracing non-traditional communications channels. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat are frequently used by companies to provide quick and efficient customer service.
While texting is becoming an increasingly popular communication platform, email shouldn’t be neglected either. 72% of consumers say email is their prefered mode of communication for companies they do business with.
While it’s important to stay on top of new technologies and align your communication methods with your customers’ preferences, this shift to digital communications has unfortunately also removed the human factor from communication. Recognizing this, companies like BombBomb help agents add the missing human element back to online communications. Combining email marketing and video, the BombBomb platform enables agents to record a customized video that is embedded in the follow-up emails they send to leads.
By adding a human component to your communications, contacts are more likely to feel a stronger personal connection with you. According to BombBomb, agents using their platform receive 81% more replies, 68% more lead conversions and 56% more referrals. We’ll let those numbers speak for themselves.
4. Lead generation through open house technology
In the end, closing deals always comes back to one thing: generating leads. It’s estimated that in 2015, agents and brokers spent $8.9 billion on residential advertising alone. Not surprisingly, digital marketing budgets continue to rise year after year.
But before you allocate all of your budget to digital marketing and online lead generation, it’s important to bear in mind the quality of real-life leads you meet at open houses versus the quality of online leads from web-based inquiries. It is estimated that online leads have a conversion rate of a mere 0.5%-1%.
Open houses are a cost-efficient way to generate and convert leads from people you meet in real life, because offline connections are proven to convert at a higher rate than online inquiries. Recent statistics even state that offline selling converts 40% of prospects to customers, which is almost 2x higher than the average conversion rate for online leads across all industries.
The best open house lead generation systems will help you collect, manage and follow-up with leads from start to finish. Using pen and paper to collect information is inefficient, error prone and results in lost leads and missed opportunities. From the moment visitors walk through the door, technology can help you digitally capture every lead and make the best first impression possible by presenting a professional and welcoming experience.
Digital open house systems can also help you:
- Give visitors peace of mind by protecting their privacy and keeping their contact information hidden
- Effortlessly follow up with leads through automated emails
- Sync every lead directly to your CRM of choice
- Pull social data on all verified contacts while they are still walking through your open house
These features beat a pen and paper any day.