The real estate industry is very complex and always evolving. The strategies that worked last year may not be as effective or efficient this year. On top of that, it always feels like there are at least a hundred things that need to be done right now.
There are, however, some simple things you can do to stay on top of the job and be a more efficient real estate agent.
Consider the following 5 tips for working smarter, not harder.
1. Manage Your Leads More Effectively
You need a plan to make sure no leads slip through the cracks. There are several things you can do to manage your leads and nurture your relationships:
- Use call notes, track contact activity, and set tasks and appointments with a robust client database.
- Inform your conversations by using property search insights that can help you understand each client’s needs.
- Use IDX activity to determine which listings a visitor viewed, the prices they prefer, and the locations that appeal to them.
- Route every lead to the right agents, whether that means the highest-performing agent or the one who specializes in a particular location or type of property.
2. Always Provide Immediate Responses
“Getting to them later” is not a viable plan when it comes to the questions, comments, or concerns from your current and potential clients.
When there are so many tasks vying for your attention, though, it can be easy to put them off “just for a while.” This is especially true when these questions come from someone who doesn’t seem quite ready to jump into the home buying process.
Instead of pushing these responses off to another time, you can set up automated follow-ups and drip email campaigns to make sure no lead slips through the cracks.
3. Prioritize Your Time with Clients
In the real estate world, relationships are critical. However, not everyone you’re working with is at the same stage of commitment.
You need to prioritize your efforts so you’re spending your face-to-face time with qualified clients that are ready to transact.
That doesn’t mean you can neglect your other lead-nurturing activities. You’ll still need to make time for them. You just need to make sure that your priorities are in order.
4. Use a CRM to Stay Organized
Is your team following up on every lead? Are they keeping their sales funnel filled with potential homebuyers? Are they regularly closing sales?
When you use the right CRM, you can get instant insights into your business. You will be able to answer the above questions and optimize your marketing efforts accordingly. You can even use it to help plan your future growth and ensure the pipeline is constantly filled with clients.
5. Consolidate Your Real Estate Tools
There are a lot of tools that can help agents be more efficient, but if you’re using several different tools in your agency to accomplish the same basic tasks, then you could also be adding a lot of unneeded complexity.
It is possible, however, to combine CRM, business management, lead routing, IDX, and business dashboards in a single platform.
When you have all these tools running on a single platform with an intuitive interface, you can increase productivity without bogging the agency down with the day-to-day management of those tools.
Are you ready to up your real estate game? Try iHomefinder ONE and discover new ways to be a more efficient real estate agent.
Are you ready to up your real estate game? Try iHomefinder ONE and discover new ways to be a more efficient real estate agent. Contact us today!
The Eureka IDX Property Search can help agent teams grow their business by providing the same level of functionality and the same professional presentation as the well-known portal sites.
Eureka makes it possible to create a great first impression – the kind of impression that is critical in the modern real estate world. More than that, it gives your potential clients a reason to keep coming back to your website and begin to rely on you as the local real estate expert.
When you incorporate Eureka into your site, you can deliver a portal-quality search experience with:
- Universal Search Bar – Your site visitors can use one simple search field to find listings by area, address, or MLS ID without cumbersome drop downs and fields.
- Compelling site experience – Deliver the results that site visitors need on a single screen that uses an intuitive interface to make searching fast, fun, and effective.
When people arrive on your site, you need them to immediately engage with it. These features help keep prospects on your site and give them plenty to do so there are fewer reasons to return to those real estate portals.
Eureka Search in Action
Consider the following scenario:
- Your agent team has been purchasing leads from portal sites like Zillow and making contact with those that you can help.
- These leads are coming from a large site that has spent a lot of time and money developing an interface that makes it easy for casual visitors to explore available properties in their desired area.
- Once they arrive on your site, they are going to expect a very similar experience. If you can’t give them something that is as intuitive and effective, they will likely return to the portal site.
- How could you have kept them around a little longer?
Eureka Search has redefined IDX search for agents and brokers, making it possible to deliver the kind of experiences that buyers and sellers expect. Your site will always deliver the most current listings automatically, so your clients will never feel frustrated by out-of-date listings.
On top of that, MarketBoost comes bundled with Eureka Search, so you can take your interactions with these leads to the next level. You can nurture your clients with local market updates, save time and money with automated listings content, and highlight your expertise in the local market.
When you add effective search functionality to your website and combine it with your own knowledge of the local market, you’ll give your leads plenty of reasons to take the next step in the home buying process with you.
Eureka Search allows you to provide an IDX search function just like the type found on those big-name portal sites, but now you can use it to keep your leads engaged with your agent team.
Updated June 2018
Technology-driven solutions are the future for most companies, especially as more and more people rely on their mobile devices for information and recommendations. This is especially true for modern agent teams trying to generate new leads in a competitive marketplace.
Potential clients are already inclined to use their latest devices to find information about local restaurants, the weather, and qualified dentists. The next step is for your brokerage to determine how you can get them to use that same technology to find real estate opportunities and contact you about them.
Here are four lead generation ideas that can get people to act on your messages, website, and social media platforms.
1. Build Awareness
Awareness is a critical component of generating good leads. Potential clients need to be aware that you are on the web and that you have important information on your site that answers their questions and concerns.
There are several effective ways to build awareness online. You can start with social media where you can interact directly with potential clients. Then you can use paid ads or organic search engine optimization techniques to establish your position online. You can even use some traditional offline methods to make sure future home buyers know about your website and social platforms.
You can ensure that this new awareness spreads even further if you can deliver a great experience on your website. Remember, you’re working with a very tech-savvy generation of homebuyers. They know what to expect from internet interactions and they know how to spread the word when their needs were met.
2. Hold Their Attention
If a potential client cannot find what they are looking for easily and quickly, you will lose business.
Studies have repeatedly shown that more than half of your website visitors will spend a mere 15 seconds looking for quality information before moving on. If your site speed is slow or if your website could use a renovation, you will need to look into a simple, customizable website that will address these problems.
An experience like this can provide simple ways to hold your client’s attention and give them a reason to continue working with you throughout the process.
3. Encourage Them to Take Action
A lot of visitors looking at a lot of properties on your site is great, but you need to show them how to take the next step. You can do that by including a clear and simple call to action on your website pages, blogs, and social media posts.
A call to action should be more than just a request to “click here.” It should make it easy for a client to take action, and it should give them a good reason to do it.
When you do it right, this can also be a way to start qualifying your leads. In other words, when someone is ready to take certain actions instead of others, it can help you understand where they are in the process.
Lead generation without a way to convert leads to paying customers will leave your agency or brokerage floundering in a high-tech environment.
How exactly do you encourage a higher conversion rate on your website?
It’s simple, really. The people visiting your site want some very specific answers to some very specific questions.
Be the answer for each potential client.
You’ll have to do your research on your local market, housing costs, and the concerns people have about home buying. If you can establish yourself as the local authority, people will trust you and be willing to work with you.
All the content you create content should lead to a conversion, soft or hard. Entice them to sign up for a newsletter, an info session, or something else to get them interested and interacting with you a little bit more.
Modern home buyers have very specific needs, wants, and expectations. The most important thing we can do in the real estate industry today is work to keep up with those expectations and create an amazing experience.
As technology changes, so will your potential clients. You can continue to reach them, though, when you use these steps to generate, nurture, and convert your leads.
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Updated for 2018
Social media can help your agent team generate more leads and keep you top-of-mind until buyers and sellers are ready for a transaction. Facebook, in particular, can help you achieve some great results by using some effective strategies to build a community and become the local real estate authorities.
Here are some key strategies for Facebook that will help make your efforts more productive:
1. Be creative. You can do more than just post listings.
If you were not a real estate agent, and just about to buy or sell your first home, what would you like to see? Would you be satisfied with home listings, or would you prefer things like design inspiration, industry news, and home repair guides
Deciding to buy or sell a home is a big step, and they are looking for anything that gets them excited about the experience.
Get creative with your posts. Share relevant articles about buying or decorating a home. Share some inspiring images and videos. You can establish your Facebook page as a community where people want to interact with you and share their own stories.
2. Be informative, but don’t brag.
Real estate buyers and sellers have some very serious questions (about the market, about certain locations, and about your agent team), and this is a great forum to prove that you have the answers.
So, go ahead and post things on Facebook that show off your experience and knowledge, but don’t make it look like you’re bragging about yourself. That’s not the kind of agent most new homebuyers want to work with.
It’s a fine line to walk because agents often think they’re just being a good salesperson or trying to be excited about real estate. Unfortunately, it’s too easy to cross the line and create the wrong first impression.
The key is to humanize yourself. Ask questions and share relevant experiences while still maintaining a professional, knowledgeable tone. When you tell your honest story, your readers will start to feel like they know you and that your more than just an agent on the hunt for any new lead.
Make no mistake, this kind of posting strategy may take a little extra time and thought, but it significantly increases the chances that people will engage with you on your Facebook page.
3. Commit to posting often (at least 3-5 times a week).
Facebook’s algorithm for sharing posts is a tricky thing, and there’s a chance your followers might not even see your latest posts. One way to counter this is through consistency. If you provide new and unique posts at least 3-5 times per week it will increase the number of opportunities for your followers to see the relevant content they need.
This, in turn, can increase their confidence that you’ve got your head in the game because buyers and sellers are on Facebook every day, and they want to know their agent has joined the party.
These three Facebook strategies for real estate agent teams can take some time and effort to get just right, but the potential benefits from more visibility and more engagement will be worth it. Then, you can use your page to interact with more people and turn a Facebook contact into a real lead.
Looking for more Facebook resources for REALTORS? Check out the Field Guide to Facebook for REALTORS® from the National Association of REALTORS®
Customer relationship management (CRM) offers busy agents the ability to stay atop of their busy schedules by leveraging automated communications. It can be put to task at any and every stage of the customer relationship, from the time the lead was first generated until the sale has finally closed and even beyond.
When CRM is used as an integral part of a company’s processes, agent teams and brokers can focus more on the relationships with their customers and base their activities and decisions on a full analysis of the data generated from all of their interactions.
This empowers agents to easily work in accordance with the processes you’ve defined and follow the action plans that lead to success.
CRM for Real Estate – Why It’s So Important
A wide range of industries and businesses put CRM to good use, so why is it particularly important in the real estate industry?
Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions many people will ever make, and they’re not going to treat it lightly. Throughout this process, many people will be indecisive, many will be extraordinarily picky, and some will use any excuse at all to put off the final decision because it’s just so big.
In other words, the process isn’t a fast one. It could take months before they’re finally ready to make this decision. You need to stay “top of mind” as they work through it.
More than that, you need to make sure you don’t lose track of these leads throughout the process. You can’t let anyone slip through the cracks.
Introducing iHomefinder’s ONE
Real estate agents can use iHomefinder ONE, a sales and marketing platform including CRM features, to keep all customer data in a single location and manage your leads more effectively. This includes the ability to identify and categorize leads by budget, location, and other characteristics. You can also route those leads to the right team members when those customers are ready to take the next step.
You can take this information and begin to truly understand what your customers want. You can see what price ranges they prefer, the locations they find desirable, their search history, viewed listings, and more.
You can analyze the buyer’s interest level, their closure target date, and several other factors, and use this information to provide better customer service. The kind of service that modern homebuyers expect.
Why You Should Explore ONE
ONE's CRM was developed to manage the issues that real estate agents face every day. We want to be the CRM of record for you, so you can manage all your leads and the entire business from ONE system.
With iHomefinder ONE, you can manage your business, manage your leads, and manage your team. Here’s how:
- Use business dashboards, lead source analysis, and transaction pipeline management to manage your business.
- You can know the status of every lead and every deal with instant insight into the business.
- Track closed business and get a high-level overview of the current activities to make sure you are meeting your goals.
- Track the lead flow and understand how they are working, how they are nurtured, and how agents are moving toward transactions.
- Optimize your marketing strategy based on lead source analysis and plan your growth path.
- Use automated follow-ups, drip email campaigns, and IDX activity tracking to manage your leads.
- Automatically import leads from over 25 sources on top of those from your own site.
- Automate follow-ups with drip marketing, listing email alerts, market reports so you can keep the flow of information moving toward potential homebuyers.
- Stay connected with your client database by tracking contact activity, making call notes, and scheduling tasks and appointments.
- Inform all your conversations with real-time IDX activity, including the viewed listings, price ranges, and locations.
- Employ actions plans, task management strategies, team calendars, and an accountability dashboard to manage your team.
- Incorporate your tried-and-true workflows to consistently close business and keep everyone on track.
- Create action plans so you can set your processes for success in stone.
- Drive team performance by tracking how they use the CRM. Are they qualifying leads? Are they applying the action plan correctly? Are they apply the tasks in the action plans and closing those tasks?
- Control the lead flow to the team, and make sure those who are effectively following up on leads get the support they deserve.
Go Beyond the Data
A real estate CRM should do more than just present data to you. It needs to help you increase productivity and profitability.
It should ensure that your prospects get the attention they need and expect.
ONE is designed to support your efforts in all these areas. You can make sure that your customers get the right information at the right time, so they stay engaged with you until they are ready to make a final decision.
There are a lot of incredible ways that CRM can benefit your real estate business. Get in touch with us today to discover all the possibilities.
There is a lot of variation within the real estate industry, and how one agent or brokerage closes a sale may be very different from another. This can make it difficult for some real estate professionals to find a CRM that can do everything they need.
Does the company work with residential or commercial real estate? Do you focus on sales or rentals? Condos or developments? Does the agent team sell luxury homes or stick with more affordable options?
All of these elements can change what an agent needs in a CRM feature set.
Why Do Real Estate Agents Need a CRM?
Real estate can be a challenging business – even in the best of times. On any given day, you may have to deal with online and social media promotions, verify closing documents, meet with some appraisers, coordinate with contractors, answer inquiries, vet buyers and much, much more.
Where do you even start when there’s so much to do?
Over the years, we’ve heard from agents all around the country, and they’ve talked to us about several issues that they want to address with a CRM. The most common things we hear include:
- “I have a unique process for managing sellers that all my agents need to understand and follow.”
Team leads want a well-defined process that all their agents can learn and implement on every transaction. They need an effective way to determine whether or not people are actually following this process, and they need to keep agents on track with these tried-and-true processes.
- “I really don’t want any clients to see for-sale properties on my site that have already sold.”
When potential clients arrive on a website and find an outdated listing, they may automatically assume that there are many more just like it and start looking at other “more up-to-date” websites. This is simply something that shouldn’t happen, which is why agents need listings that are updated from the MLS data sources within a couple hours (if not faster).
- “I have hundreds of potential clients but no time to reach them all.”
This may sound like a great problem to have, but the truth is it could be detrimental if your potential customers begin to feel neglected. It’s critical that you reach out to all these clients through automated follow-ups to provide more information and start the conversation.
A Product Developed to Meet These Needs
iHomefinder ONE’s CRM was created to manage the specific issues that real estate agents face. ONE gives agents the tools they need to run the entire business. It works for top-producing agents, agent teams, and well-established brokerages.
iHomefinder ONE is the place to:
Manage your business – Use business dashboards, lead source analysis, and transaction pipeline management to know the status of every lead and every deal. You will be able to get a high-level overview of the business, so you can track closed deals, analyze the lead sources, and plan your growth path.
Manage your leads – Use automated follow-ups, drip email campaigns, and IDX activity tracking to nurture your relationships with prospects and previous clients. You can use these tools to reach out to your potential clients, no matter how many prospects you have. Stay connected to your client database by providing market reports, email alerts, and more. You can even inform these burgeoning conversations with real-time IDX activity, which includes viewed listings, price ranges, and locations.
Manage your team – Employ action plans, task management processes, team calendars, accountability dashboards, and lead aggregation and routing tools to develop workflows that close more business. These tools work effectively with established teams or when you’re just getting ready to start a new team. You can drive performance, control the lead flow to the team, and keep everyone on track and moving forward.
Real estate selling is all about relationships. Relationship management software, then, should provide everything you need to establish and nurture your leads and develop the kinds of relationships that lead to sales.
You can try the CRM component of iHomefinder ONE for yourself. Contact us today for a free consultation and discover how to tie ONE into your real estate business.