This article was updated on June 8, 2021
As a real estate agent, marketing is just one of the roles you fill on a daily basis, but it’s a pretty important one. To be successful, agents must be effective at planning and executing a marketing strategy, or at least be able to hire a company that can do it for them.
But because a real estate agent’s day is typically chaotic and busy, marketing automation can fill in a lot of those blanks while working behind the scenes to nurture your database.
★ Marketing automation is also a key part of a successful inbound marketing strategy, which you can learn more about right here.
So, what is marketing automation? Simply put, it’s using software to automate your marketing activity.
As an agent, the types of leads you get will vary. Ideally, some people will want to transact now, while others will want to transact later; even if you don’t know when that ‘later’ is, chances are, they will transact at some point. The key is to ensure that once you get them into your ecosystem, you continually offer them something of value to remind them that you exist and that you know what you’re talking about. This way, when they’re ready to transact, they’ll think of you (and your business).
So how you can use marketing automation to streamline things? There are a ton of ways to do it.
Before we get deeper into it, let’s talk about some of the marketing automation software that’s out there that you can use:
- MailChimp – MailChimp is the least expensive option (a lot of its functionality can be used for free), but it also has the least functionality of full marketing automation software. It does a great job of allowing you to send beautiful, custom emails to your leads. That said, it’ll leave a lot of holes in your process that you might need other software to fill.
- Active Campaign – Active Campaign is a great solution for marketing automation. It carries a ton of functionality, but at a fraction of the cost of more well-known solutions.
- HubSpot- HubSpot is easily the best marketing automation solution out there, but it’s also the most expensive. Through email marketing, automation workflows, and a lot more, it’s a really comprehensive solution that covers all of your bases for marketing automation and more.
Get Started With Marketing Automation
Have you ever considered putting together a downloadable eBook for your business? If you have a strong blogging strategy, then putting together some of your better-performing blog posts into an eBook is one of the easiest ways to do it.
You could also put together an eBook that outlines your buying process or your selling process, and offer that. The only thing to note here is that, as a real estate agent, you shouldn’t put anything that you don’t want everyone to know, and that includes your competition.
That’s because it’s pretty likely that other agents will see your offering and download it themselves. By offering the eBook as something of value, that someone can download, with no strings attached, you can easily start building your database and set up some marketing automation that will keep in contact with them.
Using an eBook to Build Your Business
Once you have your eBook created, you can set up a landing page with a form that the user can submit to get it.
That landing page should clearly showcase the offer so that it convinces the user that it’s worthy of their time to download it.
Once they’ve filled out the form, their information should go directly into your database. That’s when your marketing automation software takes over through workflows.
Through marketing automation software, workflows are the powerhouse of automation. That’s where you define what happens and when it happens. It can be simple: when someone downloads your eBook, you can set up an automation that sends them an initial email with the download, and then a series of 3 emails giving them more information and some opportunities to contact you.
Or, it can be a lot more complicated: when someone downloads your eBook, they get an initial email with the download, then they get an automated text message from you (so they know you’re available by text). Then, they receive a scheduled series of emails with more information about working with you, at which point they are also added to your newsletter database, then they get an offer email from you when they visit specific pages on your website (because the software will allow you to track them), and then they… you get the idea.
The options of using workflows to determine what happens – and when – is limitless. It can even be set up per user, based entirely on their usage habits on your website.
Take Your Automation Plan Further
Building your automation strategy around how someone uses your website is pretty powerful.
For example, most marketing automation software allows you to see:
- Who’s visited your website
- When they visited
- What they looked like
- A lot more
Ultimately, you’ll be able to leverage all of that information to build out workflows and show the right people, the right things, at the right times.
If someone new visits your website and does something, or if someone that has already interacted with you visits your website, you can add them to a workflow. That’s where the magic really happens. Let’s say you have a workflow built around the pages, posts, and general content that is related to selling, and it’s built to trigger if someone visits at least 3 pages, you can assume that they at least have an interest in selling, and you can target them better to get them to do things.
For any new visitor that visits those pages, why not have a popup that offers them your selling guide eBook? Or, for people that have already visited (and you have their email address), why not send them a personalized email telling them why now is a great time to sell and why they should choose you to do it?
Through the magic of marketing automation software, that can all happen automatically, behind the scenes, without you needing to do anything.
Does all this sound complicated? That’s because to do it right, it has to be well planned. Mapping out automation software in a way that works involves strategy.
Consider Your Marketing Automation Strategy
Before you begin downloading software and writing automated emails, I’d recommend that you plan out your strategy first.
Write down your goals, plan out what you want to happen automatically to meet those goals, and then sketch out all of your workflows. Before you actually set anything up, it’s imperative that you have a plan, and that your plan is flexible and continually-tweaked as the workflow may not end up working exactly as you think it will.
The truth is that marketing automation can completely change the way your business operates, and how it grows. When done properly, it can keep tabs on key segments of your audience, keep your business top-of-mind for them, and grow itself without you having to lift another finger.
With up to date marketing trends relevant to today’s market, our report is a selection of curated content, information, and data that will give you an outline of what’s working right now in real estate marketing.