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5 Marketing Automation Ideas for Real Estate

5 Marketing Automation Ideas for Real Estate

Real estate marketers using marketing automation can save time and money while increasing leads, conversions, and overall marketing success.

One of the biggest marketing trends this year is automation. HubSpot recently reported that businesses using marketing automation to nurture leads received a whopping 451% increase in qualified leads. So how can real estate marketing professionals reap these benefits while saving time and money on their efforts?

If you’re using it right, marketing automation software can deliver real-time, personalized messages to prospective buyers and renters at every step of the lead-generation process. You can tailor custom email messages based on indicated interests, streamline social media efforts with scheduled posts, evaluate the success of your efforts, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Check out these five ways that marketing automation can help you sell real estate, with suggested tools for each idea.

5 marketing automation ideas for real estate

1) Social media

Keeping your posts on multiple platforms up to date, consistent, and engaging can be a major time drain. Automating your social media marketing efforts lets you plan ahead and schedule updates on some or all of your social media channels, and lets you easily strategize about peak posting times.

Suggested tool: Sprout Social

2) Email

Having a segmented email list — sorted by when someone joined the list, what emails they’ve opened, their demographics, etc. — is key. This way, you can ensure you’re sending the most relevant information to your prospects, keeping them invested (and keeping you out of their spam folder). Once you set up a template, plugging in your content is easy. You’re able to manage your contact list and schedule emails in advance.

Suggested tool: MailChimp

3) Text messages

There’s a good chance you’re reading this on your cell phone, and, if not, it’s probably close by. Savvy marketers are taking advantage of the ubiquitous nature of mobile devices and using texting to reach audiences with a short message that they’re highly likely to read.

Suggested tool: TextMarks

4) Direct mail

While any number of virtual marketing platforms are beneficial, direct mail is still a powerful tool for real estate. It can be highly time-consuming to manage direct mail campaigns and mailing lists, but automation software that lets you generate geographically or demographically targeted mailing lists can help you reach your ideal audience.

Suggested tool: TriggerMarketing

5) Lead generation and nurturing

Converting website visitors to leads is always the goal, but it often comes with a back-breaking load of time-consuming labor. The right software lets you move your prospect through the sales funnel automatically, sending emails to educate them on the next steps, and scheduling them for viewings.

Suggested tool: SmartZip

What marketing automation tools are you using in your real estate marketing?

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Our 6 Favorite Marketing Automation Tools for Real Estate Marketers

Our 6 Favorite Marketing Automation Tools for Real Estate Marketers

Check out these marketing automation tools for email workflows, social media scheduling, and customer relationship management.

Lately it seems like everyone is talking about marketing automation. As real estate buyers increasingly demand personalized experiences through the buyer’s journey, marketers’ jobs are getting tougher. They need to provide custom lead-nurturing content to all prospects in their databases.

And that’s where automating marketing tasks can help.

The term “marketing automation” refers to a variety of tools used to automate the process of personalizing leads’ interactions with your property. The sheer variety of these tools can sometimes be overwhelming — so we’ve pulled a few of our favorites in the categories of email workflows, social media scheduling tools, and customer relationship management.

6 marketing automation tools for real estate marketers

Email workflows

1. Customer.io

This tool lets you send targeted messages to your prospects, crafting them based on how they interact with your property, and making personalized messages simple. You can also keep track of conversions and create customer profiles. Our favorite part? It integrates with your mobile app or website, letting you see data in real time and trigger actions by adding in predefined rules.

2. Constant Contact

This powerful tool has some features that are unique — and can take your marketing capabilities beyond the basics. Beyond setting up and managing an automated database, Constant Contact offers Facebook fan promotion, coupons and deals, and event management.

Social media scheduling tools

3. AdRoll

This is an extremely effective tool for retargeting prospects through re-engagement on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere on the web. It offers cross-device and cross-platform retargeting capabilities, as well as flexible segmentation, letting you provide customized experiences that dramatically improve your marketing efficiency. It also offers customized budgeting and full control over ad spend.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

4. Pardot

Pardot is an all-inclusive marketing automation suite, but it’s particularly strong for amping up your engagement with CRM integration. It’s a great tool for helping your sales team shorten the sales cycle. And, in addition to CRM integration, it offers email marketing, lead nurturing, lead scoring, and ROI reporting.

5. Marketo

This cloud-based marketing software lets you drive revenue with lead management and mobile marketing. It not only helps build prospect relationships, but it helps you sustain them as well. Best of all, you can try it out for free until you’re sure it’s right for your company.

Bonus all-in-one tool: HubSpot

HubSpot is an inbound-marketing tool that lets you generate leads, close deals, and manage your sales pipeline from start to finish. It integrates beautifully with a content marketing strategy, with the goal of turning outbound leads into inbound ones. It includes revenue reporting, custom-event reporting, custom-event automation triggers, predictive-lead scoring, contacts and company reporting, and event-based segmentation.

What marketing automation tools do you use?

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How Inbound Marketing for Real Estate Works to Improve Sales

How Inbound Marketing for Real Estate Works to Improve Sales

Increasingly, marketers are realizing the benefits of inbound marketing for real estate over outbound marketing, including cost savings and increased lead generation. 

Marketers are constantly coming up with new and trendy ways to attract leads. With endless platforms available to us, it can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned marketers to know where they need to focus their efforts.   

But what exactly does inbound marketing for real estate entail? 

In order to find the right solutions for your real estate marketing needs, you first have to understand the difference between inbound and outbound marketing. And more importantly, how they can help — or hinder — your marketing efforts. 

This is outbound marketing 

Outbound marketing describes any marketing approach that pushes a message onto a buyer or renter. Traditional marketing — TV and radio ads, telemarketing, banner and display ads — are all examples of outbound marketing. 

Another name for this marketing tactic is interruption marketing, as it typically tries to take “attention away from what your buyer is doing and bring it, forcibly, on to your product or service.” 

This is inbound marketing  

Inbound marketing focuses on audiences finding you. Instead of pushing a message onto buyers, inbound marketing allows you to establish your brand as an industry leader and let interested audiences come to you and your properties. This type of marketing attempts to draw in leads through interesting and engaging content. 

Content marketing is a type of inbound marketing. Examples include blog posts, social media, infographics, white papers, and videos. Inbound marketing for real estate, for instance, could include blog posts that talk up the neighborhood in which your property is located, infographics that explain the purchasing process, or a white paper on how to search for an apartment.  

Why is inbound marketing for real estate a good fit?  

Outbound marketing used to be the “go-to” for generating leads, but this is simply no longer the case. Marketers across industries have found that inbound marketing has many advantages over traditional marketing practices. In fact, almost three quarters (68%) of inbound organizations believe their marketing strategy is effective, while more than half (52%) of outbound marketers don’t believe their strategy is effective.  

According to Placester’s Matthew Bushery, “inbound is all about enticing the right buyers and/or sellers through sharing materials and resources that make them want to engage with you, rather than figuratively shoving your self-promotional messaging down their throats with over-the-top, aggressive, and — most importantly — wasteful marketing schemes.” 

That’s why we think inbound marketing for real estate is better for marketers than outbound marketing. 

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4 Real Estate Marketing Trends 2018

4 Real Estate Marketing Trends 2018

These 4 takeaways from Placester’s 2018 Real Estate Marketing Survey give us an idea of real estate marketing trends to keep an eye on.

Digital marketing platform Placester recently published the results of its 2018 Real Estate Marketing Survey. The survey, which collected data from hundreds of real estate professionals nationwide, contains valuable information for benchmarking your marketing efforts in “an industry ready to invest more time, money, and energy toward online marketing and generating more leads.”

We’ve pulled out the top 4 takeaways from the survey here. Interestingly, these real estate marketing trends align with those we are seeing with our clients as well.

In general, real estate marketers are focused on leads: acquiring valid potential buyers and then turning them into sales. It makes sense, then, that many are turning to content marketing as a strategy, as it can be a highly effective lead-generation engine. Read on for more.

4 real estate marketing trends to watch

1) A focus on lead generation, nurturing, and conversion.

You can learn a lot from looking at the aggregate goals for the industry.

When asked about their top objective for 2018, 40.3% of survey respondents name generating more new leads than in 2017. Additionally, 23% look to improve on last year’s client conversion rate, 21.8% cited focus on the quality of leads earned, and 14.9% are aiming to learn how to better nurture and qualify prospects.

The bottom line: real estate professionals are focusing on generating, nurturing, and converting leads.

2) Challenges

As with looking at objectives, having an understanding of industry-wide challenges also offers valuable insight.

46.4% of survey respondents said that generating enough high-quality leads is the biggest marketing challenge they face in 2018. Rounding out the list, 24.9% are concerned about finding the right marketing tools to use; 23.4% cite converting leads into new business; and 5.3% are worried about analyzing their marketing performance.

Just as lead generation is a top priority for the majority of respondents, it’s also the top concern for real estate professionals.

3) Video

One of the most popular marketing tactics for greater exposure in 2018 is video.

When asked what part video will play in overall marketing strategy, 49.5% of respondents indicated that it would be a focal point. 43.7% said they would use it some of the time, while only 6.8% indicated that video didn’t interest them at all.

The real estate industry is embracing the power of video marketing. And the good news is, you don’t need expensive camera, lighting, or a production studio — your smartphone can be just as effective for creating video content for your social media outlets.

4) Social media

Which brings us to social media.

When asked which social media network they will use most, a whopping 84.6% of respondents pointed to Facebook, with 11.9% saying Instagram, 1.6% saying Twitter, and 1% respectively for Pinterest and Snapchat.

Facebook is ideal for real estate marketing in many ways. Its large user base makes it a go-to network, as well as its robust mobile presence, with location-specific advertising and sophisticated algorithms to help you reach your target audience.

What real estate marketing trends are you keeping an eye on this year?

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10 Social Media Statistics for Real Estate Marketers 2018

10 Social Media Statistics for Real Estate Marketers 2018

The latest social media statistics show growth of Instagram, social messaging bots, and video content.

We joke around here that one thing that will always stay the same is that social media will always be changing. 2018 has been a remarkable example of that thus far, particularly in regards to platforms like Facebook.

Every so often, we like to take a step back and look at what the data is telling us about where social media is heading and what that might mean for real estate marketers.

Social Media Examiner’s 10th annual study, 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Reportsurveyed more than 5,700 marketers from across the world in a variety of industries — including real estate. It offers a really comprehensive view of what’s going on in social media in our industry and beyond.

I’ve pulled out 10 social media statistics from this report that I want to talk about in more depth. I think they say a lot about where social media is headed and what real estate marketers should be paying attention to.

10 social media statistics for real estate marketers

1) For 64% of marketers, social media management is just one of their job responsibilities.

This one blows me away, knowing how much time and effort it takes to run a company’s social media program. Only about one-third (36%) of marketers manage social media full time. The other two-thirds have to do that on top of their other responsibilities. That’s crazy!

Developers, property managers, and real estate marketers: it’s time to recognize how important social media is for marketing your property and dedicate the appropriate resources to social media management. If you can’t afford to hire someone to do it full time, consider outsourcing this task.  

2) Only 44% of marketers agree they can measure their social media ROI.

Only 10% of survey respondents “strongly agree” and 34% “agree” with the statement, “I am able to measure the return on investment (ROI) for my social media activities.”

Again, I’m kind of blown away. As a firm that relies on data and analytics to inform our processes and strategies, including social, it seems irresponsible to not know if your efforts are effective.

Ok, on one hand, it’s actually really difficult to measure social media ROI. That’s in large part because so many of the benefits are intangible. You should really be thinking of social media investment in terms of potential, not dollars.

BUT there are some ways to calculate ROI for all your content marketing and social media efforts. Here are a few resources:

3) 75% of marketers have seen a decline in organic Facebook reach over the last year or don’t know if they have.

A significant 52% of marketers surveyed said they saw their Facebook reach decline in the last year. Plus, 23% of marketers surveyed were unsure if it had or not — probably not a good sign. Yet 97% of B2C marketers are using Facebook. Something’s not adding up for me here.

As we’ve written about a lot recently, businesses need to be keeping a close eye on Facebook in light of all the recent changes. While we at Fronetics Real Estate are not ready to write off Facebook for business (especially real estate companies) completely yet, it’s time to start doing things a little differently.

Here are a few things you should do immediately to ensure you’re still reaching your target audience:

  1. Focus on newsworthy content that drives engagement. You need to start thinking of Facebook as a place to post and discuss active news items, hot-button issues, and highly shareable content (content that is educational or entertaining, for example).
  2. Tell your community to access the See First feature. Users who still want to see posts from certain Pages they follow can choose “See First” in News Feed Preferences. So, quite simply, we suggest asking your followers to choose to see your content.
  3. Consider your ad budget. Especially for new properties or those who rely heavily on referral traffic, you might want to consider reallocating budget to sponsored ads.

Stay tuned to the Fronetics blog as we continue to gather information and offer suggestions.

4) 87% of marketers rank more exposure for their businesses as the primary benefit of their social media efforts.

Building brand awareness is a key benefit of social media use for real estate. The Social Media Examiner survey respondents said that increased traffic was the second major benefit, with 78% reporting positive results. These top two benefits have remained virtually unchanged for 4 years.

5) 78% of marketers who have used social media for 2 years or more report increased traffic to their websites.

Also to note, 83% of those who have used social media for 5 or more years “strongly agree” or “agree” that traffic has increased to their websites because of social media activity.

I wanted to pull these social media statistics out because they reinforce the time-honored truth that content marketing (including social media management) is a long-term solution — not an overnight fix. The benefits, especially in terms of metrics like traffic, grow exponentially over time.

You have to allow time for prospects to find you and for your audience to grow organically. Use your social media platforms as a means to distribute meaningful information to your target audience and to communicate with prospects and residents, and it will pay off.

6) 66% of marketers are now using Instagram.

In 2016 and 2017, we answered a lot of questions about Snapchat. Founder of the Content Marketing Institute Joe Pulizzi named Snapchat one of the next big trends in content marketing for 2017. Everyone thought this platform was going to be our new social media darling.

Instead, Instagram has surpassed Twitter and LinkedIn to be the second-most-used social media platform. (It was fourth in 2017.) Use is up dramatically from 54% in 2017. Those are numbers worth paying attention to.

Most of our real estate clients use Instagram with great success.  If you’re not on this platform, it’s time to join.

7) 63% of marketers use video content in their social media marketing.

One real estate marketing trend everyone got right? The growing prevalence of video.

Not only do nearly two-thirds of marketers use video content in their social media marketing, 23% use live video. What’s more, 77% plan to increase video content and 63% plan to increase live video in the next year.

The real estate industry is embracing the power of video marketing. And the good news is, you don’t need expensive camera, lighting, or a production studio — your smartphone can be just as effective for creating video content for your social media outlets.

8) 70% of marketers want to learn more about messenger bots.

Here’s a big takeaway from the survey: Everyone’s talking about messenger bots/social messenger apps. While adoption is still pretty low (only 15% are using Facebook messenger bots now), 51% of survey respondents plan to include them in future marketing.

It’s time to start reading up on marketing automation tools like chatbots and social messenger apps. We’ve got a lot of information about these things scheduled on our blog in the next few months, so keep coming back for more information on how these tools apply to real estate marketing.

9) 39% of marketers are working with influencers.

Influencer marketing is another trend we’ve been talking about lately. It makes sense: Buyers value the opinions of peers and colleagues. In fact, 82% of Americans seek recommendations when making a purchase of any kind. Such a major purchase like real estate can be greatly influenced by what buyers’ peers think of the neighborhood, community or building, etc.

In real estate, it’s important to consider other people who might influence buyers and renters. Aside from family and friends, financial advisors, brokers, interior designers, and celebrities (be they local professional athletes or social media celebrities) can have an impact on buyers’ opinions of a property.

10) 76% of B2C marketers use Facebook ads.

Interesting that more than three-fourths of B2C brands advertise on Facebook. On one hand, if you’re not doing it, do you lose your seat at the table? But on the other, are there opportunities on other advertising platforms that aren’t so crowded?

The survey also found that 72% of B2C marketers are interested in learning about Instagram ads. This is likely because of the platform’s phenomenal growth and, no doubt, brands’ success with it thus far. It’s something to think about when planning your social advertising.

If you’re interested, I recommend reading the whole 44-page report from Social Media Examiner. There are a ton of really interesting social media statistics that offer great insight into how marketers are using social media and how it’s changing — both over the the last few years and in the short-term.

What social media statistics are most interesting to you?

10 Social Media Statistics for Real Estate Marketers 2018

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