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How Automation Can Help Real Estate Agents in a Hot Market

Jan 19, 2022 8:00:00 AM

By Evelyn Long

Catching up With Pepper, the Surprisingly Helpful Humanoid Robot | WIREDImage source: https://www.wired.com/story/pepper-the-humanoid-robot/ 

The real estate market is so hot right now that houses sell in less than a week, and buyers often land in the middle of bidding wars. Some areas see homes go for over asking, and other sellers add “as is” addendums to contracts.

Last year, single-family existing-home prices rose 13%, the fastest growth in 50 years. Many experts think the pace has to slow eventually, so real estate agents would be wise to take advantage of the market while it’s hot. Automation can reach more clients and close deals faster.

Most real estate agents love dealing with people and communicating. However, other tasks may not be in their wheelhouse, such as spending valuable time marketing their business or keeping track of paperwork. Automation allows them to collect leads, advertise their services, and conduct SMS client follow-ups on the fly. Here are the top ways agents can automate today.

1. Send Texts

People tend to keep their smartphones on them 24/7. Sending out a blast to an SMS list about new properties in the area gets the word out quickly and may help clients get an edge over others looking for similar homes.

Segment audiences to ensure customers get messages only about listings in their price range and based on their wants and needs. Real estate agents have to do a bit of work when initially adding a client to the database. Still, segmentation prevents situations where clients get numerous SMS messages that don’t apply to them.

2. Welcome and Impress Guests

Service robots may seem like space-age innovations, but many tech-savvy businesses have started embracing robots to handle customer service, impress guests and keep operations running smoothly. Robots like Pepper can make the reception and home tours more engaging, give informational presentations and carry on customer service interactions.

In real estate, winning over and supporting clients is a large part of the battle. Agents can find success by generating out-of-the-box professional branding ideas, and for new home buyers and sellers, state-of-the-art technology can be impressive enough to win them over.

3. Tap Into iBuyers to Move Undesirable Properties

Real estate agents dealing with desperate situations or homes in need of massive repairs might want to look into automated iBuyer offers. A relatively new phenomenon in real estate, these buyers rely on automated algorithms to calculate offers for homes.

Of course, as with any new and technologically-driven trend, there are a few crucial things to keep in mind to protect agents and sellers. Reputable iBuyer companies send an appraiser out to view the home in person rather than making an official offer sight unseen. They should also have a solid reputation and touchpoints available with human representatives.

Companies purchasing houses is different from selling to another homeowner, but it can be the ideal solution for certain sellers or properties. Automation speeds along the technologically-driven process for iBuying and creates a reliable new outlet for real estate agents in contact with motivated sellers.

4. Program Live Chat With FAQs

Most real estate agents spend hours upon hours answering the same questions. New buyers need quite a bit of handholding to understand the process of applying for a mortgage, making offers, and closing on a home.

Creating a live chat feature on a website can save time. People ask a question, and the bot answers are based on the pre-programmed answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs). If a query isn’t part of the FAQ, a live agent takes over or a message goes to the real estate professional.

5. Schedule Social Media Posts

Statista estimates 82% of adult United States citizens use social media. Getting the word out via social channels helps real estate agents reach new clients they otherwise might miss out on. Boosting posts allows professionals to choose a target audience, which can include demographics such as location, age, and even interests.

Use a service such as Hootsuite, Buffer, or HubSpot to schedule marketing messages ahead of time. Automating marketing campaigns during slower periods frees up time during peak homebuying season.

6. Perfect the Lead Funnel

If a website does its job, new leads should come through conversions. However, following up on all of them is time-consuming. Fortunately, professionals can create a lead funnel explaining the next steps to interested house hunters.

Since much of the early work in leading a new client toward the perfect home for them involves educating buyers on the process, agents can share much of the information via videos, landing pages, and even SMS messages.

Once users share their cell number or email, a series of dripped messages start. When the person is ready to get started, they set up an appointment. Much of the legwork is already completed for the real estate professional.

7. Embrace Virtual Tours

There is something to be said for taking a client into a home so they can imagine themselves living there. However, agents also spend countless hours driving from one showing to the next with people who aren’t really ready to buy.

Whenever possible, listings should be posted online. Do a complete 360-degree virtual walkthrough tour of the home. Gather every detail imaginable. Open the closet doors, show the insides of cabinets and turn on the water. Anything a client might do or want to know in person can be covered in a virtual showing.

Save the in-person showings for open houses and those who are ready to put an offer in on a specific home.

Automation is a Tool for Real Estate Agents

The real estate market is hot at the moment. Houses sell quickly and for asking price or more. However, it won’t always be that way, and agents want clients to feel appreciated and happy with their decision.

Follow up after every sale and thank the buyer and seller for their business. When the market tightens, the same people will return for their real estate needs and keep things hopping.

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