REAL ESTATE

How IT Can Increase Real Estate Agency Sales By 300%

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05
May 2018

Does it sound unrealistic? Fear not, it is totally possible if you opt for investing in software solutions that follow the latest trends in web development and are developed using the state-of-the-art technologies.

Here are some facts about real estate that may convince you that this investment will pay off:

  • clients do not want to run from one real estate to another one, they prefer to select the best offers while comfortably sitting in front of the computer at home;

  • real estate agents spend the most part of working time not for actually selling property;

  • 75% people prefer to look for property to acquire or rent on the Internet;

  • a person needs to use the real estate agent services again at least once within 5 years.

So, let’s take a look at how developers can enhance your business and make your profit skyrocket.

#1. Corporate Websites With The Property Catalog For Real Estate Agencies

How A Website Can Be Beneficial For A Real Estate Agency

1. New clients. If you do not have a website, you cannot promote your agency properly on the Internet. Considering that most people look for property online, you are missing out on the main sales channel.

2. The brand is vital for building long-term cooperation. If clients enjoyed using your services and they remember the name of your agency, next time they need to look for real estate, be sure that they will turn to you for help.

According to marketers, in order to remember the name of a company, a person needs to see it at least 5 times. It could be the logo on the visit card, an outdoor sign, etc. Surely, it would be helpful if the real estate agent mentioned the agency name several times during a conversation with the client. However, the most effective to use this rule in practice is to have a website, as the potential client sees the name of the company while searching for property, reviewing various offers, saving the link and sharing it online with the friends or relatives. In case the client loses the visit card, he or she will remember what the website looks like and will recognize it even after a long period of time.

3. Communication gets easier. Having sent a link to the property on your website, you will be sure that the information displayed there is accurate and full, the photos are good-quality and clear, and that the client will not be tempted to switch to another ad placed by your competitors. The last one can happen if you send the link that leads to a third-party ad aggregator).

4. Developing new lines of business. You are not selling houses located in holiday villages yet? Or, perhaps, you have wanted to start operating in the field of daily rent? If you have your own website, new beginnings will be smooth and hassle-free. Just follow these steps:

  • choose a real estate agent to be responsible for collecting information about the property and contacting clients;

  • create a new section on the website;

  • place the information about the property you offer on the website;

  • start advertising on social and traditional media, launch SEO.

After all of this, the only thing you need to be prepared to do is to answer the calls from your potential clients.

5. Scalability. Many real estate companies opt for personal sales. Usually, after a client comes to the agency, the agent takes him or her from one property to another while advertising the advantages of the offer.

Surely, face-to-face communication is the most efficient way to close a deal. However, in order to make your company bigger and improve your state of affairs, you need to hire new staff members, open new branches, expand your management resources, rent offices, buy new equipment, etc. Even after doing all of that, at some point you will reach the limit you cannot exceed.

How Can A Website Solve These Issues?

  • It increases the number of closed deals per employee

If you have a well-promoted website that contains a great number of offers, it improves the performance of your real estate agents. The thing is that the client chooses the most suitable property from your catalog on his or her own. There is no need to waste time showing a huge number of flats or houses that the client is not guaranteed to like. The website lets the client choose the property. All you need to do is to show the most suitable property and close the deal.

  • The main part of the work can be done by less qualified staff

A real estate agent has one task, and that task is to sell. You can delegate collecting information and adding it to the website. Real estate agents can get all the necessary information by looking at the detailed overview of the property via their personal accounts. Thus, they don’t need to spend time driving to the new property and taking photos of it.

  • It expands the geography of your operations

Just like in any other industry, your clients are the most valuable indicators of your success. Having a real estate website that is frequently visited allows you to take advantage of the limitless source of new clients. You can use it to start operating in new cities, states or even countries.

Choosing the business model for expanding is totally up to you. You can open a new branch of your agency or redirect your clients to your partners. The most important thing remains to be the same – expanding does not require huge additional human resources.

How Much A Real Estate Website Costs

The development costs depend solely on the complexity of the solution required, the load and the traffic volume that are expected, and the specific requirements regarding the website functionality.

We strongly recommend starting with a basic version of the website that will be able to attract new clients and improve it afterward. You should expect to spend approximately from $4,000 to $7,000.

You can check out an example of a website developed for a real estate agency in our portfolio.

#2. Real Estate Business Process Automation: Key Hints for Agencies

The system for working with clients is vital for any real estate agency that has more than 5 people in its staff.

What functions can such a system include and what is it for?

1. A single common property database. Its advantages include but are not limited to the following:

  • The information about all offers is in one place which makes looking for a suitable one a lot easier;

  • Real estate agents have access to the properties of their colleagues and can offer their properties in case they do not have offers that match the client’s requirements at their disposal;

  • New offers can be distributed equally among all the employees thanks to the statistics that such a system provides;

  • You can always see the up-to-date state of the available offers.

2. A CRM system for managing interactions with clients.

A CRM system is an irreplaceable helper for any business. In simple terms, it represents a single list of all the clients that have ever reached out to your company, and it contains detailed information about them – contact details, what they were interested in, the interaction history.

Such a system speeds up carrying out the tasks that employees have to deal with. Besides, it increases the share of the deals that were closed and serves as a tool for sales follow-ups.

How CRM Systems Can Increase Your Sales

First of all, CRM system development allows distributing the income messages. A new client is automatically assigned to a certain real estate agent that is available and that can be of help (based on the workload and the qualification). Or, a new client can be put on the list of the clients that are open to offers (the list is available to all employees). Thus, working with a client begins a lot faster.

Secondly, the system automatically picks the most suitable property from the database for each client. This allows sending first offers to the client in a matter of minutes.

Thirdly, detailed reports for the top management, notifications about expected actions and detailed statistics significantly increase the efficiency of working with every client without forgetting about any clients or leaving anyone frustrated as the result of cooperating with your company.

And the last but not the least, a CRM system allows you to make sales follow-ups easy and hassle-free. If your client rented an apartment, the chances are he or she will be looking for a new one in one or two years. If a client bought a house, he or she may be looking for a new one in five years. If you remind your clients about the services that can be useful for them in time via calls, letters or ads, they are guaranteed to become your regular clients.

#3. Saving Up To 40% Of Your Employees’ Time

Every company has its particular workflow. Some agencies require the approval of their lawyers to close a deal; at some companies, real estate agents waste tons of time for creating complimentary documentation for the deal; at some companies, a real estate agent has to fill many spreadsheets in order to get paid (instead of closing more deals).

All the internal working processes can and should be automated as automation saves the time of your employees while maintaining the usual working algorithms.

There can be no doubts about the economic viability of implementing an internal automation system. There are a lot of various ready-to-use automation systems offering you to subscribe to them. In case you couldn’t find the system that would suit your internal business processes or you have no desire to pay a large subscription fee every month, developing your own automation system will be a perfect choice for you. On average, the cost of development of a system with basic functionality starts from $10,000.

Selling On Third-Party Sources

In the real estate industry, the main inflow of leads is generated by ad aggregators that are dedicated to renting and selling real estate. Zillow and Homes.com are the top ad aggregators in the USA. In France, Leboncoin and Vivastreet have also proven to be popular among the Internet users.

Today, the majority of real estate agencies place their ads on such websites manually. It takes approximately 15 minutes to place one offer on average. If you need to place five offers, it will take 75 minutes of working time that could be spent on something else. How many real estate agents does your company have – five, ten, twenty? Well, then your company loses 375, 750 or 1,500 minutes of working time daily respectively to fulfill this task. Are you willing to keep losing?

This process can be automated, and this would save up to 90% of the time spent on placing ads.

You can choose anything from the following ways of automation:

  • sending the data via API. Using this data transfer channel allows you to add ads to an infinite number of third-party aggregators by simply adding the offer to your website.

  • a bot development for placing ads. If you want to reach aggregators that do not support API, you can have a bot developed for logging in to the website and place ads by repeating the actions of a real person.

  • specialized services that are based on partner sales. There is a wide range of resources like mls.com that are already integrated with dozens of aggregators for selling/renting real estate property. After placing the offer on the website, it will be sent to this service via API. This service, in its turn, will place the offer on its partner sources where other real estate agents will be working on looking for a client for the offer in exchange for a commission.

real estate listings

Thus, you do not need to waste real estate agents’ time for posting the offers in multiple places. They can add the offer to your website one time, and the automation system will spread it to the dozens of other websites.

Optimizing Communication

What else do real estate agents spend time doing? Obviously, they spend a lot of time on communication a part of which can be automated as well.

We are used to the convenience of communicating via emails, Skype, Facebook, Viber bot, etc. So, instead of becoming closer to the client, a real estate agent has to adapt to the messenger the client is using.

Omnichannel services can be a good solution for this issue. Long story short, if you use a CRM system within the company, you can integrate its chat with various other communication channels in order to send messages to the messenger that is convenient for the client to use while typing them in the CRM chat.

The advantages of omnichannel services include:

  • speeding up the work for real estate agents. They won’t need to have 10+ messengers installed on a smartphone or PC, regularly check all of them for new messages, and spend time sending the photos of the property and recalling what client they are communicating with at the moment.

  • increasing the loyalty of the clients, as you communicate with them in a way that is convenient for them.

  • saving the whole messaging history in the CRM system instead of the real estate agent’s smartphone that leaves the company after he or she quits.

The Bottom Line

There is a variety of ways the modern technologies can make the lives of real estate agents easier and ensure that your business grows. Waste no time – go to the frontier of implementing the software solutions that will enhance your agency! Feel free to reach us out in case you have any questions and want to discuss your needs and requirements, or you would like to request a free quote for your idea.

 

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