Labor-saving technology, or automation is the technology used to minimize human assistance for a process. It’s also one of the best ways to gain a competitive advantage in your local market because it makes your business run more efficiently. If your business runs efficiently, you’ll have more time to focus on helping your clients and/or spending time with family.
To ensure your business is running as efficiently as possible, assess the amount of time that you spend on certain tasks, prioritize them, and look for opportunities to save time. Focus on tasks that are repetitive like data entry, writing, and scheduling as well as tasks where timing is a factor. Then ask yourself, “Can I automate this task?”
In this article, we’ll recommend six tasks that every real estate professional, including yourself, must automate to procure more time to focus on clients.
- Import Listings from Your MLS to Your Website
- Update City/Neighborhood SEO Pages
- Schedule Social Media Posts
- Consistently Send Emails Long-Term
- Manage Digital Marketing Ads
- Follow Up Within a Timely Manner
1. Import Listings from Your MLS to Your Website
You’re wasting a lot of time if your website doesn’t automatically import your listing from your MLS to your website. To save time and energy on this task, you need to integrate a system that automatically transfers the listing’s information, uploads the photos, and creates a listing page for your website. By automating listing imports, you can reduce the amount of time and energy spent on this task by 50%. In other words, if it takes half an hour to import your listings into your MLS and then your website, it will only take 15 mins since you will only need to complete the task once.
- Tasks Replaced by Automation: Transferring and updating listing information from the MLS to your website.
- Remaining Tasks: Uploading listing information to your MLS.
2. Update City/Neighborhood SEO Pages
In order to increase your google search ranking and generating organic leads, you must manage your website and optimize its SEO through neighborhood pages. These pages provide a lot of value to your website visitors, but they could take several hours to research the neighborhoods you work in, create a page for them, and keep each page updated with fresh information on a monthly basis.
To save time creating and updating SEO friendly neighborhood pages, use real estate marketing tools like local market reports, community reports, school reports, and points of interests to keep information fresh. If you leverage automation to create and update your SEO friendly neighborhood pages, you can reduce the amount of time spent on SEO by 90% - from two hours to 12 minutes.
- Tasks Replaced by Automation: Creating SEO pages for neighborhoods, researching information online, writing website copy, and updating pages monthly.
- Remaining Tasks: Reviewing content.
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3. Schedule Social Media Posts
There are many tasks associated with posting on social media that require a lot of time to complete. You must create a content calendar with a variety of entertaining, informative, and educational posts with captivating content, a compelling caption, a hot headline and a decisive description. Then you have to share or schedule the post – at least five times per week! Sure you could save some time scheduling future posts in sets, but you can save even more time by using a social media posting tool that does all of it for you – all you have to do is follow up with the comments on your posts. By leveraging a social media tool that automatically creates and schedules a variety of posts for you, you can reduce the amount of time spent on social media posts by 80%. In other words, from two hours to 30 minutes.
- Tasks Replaced by Automation: Creating/finding content, writing captions, and scheduling a variety of posts.
- Remaining Tasks: Reviewing scheduled posts, analyzing data, following up with comments and direct messages
4. Consistently Send Emails Long-Term
In order to stay top of mind with a lead, you must stay in contact with them. Email is still a powerful tool to achieve this goal, but your strategy needs to be consistent and for the long run. It takes days to create and write email templates for new leads, new listings, your marketing tools, reengaging emails, welcome emails, and more. Then it takes several minutes to add the right name, city, and other information. Then you must send or schedule it. You must do this countless times in order to keep a lead engaged until they’re ready to hire you and that takes countless hours.
Instead of spending all your time and energy writing and setting up emails, leverage a CRM that uses email drip campaigns to automatically send a variety of personalized emails on your behalf. The best CRMs will send emails and/or texts based on a lead’s behaviors on your website and marketing tools. These triggered messages have high response rates due to their timely correspondence. By leveraging a CRM with long-term, personalized email drip campaigns, you can reduce the amount of time spent nurturing by 75% - from two hours to 30 minutes.
- Tasks Replaced by Automation: Writing, updating, and personalizing email copy, scheduling the email, researching the lead’s activity, selecting the right content/tool/listing to share throughout a lead’s lifetime, etc.
- Remaining Tasks: Reviewing email stats, following up with replies, and applying new subject lines.
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5. Manage Digital Marketing Ads
If you want to generate new leads outside of your sphere of influence and have the budget, digital marketing ads are powerful lead generation tools that can grow your real estate business. Even though they take time and money to discover the perfect formula, the benefits are incredible. To figure out your perfect formula, target the right audience, use persuasive ad content, apply the correct ad format, and analyze your data to find optimization opportunities. All of these tasks can be automated, and they can work together with your social media posts and SEO neighborhood pages to generate leads. By automating your digital marketing ads, you can reduce the amount of time spent by 90% - from one three hour to about 15 minutes.
- Tasks Replaced by Automation: Creating, writing, and scheduling ads, creating a target audience, optimizing ads, and learning the knowledge to implement digital marketing ads
- Remaining Tasks: Choosing the ad format and following up with replies/comments.
6. Follow Up Within a Timely Manner
Replying to a new lead’s message doesn’t necessarily take a lot of time but having the time to do it efficiently, consistently, and within a timely manner is a challenge. For example, you couldn’t follow up with a new lead in a timely manner if you’re in a meeting with a client, right?
Ideally, you want to follow up with online leads within five minutes of their form fill (Request for information or inquiry) because it’ll give you the best chance of getting a reply and have a conversation, so you can convert them into a client. According to a Lead Response Management Study, “The odds of calling to contact a lead decreases by over 10 times in the first hour, qualifying a lead in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drops 21 times, and from 5 minutes to 10 minutes the dial to qualify odds decrease 4 times.” As you can see, there is a huge benefit for contacting a new lead within 5 minutes of a form fill.
There will be times when you might not be able to call a new lead, but a text or email should suffice, since many consumers do not pick up unknown phone numbers. Since the timing of your follow up message is crucial for converting a lead, it’s best for you to automate them and have them send based on behavioral triggers on your website and other digital marketing tools.
By leveraging personalized automated follow up messages, you won’t have to worry about following up with a lead in a timely manner with the right information, or stress about them fall through the cracks because the system will do it for you. If you automate follow up messages for your real estate business, you could reduce the amount of time spent on them by 80% - from 20 minutes to four minutes (but mostly zero minutes because it’s automated).
- Tasks Replaced by Automation: Creating, writing, sending follow up messages in a timely manner and lead research.
- Remaining Tasks: Continuing the conversation.
Many real estate professionals that are looking to scale their business must leverage automation to grow their business. However, any real estate professional that wants more free time, should invest in automated systems that perform repetitive and timely tasks. By automating tasks like importing listings, updating SEO pages, posting on social media, sending emails, digital marketing ads, and follow up, you can dramatically decrease the amount of time spent on these tasks and increase the amount of time focusing on clients – or your family.