By: EZ Texting
The real estate industry has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the past several decades. Since it hit rock bottom in 2012, the number of real estate agents has been steadily increasing. The National Association of Realtors reported having over a million members in 2018, and that number has been steadily increasing.
To stay competitive as an industry-leading realtor, you need to constantly reevaluate the effectiveness of your marketing activities. There are a number of real estate marketing tools available to help you attract more home buyers, promote new listings, sell more homes, and more.
To take your real estate marketing to the next level this year, you need to invest in the results-driven marketing tools on our list.
Real Estate Marketing Tools Agents Must Use in 2019
In this list of tools, you’ll learn how to turn a competitor into an asset, discover new ways to communicate with customers, figure out how to save time on routine tasks, and even transform your smartphone into a powerhouse virtual tour camera.
As a realtor, it’s easy to look at Zillow as a competitor instead of a tool that you can use to grow your business. Zillow states that their goal is to empower consumers with data, inspiration, and knowledge around the place they call home. Zillow aims to connect consumers with the best local professionals who can help.
This isn't a bad thing for realtors.
Consumers are able to do a lot of research and educate themselves easily using Zillow. However, it is important to understand that they want you and not just the data that you have access to. Customers will come to you for your experience, knowledge, responsiveness, reliability, and creative insights.
For you to utilize Zillow as a tool in your arsenal, there are a few things that you need to do.
1. Create & Optimize Your Profile
You need to make sure that you have your profile setup completely. Fill everything out with as much detail and personal insights as possible. This is going to be your first impression for many of the potential clients that find you on Zillow.
2. Optimize Your Listing Data
Zillow places a lot of emphasis on the data that they receive from their sources and users. Because of this, inaccurate and incomplete data is really common. Take the time to make sure that your listings really stand out in the crowd. Consider adding videos to help give them more of an edge.
3. Get Reviews
I'm sure that you know by now how important client reviews are. On Zillow, agents with more reviews and higher ratings will stand out. You should make it a point to add new reviews every month.
4. Answer Some Questions
Zillow's advice section gives you an opportunity to answer questions that customers are asking. The answers that you give will also be tied to your Zillow profile. So by answering questions, other users can see that you were experienced and qualified.
2. EZ Texting
As a realtor, you cannot afford to wait for a buyer to check their emails and risk losing out on a listing. EZ Texting is a platform that enables you to utilize SMS text message marketing to communicate quickly with your customers.
Texting is fast, immediate, has a high response rate, and it's the most requested form of communication today.
SMS marketing boasts the following:
A 98% open rate that is five times higher than email.
78% of consumers want to send text messages to a business.
A 45% response rate that is seven times higher than email.
Real estate text message marketing can be done using SMS or MMS messages.
SMS messages are text only and allow you to send out dates, times, and locations of showings. They can also be used for monthly reminders for rent and utilities.
MMS messages can include text-based content, and they also include the option to add on pictures or videos. This could be especially helpful for sending buyers photos of a property.
EZ Texting’s platform features a number of tools to help realtors find success with SMS and MMS messaging.
3. HubSpot’s Free CRM and Sales Hub
A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is purpose-built to help you generate more meaningful interactions with prospects and customers. From the first touch to final handshake, an industry-leading CRM stores valuable customer information organizes conversations, creates automated follow-up reminders, and more.
Beyond that, it stores information about what works and what doesn’t from a marketing perspective. For example, you can start to gain an understanding of where the leads that end up purchasing are coming from. You’ll know if they are coming in from Facebook, Zillow, Google, or somewhere else. This allows you to focus more of your time on what works and less time on what doesn’t.
Fit Small Business rated HubSpot’s CRM + Sales Hub the best overall free real estate CRM. They compared it to other CRMs in the areas of price, number of users, number of contacts, ability to capture leads from a variety of sources, call, text, and email logging, email marketing, ease of use, customization options, and unique features.
They said that it was the best because:
It allows you to have up to one million contacts on the free tier.
You can have unlimited users for free.
The CRM has the ability to create custom sales pipelines.
It also includes basic email marketing features inside the CRM.
HubSpot is providing more features at the free level than many other CRMs do in their paid plans.
Some information about the leads that come in is also auto-populated, which is something you don’t see in most CRMs — even on paid tiers.
You can pair the free CRM with the free version of Sales Hub to unlock even more features. For example, your Sales Hub unlocks email scheduling, tracking, notifications, attachments, and the ability to schedule meetings and calls within the CRM.
As a real estate agent, you know that time is money. Spending too much time on ineffective marketing will, with some certainty, end up costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
69% of real estate agents are using Facebook to move real estate according to the National Association of Realtors. If you aren’t on social yet, then you need to get started before you get left behind.
You need tools that are cost-effective and save you time. Thankfully, when it comes to managing your social media channels, Hootsuite has you covered. It helps you work smarter, not longer.
Put simply, Hootsuite is a social media management tool. It lets you schedule social media posts for any time during the day or in the future. You can connect Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and more.
To get started, you can begin with just one or two social networks. Most people start with Facebook and Twitter. By starting off with a couple of channels, you can avoid stretching yourself too thin.
Spend an hour or so at the beginning of each week building your content and scheduling it inside Hootsuite so that you have new posts steadily hitting your account through the week.
By now, you know how important high-quality images and videos are when it comes to promoting new listings. iStaging takes your listing media to a whole other level.
Their product suite includes a user-friendly 360-degree VR camera app that you can use with your own cell phone. iStaging also includes a cloud platform that you can use to upload and edit your VR tours for a very affordable price.
To get started, we recommend trying out the free version.
If you can take photos or videos with your smartphone, then you’ll be able to shoot a virtual tour. iStaging’s VR Cam app makes it easy. It’s as simple as standing in the middle of a room, opening the app, and capturing the video for the tour.
When you’re done filming, you can easily use their cloud software to create a floorplan-driven tour that can be shared through a web link. You can generate an embed code that allows you to place the tour on your listing or directly on the homepage.
Beyond the Tools — You Need Strategy
Building a successful real estate empire is about more than just having the right toolkit. You need to have the right strategy for how you’re going to use them as part of your big picture. It’s time to choose a marketing channel to master and get ahead of your competitors.
Top real estate agents continue to choose SMS marketing as their preferred communications channel.
98% of all text messages sent through EZ Texting’s platform are read by the recipients.
90% of those messages are read within the first three minutes.
You won’t find stats like that with email, social media, print, or any other marketing channel. At EZ Texting, we have had the privilege of helping many agents just like yourself get started with SMS marketing and achieve amazing results.
We have combined all of that knowledge into our Real Estate Playbook. Download your copy today and get a jump start ahead of your competitors.