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Hands down, real estate is one of the most effort-consuming industries as it is a mixed bag of processes: documentation, property management, client management, lead generation, etc.
It takes an enormous toll today on the real estate agencies, as they have to be able to do many things at a time. Well, with sufficient people on your staff it is quite possible. However, when your business starts to take turns and the scale of your account profile grows, being a do-it-all manually becomes challenging.
Real estate automation comes to the rescue! In this article, I will name 5 processes that you can automatize to level up your real estate business. I will also highlight specific instruments that could help you with real estate automation.
What is Real Estate Automation?
Real estate automation is a way to reduce manual work and let your instruments do more work for you. These can be working processes of:
- Automatic notifications
- Lead management
- Financial management
- Transactions’ tracking.
As of now the percentage of the real estate agencies leveraging tech tools in their daily routines is 61%. The most widely used are team management and system automation tools.
At the same time 35% of agencies are considering automation in their processes.
As the reason for NOT automating their processes, real estate agencies name:
- High Cost;
- Lack of required tech talents;
- If-it-isn’t-broken-don’t-fix-it culture towards legacy systems.
Well, sometimes innovations are hard to take on. But in the next paragraf I will outline 4 reasons why you should take on automation in your internal real estate processes.
Step up with our roadmap for real estate business.
4 Reasons Why You Should Automate Your Real Estate Processes?
Here is why you should add automation to your real estate business:
To eliminate the margin of human error
When your business gets to the point where workloads are huge and dynamic, you cannot tackle the problem by simply hiring new people. Overloading the existing people with more and more tasks is also a flawed choice. The more overloaded your team is, the more the margin is for human error.
Step up Effectiveness and Efficiency
Real estate automation is a great instrument to fasten the processes and take the load off your team. Automating mechanical processes like document maintenance or listings submission lets your agents focus on more real-estate-related tasks, like meeting clients and closing deals.
Automation turns your processes and marketing from good to great and lowers the workload on routine operations. For example, according to the report, 30% of the survey participants said that marketing automation made the processes faster and contributed to lead generation.
This does not mean that you need to fire all of your team members. Instead, it means making their work much more simple, so that they can improve something that the code cannot.
To have more control over your business
At a certain point of business growth, it becomes challenging to track how busy your team is. Who is doing which task? And who is free enough to take the urgent task? These are the questions that come along almost every day.
Automatization of real estate processes will help you manage your team's workloads, see their calendars, and plan the workloads respectively.
Decrease operational costs
You can significantly decrease your costs by substituting full-scale processes with an integrated third-party tool.
For example, paperwork routine can be overwhelming for your employees. It can take too much of valuable time, which they could spend providing valuable solutions or generating creative ideas.
To take the load off your team, you can use an existing tool for routine tasks, and call it a day!
5 Processes That Can Be Automated in Real Estate Business
So what are the real estate operations that can be automatized? Well, there are plenty of them. Your choice will depend on the niche and specifics of your business. Here are a few processes that you can automate in your real estate business.
Marketing, Specifically – Lead Generation
Communication with clients is the key to a successful real estate business. The majority of successful professionals in the real estate industry have the talent for communication and public relations. But, there is a BUT.
The problem is that one agent cannot timely and consequently track each request and potential. The rush for a good apartment is too fast. So when customers do not get an instant reply to their requests, they instantly contact another agent. This is how the majority of leads get lost. It’s a sad but true and typical story.
CRM software for marketing automation can optimize the operations and spare time for you to focus on building relationships and closing deals. According to the research, using automation software can increase leads by 77%.
This is what automation of marketing processes will help you with:
- Organize information about your leads and keep it in one place;
- Segmenting your leads in different lists;
- Build a personal relationship with each client and store the history of interaction;
- Automatically respond to the messages from potential clients and gain more leads.
The main benefit of a CRM – it gets the customers’ contacts fast. The customer does not have to fill in huge submission forms. Only a phone number or an email address is enough to use later for an automatic email campaign.
Automating Property Management in Real Estate
Another way in which automation can be helpful is property management. No need to say that if your real estate company has more than 5 agents, the amount of documentation and communication around property management is overwhelming. You can alleviate this amount of work by using a unified property database targeted at new homes and home renovation.
Here are just a few benefits of using such a database:
- Information about all the properties is organized in one place, so you can easily find one;
- Agents have access to the offers of their colleagues and can provide them to the clients in case there is no property matching the request;
- According to its own statistics, the system will arrange new offers among the agents. You can always track the status of the current offers.
By the way, AI and ML have a significant promise in real estate property management. AI-based chatbots help residents to extend a lease, pay rent and get support anytime property issues arise.
Automation Accounting & Financial Management in Real Estate
Tracking transactions, filling in financial statements, and maintaining accounting records – these are just a few typical financial operations carried out in real estate agencies. Keeping control over these operations manually is far from easy. Filling out paper forms and sorting through piles of invoices are the last things you want to do in a real estate business.
What you can do in this case is introducing a centralized system for tracking, reviewing, and controlling the payment process. Once submitted, payment requests can be easily tracked and sent for approval.
Internal Team Workflows
If you have more than five agents in your organization, task management can be challenging. Luckily, you can streamline this process by organizing tasks, setting deadlines, and sharing tasks with other team members in special software.
Here are the benefits which automated task management provides:
- Each agent has its own dashboard with trackers, KPIs, and planners;
- Convenient integrations with Google Calendar or Outlook, where the team can make appointments in the available slots;
- Smooth document flow and availability from anywhere. Real estate apps help to manage all the papers, licenses, agreements, and other legal documents in one place with a high level of security.
Convenient Customer Journey
Real estate automation should not only make your business easier. It should also improve the user experience. Here is the list of benefits that real estate automation can bring to your users:
- Provide a personal account with the ability to create a wishlist;
- Smart filters and search;
- Virtual room tours and 360 views;
- Provide a calendar where clients can see available slots for room tour appointments;
- Real-time communication with real estate agents.
Third-Party Integration vs Custom App Development
There is always a tough choice when doing real estate automation between integrating an existing third-party app or building your own custom solution (like the one we built for Nomad).
My general advice on choosing between the two is to weigh your costs, timelines and business goals in deciding on the solutions which will suit you best.
Nomad Case – Custom Real Estate Automation
To show you a less obvious case of real estate automation, I want to talk about a project Uptech did – Nomad. Nomad is a digital real estate platform that helps customers to find rental offers.
Nomad was targeted for the Dubai market. Typically, by building a real estate platform, you can get a unified database of listings from some brokerage institution in a specific market.
However, it did not work for Dubai, where the real estate market is chaotic, and there was no unified listings system. So Nomad had to manually gather such a system, selecting the proper offers, finding quality photos, reordering, and renaming them with their bare hands!
At some point, this became too burdensome, so we started to seek how to automate this process. As a solution, we developed an admin panel, which automatically unarchived the files sent from brokers into an automatically created box. All the Nomad people had to do with their hands was to drag & drop these photos.
So the gist of the story is – real estate automation can help you significantly decrease the time from apartment listings collection to product release.
Automating real estate processes is a great way to take your business up a notch. Marketing, sales, team, or property management – are just a few examples of real estate processes that you can automate to make your business more successful. Moreover, you can automatize the operations that take too much time or resources to make your team more productive.
Contact our Sales Manager to discuss which processes can be automated in your business.