Marketing automation is sweeping the real estate industry. The latest industry Thought Leader Survey tells us that nearly one in three real estate leaders say they plan to implement marketing automation next year. Of the firms that are using marketing automation, 56% plan to increase their use.
This would mean the number of real estate brokerages planning to use automation would double in just 12 months. By 2017, nearly two-thirds of the real estate industry would be providing their agents with marketing automation.
What does this mean for the industry?
Most real estate executives define marketing automation in real estate as “a service that automatically creates, publishes and distributes the marketing and advertising efforts for a listing.”
More importantly, marketing automation isn’t about buying software; it’s about purchasing a service. That’s a seismic shift in thinking for many broker-owners and franchise executives. With software, management deals with key obstacles including the high cost of effective agent training and low rates of technology adoption by agents.
Marketing automation as a service ushers in an era that changes the conversation away from agent training and adoption to the value that brokers can deliver to their agents and a way for brokers to protect their company’s brand.
What’s in it for franchises and independent brokerages?
Marketing automation is a service made for franchises and large independent brokerages because it addresses three of their most pressing concerns: Agent retention and recruitment, brand consistency and protection, and delivering measurable value to the broker-owner and the agent.
The Thought Leader Survey found that 59% of top real estate executives agree that offering Marketing Automation would be extremely valuable for agent recruitment. We also know from last year’s survey on real estate brands that real estate executives believe that the ‘consistency’ of their brand is highly valuable to their business, with 88% percent ranking it an 8 or higher on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most valuable. With a marketing automation service, the franchise controls its brand as each marketing piece remains consistent across all media channels.
Finally, when a franchise or major independent delivers a marketing automation service that promotes every listing automatically they give their agents more time to sell, and that makes brokers and agents happy and makes everyone more money.
What’s in it for agents?
Agents don’t like to waste time creating marketing materials. That’s because creating first-class marketing materials is not in the typical agent’s skillset. Why do we make it something agents are tasked with if it’s not really in their wheelhouse? Wouldn’t most agents time be better spent focusing on sales rather than creating flyers and postcards or putting together a single property website and YouTube video for every listing? All of this can be provided by a marketing automation service today.
Agents are very concerned about their brand and the image they convey to the market. Marketing automation makes them look their best every single time, for every single property on every single marketing channel, both print and digital. Agents get perhaps the greatest benefits of all from a marketing automation service. Yes, it saves them time, and yes, it makes them look incredibly professional to buyers and sellers. But most importantly, marketing automation lets agents do what they do best: Help consumers buy and sell homes.