Real Estate Today
Problems Currently Faced
Conventional methods practiced within the real estate industry have been deemed inefficient and cause costly delays.
- Lack of transparency and poor communication delays the process and discourages customers to the point that they may stop working with you.
- Problems arise from inefficiencies in the inspection operations. Between physically assessing properties to contacting property inspectors and confirming that the property complies with all laws and standards, it is a lengthy and resource-draining process.
- Transactional processes are often complex. Ineffective software systems cause delays in payments and/or compliance documentation.
Supplement of Technology
Once technology is introduced into the process, especially software, it effectively reduces and/or eliminates nearly all barriers to growth. Technology gives real estate teams and marketers the edge they need by:
- Significantly boosting your offerings and capacity via workflows and best practices
- Saving tons of time via automation that could be better spent on other processes
- Encouraging productivity, ensuring efficiency in your real estate business and its operations
- Generating and intaking more leads with the help of sales and marketing automation
- Staying compliant with industry laws and standards through software that scan your digital documents and evaluate your processes
Managing Best Practices and Tools
Adjusting to changing standards and moving an existing business online is not only hard but risky. Starting a new real estate business is a relatively easier endeavor than converting your existing business to a contemporary business model. An understanding of the digital realm is essential when developing an online business model. As you incorporate your business online, you need to be alert at all times as you have now entered an extremely dynamic and volatile world.
There has been constant growth and change since the introduction of technology into the real estate industry:
- Realtors previously used FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to send files from the MLS to agents. Updates regarding the business were sent across but lacked a unified format which meant every MLS required specific integration. This made it extremely expensive.
- The advent of RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standard) was introduced in 1999 to facilitate these exchanges and simplify the process. RETS helped improve real estate data aggregation processes and eventually the framework helped create a unified format which eliminated the need for individual MLS integration.
The RETS framework, alongside modern CRM and sales and marketing automation tools like Shape Software has helped transform how people manage their real estate businesses. The following tools are a must-have in your RRE CRM software if you are looking to streamline your processes and reduce inefficiencies:
- Automated Emails: It is extremely important to have a system to keep in touch with your clients. You can’t simply remember to call or text at the perfect time (odds are you’re too busy anyway)– and that’s where your email marketing campaign comes in. Your software should have a built-in drip campaigns that you can customize, automated follow ups, newsletters, and other features designed for personalized and timely communications for every prospect and client.
- SMS Messaging: When you’re engaged in a potential sale, it is important to be available at all times. You may have to make use of text messaging here, in case you or the customer need a quick response, or don’t have access to the internet. Today, a lot of people actually prefer to be contacted via their mobiles (80% of consumers say they want businesses to text them). It is important to stay on top of these changing trends by optimizing your processes using a software that has pre-built texting templates, auto responders, and more so you can always be “on call” without any of the effort.
- MLS Integration: The Multiple Listings Service is a massive database of real estate listings across different regions. It is a great platform that helps you reach a larger audience. MLS allows agents to post listings and even download essential documents. If you’re serious about streamlining your Real Estate business, a software like Shape, which integrates directly with the MLS is a key to cut down on tons of manual data entry.
- IDX Integration: The Internet Data Exchange provides a public platform where you can list the MLS properties, and catch up on the latest policies and compliance regulations. MLS is a closed system reserved only for real estate agents which makes it unavailable to the actual customers who want to buy/rent properties. IDX helps get those MLS properties the exposure they need. Today’s realtors absolutely need an IDX integration for their backend software to be useful.
- Mapping: Mapping out and understanding the geography of a region is crucial before diving into its real estate. Traditional methods require the use of comprehensive secondary data along with costly and time consuming physical inspections. Today, drones and digital mapping tools have helped speed up the process, providing cheaper and more accurate results. Shape is a tool that directly integrates with Google Maps to help streamline inspections, manage listings, and stay in sync.
- Social Media Presence: Almost everyone with access to the internet has a social media presence. It is important to reach your customers through social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest that allow agents to post pictures of potential properties. A strategic social media campaign can boost exposure, increase sales, and create new prospects.
Future Technologies to Look Out For
Staying on the lookout for future technologies is as important as adopting existing technologies for your real estate business. Real estate technology is about to undergo some major changes in the coming years.
- VR: Realtors are currently using Virtual Reality tech to post 3D videos/pictures for people online. The next obvious step is an experience that offers the customer a virtual tour of an entire property, using just VR glasses.
- Blockchain: Cryptocurrencies have proven the advantages of blockchain technology and it is bound to make its way into the real estate industry soon. The security, efficiency, and transparency offered by blockchain tech far surpass the offerings of conventional methods. As the real estate industry slowly moves towards an online model, block-chain may very well be the centralized unifying format all realtors follow.
Technology is here to stay and while the real estate industry is still new to the introduction of tech into its processes, it is destined to soon be a part of every realtor’s daily life.
A business model that welcomes change is the only guarantee to success today. Start making use of convenient software that offers mapping and analytical tools, and even digital marketing to save time, boost sales and prospects. Embrace change and ensure a prosperous tomorrow!
Interested to see how Shape Software can prepare your Real Estate business with sales, marketing, and CRM automation? Book a free demo today!