To stay ahead in the real estate industry, you need to constantly update your marketing strategy. Digital marketing, in particular, is not optional. After all, real estate is a social activity and by building a presence online, you’re able to connect to leads where they are.
Many real estate agents, though, find there’s too much to do and not enough time to do it all. A solution is to use real estate marketing tools.
Marketing Yourself as a Real Estate Agent
Before even considering what tools you could benefit from, you need to know how you’ll use them in your marketing strategies. Therefore, a good place to start is looking at the best marketing strategies for real estate agents.
1. Maintain a Social Presence
Create social media profiles on the major platforms, as well as any others where you know you’ll find your target audience. Limit yourself to only as many as you know you can handle — it’s counterproductive to have profiles on platforms where you’re rarely active. Users will be frustrated when you take too long to respond or will find no point in following you if you almost never post.
2. Launch a Website
Social media alone is never enough — you also need a website. You’ll need a professional designer to create your website, as it’s always obvious when small business owners have built their own websites. And you don’t want prospects thinking you’re trying to cut corners to save money.
3. Start a Blog
Send more visitors to your website with a blog optimized for search. Make the focus of your blog information that prospects find interesting, such as updates about the area or real estate facts. This will present you as an expert and help you build trust with prospects.
4. Take Great Pictures
Get creative with the pictures you take. Show the property, surroundings, and interesting places in the area. Use a 3D camera to allow users to walk through the property remotely (this is ideal for a virtual open house). This is another activity for which it’s best to hire a professional — ideally someone who specializes in real estate photography.
5. Sponsor Local Events and Teams
Show that you’re part of your community and gain a bigger name for yourself by sponsoring local events (like festivals) or a sports team (perhaps a kids’ team).
6. Generate Leads
Gain more leads to nurture into clients by attracting users with premium content and email newsletters.
With these real estate agent marketing tips in mind, let’s look at how you can use a variety of tools to implement a winning strategy.
Free Real Estate Marketing Tools
Many of the best real estate marketing tools are free to use — at least for the basic features. If you want to gain more from a tool, you can upgrade to a paid version later.
1. Adobe Photoshop Express
Graphics are a key part of real estate marketing. The majority of the time, people make a decision about a property before setting foot inside. You need the right images to attract users to pay the house a visit — or even just to encourage them to take the time for a virtual tour. For this reason, photo editing is essential.
Adobe Photoshop is a top name in image editing, and the Express version is free. As it’s for use on mobile, you can edit your photos on the go.
2. HubSpot CRM
Every real estate agent needs a CRM. Without one, contacts become unmanageable, you could miss out on opportunities, and it’s difficult to track progress toward your targets. An industry leader is HubSpot CRM, which integrates with around 300 different tools.
Best of all, HubSpot CRM gives you a full suite of tools for free, including up to one million contacts, unlimited users, a custom sales pipeline, and email marketing. Many paid CRMs don’t even give you all of this.
3. HubSpot Sales Hub
A second tool from HubSpot is Sales Hub. Again, the free version is enough. You’ll receive email templates, scheduling for meetings within HubSpot CRM, pipeline tracking, and more.
Infographics are one of the best ways to express data — and you have plenty of data when you’re a real estate agent. Creating infographics is simple with Venngage. With a free account, you can create up to five infographics to share publicly. If you want to create more in the future and remove the Venngage branding from your infographics, upgrade to a Premium account. This will also give you access to more templates, along with some other features.
Paid Real Estate Agent Marketing Tools
Free real estate marketing tools will only get you so far. If you’re serious about growing your business, you’ll need to invest. Many tools do offer a free trial, allowing you to check out the key features before you pay.
If you haven’t yet built a website, it’s worthwhile looking at Placester. The tool has templates designed just for real estate websites. It also has integration with IDX and Google Maps, support for capturing leads, and a section for a blog and area pages.
A top tool for running open houses, Spacio allows you to capture leads from in-person and virtual events. You can then send automated emails to follow up with these leads. You can integrate the tool with your CRM to keep contacts up to date.
3. Zillow Premier Agent
Instead of allowing Zillow to take away your business, use the platform as a real estate tool. For instance, when you sign with Zillow Premier Agent, someone at Zillow will verify leads who make an inquiry about your listing and then call you to introduce you to the lead. You can also track what homes your leads view and some of their other activity on the site. All this results in stronger client relationships.
4. IXACT Contact
One option for a paid CRM is IXACT Contact. The benefit of this tool over something like HubSpot CRM is that it’s designed specifically for organizing real estate contacts. Additional features include goal tracking, website creation, email marketing, and social media automation.
With REIPro software, you receive a bundle of useful real estate tools, including a CRM, a library to research properties, and a premium phone search feature to find property owners. Other features include DEALPro, which analyzes deals to help you make better decisions and educational resources to ensure you keep improving your knowledge of the real estate industry.
An alternative to REIPro is Realeflow. It has similar features, including a CRM, deal analyzer, and a function called Leadpipes, which is a search engine for finding high-quality leads. You can also use Realeflow to set up a professional website for your business and for email automation.
There are always going to be times when you are unable to respond to leads in the moment they message you. Structurely provides you with a chatbot that responds to and qualifies leads. Unlike other chatbot tools, Structurely is designed just for real estate leads.
Prospective buyers love the chance to see a floor plan before visiting a property. You can create floor plans yourself with a tool like MagicPlan. All you need to do is take pictures of the corners of rooms and then assemble the rooms into the layout of the property.
9. Smarter Agent Mobile
You can create a customized real estate app designed just for your brand with Smarter Agent Mobile. Once complete, your app will appear in both the App Store and Google Play. Better still, if you have multiple agents working for you, it’s possible to connect their individual apps to your office app. Choose between the single app version for professionals and the comprehensive suite for brokerages.
To take your virtual open house tours to the next level, you need a tool like iStaging. Create 3D tours of properties that prospective buyers can view remotely at any time and 2D live tours to walk leads through a house. You can also buy the fisheye lens your smartphone will need to take 360-degree pictures from iStaging.
Of course, some of your marketing will still be in person. In particular, it’s critical to have business cards on hand to give your contact information to any potential leads when the opportunity arises. For creative business cards that are sure to impress, turn to MOO. The company offers everything from standard business cards to ultra-premium designs.
By using a combination of free and paid real estate agent marketing tools, you can create a marketing strategy that fits around your time constraints and is scalable as you grow your business. Tools are necessary at every stage: when you’re just getting started, when you need to pick up your game to stay competitive, and when you want to take your business to the next level.