by Andreas Kougentakos

The Ultimate Real Estate Marketing Tools to Scale up Your Agency in 2021

As a realtor in 2005, my growth stack for marketing was my laptop and mobile phone. Those two devices were an extension of myself. See, I was following the exact process of Re/Max and there was nothing more in the playbook back then. Even our CRM was not allowed to have it on our personal computers. So, I kept a simple excel spreadsheet to list my prospects and clients along with any useful information (like phone numbers and info on what they are looking for).

However, as an “ethical hacker” by nature, I managed to run the excel on my old phone, a Nokia 7110 with simple functionalities. 

old mobile phone 1
Not my Nokia 7110, but…you get the point!

I remember it like it was yesterday, because when I showed this helpful hack to my Re/Max trainer during the PDT (Personal Development Training), she was so surprised with the innovation that used my initiative as an example to all Realtors in that room and in her future training!

Since then, everything has changed. Now, there are thousands of tools and resources to make our lives easier, or seemingly easier. In 2020 alone, chefmartec recorded 8000 tools (but who’s counting).

 

martech landscape 2020 martech5000 slide
More than 8000 online tools – SAAS – 2020 landscape

So, there is now software for every possible use out there. The most important part is to define how to use them and how to select your Real Estate Growth Stack tools in order for them to work together and maximize the outcome.

The Real Estate Marketing Tools Selection

Here is a list of the best marketing tools I’ve chosen for Realtors. Dare I say, this is the exact list that I would like to have had available back then. This is extremely valuable to both established realtors and those who are just getting started. Most of them are available for free, or they have a free version that suits most people, but some have a small monthly fee.

Fundamental (Free) tools

If you’ve got them, skip this part. If not, please understand that these are an absolute necessity to have. They are great, free tools, and work hand-in-hand with our marketing stack below.

Google Workspace (formerly G Suite)

I encourage you to use Google workspace for your real estate business, not just for the professional Gmail account you get: YourName@YourDomain.com, but mostly for the suite of tools that comes along. I can’t stress this enough: stop sending excel and doc files by email (extremely old school), and switch to Google Docs instead. I’ll put together a separate article just for the benefits of Google Drive in business soon.

google suite

Google Tag Manager

Now, this is something that you might be hearing for the first time if you are new to online marketing, but it’s the backbone of almost every tool that we are about to use shortly. Consider this as a magic container, where you place a simple script of code (just by copy-paste, no dev is needed) and then a new tool works on your website. Once your developer installs it for you, then you don’t need him again for the installment of the tools below. You can do your own coding and I’ll show you how shortly.

Google Analytics

If your developer delivered your website, without proper installation of Analytics, FIRE him (yesterday). At least a simple installation of analytics with basic goals and tracking implementation is kind of mandatory when talking about website development. With that, you will be able to see your website visitors, run some analysis on where they are coming from, what are they searching for, etc., but most importantly we can connect it with Google Ads for ReMarketing.

Fb Pixel

If you are running Facebook ads, you have most likely installed Fb pixel on your website. If not, is it because your developer failed to mention it? If it did come from your developer, keep him after all. 

Fb pixel is like Google Analytics for Facebook. Essentially, it gives you inside information about the audience that is visiting your website, based on the data collected from the user on Facebook. So, you can run ads, for specific people on Facebook, who have visited your wonderful property that you have for sale.

Advanced Marketing Tools

Here comes the Big gun. 

big guns 1

These are the marketing tools that make the difference, and can help you as a Realtor to increase your leads, decrease the management – processing time, increase effectiveness and scale your business.

Slack – A revolutionary communication tool for your team

This is the most powerful communication software for your entire team (and your automations). Slack gives you the ability to create different communication channels for different topics, like new listings, new leads, open houses, etc. and keep track of all written communication with your team, employees and partners organized. 

It’s available on both mobile phone and desktop platforms and allows you to continue the conversation with your colleagues on the go. For instance, send instant photos of the property you just signed from your mobile phone to your “New-Listing” slack channel. I detest using FB messenger for this purpose. It’s chaotic and the search functionality is just horrible.

Besides that, the most important aspect of Slack is getting informed for the activities of our automations. You can have some channels like New Lead from eBook, New Prospects from FB ads, users who have seen a property you sent via email, etc. 

For most realtors, a free account is all you need.

Asana / Monday / Trello

This is the step where you keep your tasks organized. Regardless of which platform you choose (all of them are amazing), they are all integrated with the other tools that we have in our Growth Stack. From listing your simple to-do list, to creating an entire flow of information and checklists with detailed processes, you’ll have it all neatly organized. 

You can i.e. create a process of when a lead is filling a specific contact form, that you have in one of your digital properties (like your website), a task to be added in your “New Prospects to Call” list with a deadline of next day to either you or your assistant for screening.

Monday Interface

Again, there is a mobile version of these platforms as well, to keep you in the loop while on the go. Fun fact, Monday started as an exclusive Real Estate tool, but soon realized its potential to all industries and pivoted their business. This maybe gives you a small heads up about this tool. Anyway, check them all out and choose what fits your needs and style best.

Asana and Trello offer a free plan. Monday offers a free trial only.

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Zapier – Lord of the Tools – (integration and data transferring between tools based on user actions)

One tool to rule them all, and that’s exactly what Zapier does. As said, the most important thing is to combine all the tools you’ve chosen. This is called “integration”. Some tools are offering native integration and that’s great! Slack and Asana for example, work like a charm together but most of the other tools don’t. This is where Zapier comes in to save the day. 

This amazing software creates “bridges” with all the tools that you want and performs advanced actions based on the conditions you set. You can set it to “scan your emails” for specific keywords like: offer, listing, contract etc. and based on that to create Asana tasks, notifications in Slack, etc. You can also set it to grab all your incoming leads from different channels and send them to a spreadsheet (or Airtable – check below) as a new row, so that you can keep track of them and also assign specific tasks to your team members. 

I could go on and on and write examples over examples, but that’s not the point here. I suggest you check it out and find out for yourself what it can do and let your imagination flow. Almost anything can be done with tools like these.

Free plan is limited here, so most likely you will start with ~$20/mo and move on to ~$50/mo. Suggestion: Don’t think of it as money spent; but as time saved. 

Omnisend / Klaviyo

Omnisend and Klaviyo are powerful email platforms, and their functionalities go way beyond standard email platforms like Mailchimp. With these two amazing tools (check their features and decide what best suits your needs), you are turning the standard one-way communication of emails, into a personalized one-to-one. 

It’s possible to segment visitors based on their behavior on your website, like those who saw the amazing villa on the beach, and send them a personalized email, with the new villa that has just become available at that same beach! With Omnisend, you can also send SMS messages and create advertising segments on Facebook, based on the behavior of your email activity.

A free plan is available, but most likely you will start paying $$ based on how many emails you’ve got. Since building a strong email list is fundamental for your real estate agency, be prepared to spend more and more for these tools, (and be prepared to generate more and more money from every email you send).

Calendly – scheduling of appointments with prospects/clients

Why lose time on calling / emailing a prospect for setting up an appointment? Simply send them a Calendly link, and they can book the appointment, based on your availability, setting the time that suits them best. 

Don’t forget to set it, with the tools mentioned above to send notifications in Slack and update your CRM / Spreadsheet / Airtable with prospect status.

A free plan is available, but if you need more options for your appointments a small fee is required.

Airtable

Already mentioned Airtable a few times here, and now it’s the time to introduce it! So what is this tool? Why do you need it and what is its place in this tool’s ecosystem? Imagine Google spreadsheet, or traditional Excel, on steroids

Setting aside the fact that you can add photos in your cells, you can also import columns from other sheets, as a connection between them. The simplest way to explain it is by visualizing Excel and Google spreadsheet as a 2 dimensional tool, while Airtable is 3 dimensional!

airtable animation

The free account is OK for realtors to start with and only pay for more features when they actually need it (and would therefore be worth it).

Appocalypsis

With this simple but extremely useful software, by just a few clicks you can create pop-ups and on-exit intent banners to grab your viewers attention, before leaving your website! 

If they are viewing your properties, offer them a free downloadable “guide for buyers”, so you can exchange the e-book for their email (and then the email goes to your CRM, or Salesflare – check below, to your slack channel etc). 

IT’s free to use for up to 10K page-views/mo. 

How to install it? Just copy and paste the script provided to a new html tag in “Tag Manager” as mentioned above. Publish it and you are good to go. No dev needed!

Albacross

Another hidden gem in our list of favorite marketing tools for realtors, is Albacross. What does it do? Ask yourself what you’ve always wanted when viewing your Google Analytics platform. 

Think, think, think… OK, you’ve thought enough.

Haven’t you always wanted to know who are the hot leads visiting your website, but haven’t made contact with you yet. Not just “visitors” and IP’s but real company names and contact information. Well, your wish just came true.

Albacross, identifies the visitors and also qualifies them, giving you detailed information for the company name, size, country, number of visits, source of visit etc. But theres more! It also helps you contact them (or nurture them, using the rest of our marketing stack).

Imagine you are searching for a CRM for your Real Estate business, and you are visiting the Salesflare website. Let’s assume that you visit it a couple of times, read all the details about it and never make contact (even though you’re considered a hot lead). 

Now try visualizing your feelings, if you get a direct mail (or call) from Salesflare, and a sales rep is trying to invite you for a demo. What would you say? 

“Hey, you are not going to believe this, but I was looking at your website the other day, and I was thinking of joining you… How crazy is that?”

It’s not crazy, it’s Albacross magic!

It used to have a free plan to get started, and it was amazing, since there were no limits to that. Now in the pricing section they have a contact us page, so I’m not sure if it’s free anymore. In any case, it’s worth checking out.

Signrequest

You’ve got the leads and you’ve got the appointments! Now it’s time for signing contracts. But we live in the digital era, plus due to Covid-19 it’s not easy to have physical contact. So what can you do?

You can always show a couple of properties to a potential buyer online, via Video, PPT, Images and using software like zoom, google meet (I’m in love with Google products), Skype etc. But how do you get them to sign before showing the properties and the location? 

Here is where signrequest comes in handy. You can send online docs, both ready for sign, or even with empty sections for the signee to fill in the details. The signed document is valid globally and works just like a physical contract. You can also use it for the listing agreement with the seller. 

It’s free up to a number of documents per month and then a small fee (~$9) applies per user/month.

Salesflare

Salesflare is a CRM that fills out itself, so you barely have to do anything. It also works as an add-on on Gmail (Google Workspace), so you don’t even have to leave your email dashboard. Last but not least, it works great with the entire ecosystem of tools mentioned here and the possibilities on what can be done are endless.

If you already own a CRM, skip this part, since I know how difficult it is for a real estate agent to change the CRM that they’ve gotten used to. However, if you are just getting started or you’re open to alternative solutions (bravo!), read on!

You can see this short video that explains salesflare capabilities in detail.

Phantombuster

This is one of the favorite tools for growth hackers.

You can do amazing things with it, but I’ll leave you to find that out on your own.

What?

I gave you the tools, now go and find out how to work with them, or wait for my training videos with instructions and best practices on how to use them effectively. 

If you don’t want to miss them, make sure you subscribe to my emails, and you will be first to know!