Marketing automation is a fantastic tool, but how can it help you if you work in the real estate industry? And how do you get started? Let’s go through it together.
The customer’s expectations
Customers across all sectors have high communication expectations. They demand better feedback, faster information and increased relevance. At the same time, competition for customers in the real estate industry is intensifying.
This means that you have to put even more effort into your communication in order to be at the forefront and achieve high customer satisfaction. To succeed in this, you need smart tools that allow you to switch up your communication and work more efficiently.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is exactly what it sounds like: A way to automate sending emails, texts or other forms of communication. You can send targeted messages according to rules you determine with a marketing automation tool.
It can be described as a flow with different forms of communication set up with a number of parameters such as “if X happens, Y is the next step”.
So what is ‘X’?
Here are some everyday examples for the real estate industry. Someone:
- Visits your website and downloads something
- Subscribes to your newsletter
- Signs a rental agreement for a flat
- Signs up to be notified about a new building project
- Has been in your office premises for almost five years
- Moves to or out of one of your properties or premises
One of these activities can trigger a tailored marketing automation feed. There can then be several new events in the flow that determine how the person in the feed proceeds. If the feed consists of a series of newsletters, the frequency of the mailouts may be higher or lower depending on the choices the recipient makes during the feed.
Anyone who clicks on links in the newsletter for specific offers or topics can be forwarded to a new feed that focuses more on what they actually showed interest in. Everything is designed to give the customer the right information at the right time to increase accuracy.
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How marketing automation can help you if you work in the real estate industry
You can make your communication work more effective with a marketing automation feed to make sure the communication is relevant to the recipient. The result is that the customer feels seen and satisfied, thus generating more business. This in turn creates higher NKI values, increased profitability and greater cost savings.
Combine quality with quantity
The great thing about marketing automation is that you can increase the quality and quantity of your customer communication. The time you save by avoiding manual input can be spent creating great content for your marketing automation feeds. Wave goodbye to emails with mismatched language and graphics written by different employees and stick to uniform emails that all look the same and represent the company in the best possible way!
The marketing automation feed is a golden opportunity for your company to take control of all communication so it follows the brand guidelines.
Resources and structures are freed up
With automated communication processes you can free up resources that can be utilised for other value-generating activities. One of the bonuses of starting to use a marketing automation tool is that it becomes natural to simultaneously review your communication strategy, identify which communication feeds you currently have and where you lack clear frameworks. Create a safe space with a structure so everyone knows who’s doing what.
How marketing automation can be used for different purposes
Marketing automation is effective for long processes with potential customers and for shorter processes such as processing specific issues. Here is a list of a few examples of situations that are perfect for marketing automation.
Finding new business
- Example: Anna signed up to your newsletter a while ago. You mentioned a new housing project in Gothenburg in one of these newsletters. Anna clicks on the link, thereby triggering a marketing automation feed for Anna, which gives her targeted information about the housing project. Anna is interacting in the newsletter and clicking on the links. Based on the link click, the estate agent responsible receives a notification and can act in a more targeted way in the continued follow-up with Anna.
- Example: Marcus is renting a small flat from you and signs up to be notified about a four bedroom flat in the same area. What do you think Marcus is interested in? A bigger flat, of course. Make sure that Marcus is on the list for mailouts regarding larger flats that become available in the surrounding area.
Making existing customers happy
- Moving in: ABC company is moving into your premises soon. Two weeks before moving in, a welcome feed is started, with information about the property, contact details for local moving companies, and tips on nearby lunch restaurants. You can offer a warm welcome without having to lift a finger.
- Moving our moving out: Mirjam has given notice on her current flat to move into one of your flats. This triggers a series of communications designed to guide Mirjam through the moving process to make it simple and comfortable for her.
- Two months before moving before departure, Mirjam is contacted for booking the final inspection of her home. A link to My Pages and contact details for the relevant person can be found in the mailout.
- Six weeks before the move, Mirjam is contacted with tips about cleaning and moving companies.
- Three weeks before the move, she receives good advice for her inspection to be approved, as well as information on how to change her address.
- Feedback when processes are concluded: A process is concluded, which triggers the sending of a customer feedback form to the tenant. The survey design is based on the type of process and when the customer last received a feedback form. If the customer doesn’t reply within a certain time limit, a reminder will be generated. When the customer has replied, a “Thank you for your feedback!” email will be generated and you can send a discount code at the same time .
How to create a good marketing automation feed
- Get to know your target group.Think about how your specific target group works. “If the customer does X (for example clicks on a specific link ot signs up for something), they should be interested in Y”.
- Segment. To create a marketing automation feed that is highly relevant, you need to split up your target group into smaller categories. This can be based on factors such as customer status and geographical area, how long they have been a customer with you or what type of contract they have. If it’s a potential customer, you should think about where they are in the buying journey and which messages are suitable depending on how far they are from a purchase decision. It’s easier to target messages that will inspire your customers with small segments. You’ve probably heard the saying “You can’t please everyone”
- Experiment. Try different things and see what works. Create a feed and see if it does what you want it to do. Start small and focus on the aspects of the customer journey that you know best and believe create the most value. This can mean time freed up for you or for aspects that add value for your customers .
- Improve. A good marketing automation tool is easy to understand and doesn’t take too long to get set up. What you need to learn,is what works for you and your company. Evaluate continuously to see where you need to change or test new things.
Connect customer data with the marketing automation feed
For a clear overview of your feeds – who is in them and where – you should integrate your customer data with your marketing automation system. If you use different data sources in the system, it can quickly become messy, and a customer risks ending up in several feeds at the same time.
The best solution is to have all your customer data in a CRM system, which you integrate with your marketing automation tool. If you want to make it even easier, you can choose a CRM system that has a built-in marketing automation tool.
The marketing automation tool Automated Flows is a part of Lime CRM, which lets you create a feed of emails and texts that you can easily edit. All the data from the feed goes directly into Lime CRM.
“With automated flows, our emergency team receives automatic texts as soon as a new process is created in Lime CRM. In this way, we can start the case management much more quickly than before.”
Karin Persson, Process development, Pingday AB
CRM system for a better overview
If you work with communication and marketing, it’s vital that you have access to a centralised source where all the data is gathered. The more tools you use, the harder it becomes to keep all the information separate. With a CRM system you can gather all your data in the same place, get a better overview of your target group and can increase the quality and targeting of your marketing communication.
What’s your next step?
Where is your customer data today? Perhaps in a CRM system, an Excel file or a property management system? Can you easily get an overview and work with your customer data? If you can’t, it’s a good place to start.
Step two is getting an overview of your communication processes. Which processes are most in need of a smoother communication process?
Step three is probing the market, and trying to find a tool that is a good fit for the real estate industry and your needs. Our tip is to always start with a stripped-down solution and switch up as the need arises. No need for a complex solution if it’s not required.
If you want to talk more about marketing automation, or just customer relationships in general, we’re just a phone call away.