Looking beyond the challenging past year, it’s time to focus on what’s ahead of us. With top real estate experts predicting a post-pandemic rebound, there’s never been a better time to analyze your business strategy and plan for the upcoming months.
If you’ve already begun setting yourself some ambitious goals for 2021, you’ll want to make sure you have the best real estate marketing tools to help you along the way. To help you make the right choice, I’ve selected and categorized the 17 best tools that’ll make your real estate marketing efforts much more fruitful.
Best real estate marketing tools in 2021:
- Task and project management
- Lead generation and marketing automation
- Customer relationship management
- Visual marketing
- Social media marketing
Task and project management
For real estate teams, there are many moving parts and as a team leader, it’s your job to keep everyone in sync. Trello helps you manage tasks efficiently using a system much similar to a Kanban board. Kanban essentially is a simple, visual way to track work in progress and identify bottlenecks in a system.
Using a board structure, you can see the structure of projects at a glance, what the stages are for each part of the project and what path a task must go through. This break-up of tasks into stages is especially essential for productivity.
Trello’s standard pricing is $10 per month charged annually. There is a free forever package which would be great for finding your way around the app.
A principle of the Kanban method is “more work in progress slows down the entire system”. Whether in a team or individual setting, try to limit the number of projects you’re working on at a time.
Clickup is similar to Trello, but offers more features. Both of them are pretty standard productivity apps that can keep you organized. If you collaborate in a team setting, Clickup would be a better tool for you. The web and mobile apps are intuitive and simple to use which makes it a favorite for industries like real estate.
You can organize or assign projects (statuses) day-to-day, just like in other popular project management tools. These statuses are customizable. For example, you could have statuses catalogued as lead generation, in contract, sold, follow up etc. There are three viewing modes – list, box, and board. It helps filter information so you’re not overwhelmed with to-dos.
Clickup is essentially a free project management software. The Business plan starts at $5 per user per month billed annually.
It’s easy to follow up on tasks in a team setting using the assigned comments feature. You can create an assigned comment directly within any existing comment (action item) and assign it to anyone on your team.
Zoom is many things to many businesses – a collaboration tool, a teleconferencing tool, a meeting tool, a quick chat tool, or just a tool for conducting training sessions. It’s very versatile, which is probably the reason why the company saw a lot of growth in 2020. For real estate, you can conduct showings with Zoom, client or team meetings, or just leverage Zoom chat for assigning tasks.
Zoom Chat is an IM client that allows you to instantly jump into a meeting and see or post company-wide announcements. You want to limit the ability to make postings to executive leadership or your PR team. To reference a conversation in another chat, you can create a direct link to that chat group by typing #[channel name].
Zoom Basic is free, Zoom Pro costs $14.99 per host per month, Zoom business costs $19.99 per host per month.
Use Zoom’s settings to make your appearance better – the “touch up my appearance” option in Zoom settings would come handy. You could also get a ring light which cost less than $40 since lighting is very important for making good videos.
360 degree photos in real estate have become the norm. You can get a high resolution 360 degree camera for less than $300. And they work because people love immersive content. BoxBrownie has a slew of photography experts who help fine-tune your 360 degree real estate photos.
For real estate agents, they offer CGI renders and photo enhancements including virtual staging, removing unwanted clutter, turning property photos from day to dusk. BoxBrownie is on this list because of its virtual staging services, allowing you to use top notch home staging with your 360° photos to create the right impression.
Pricing is per project. Regular image enhancements cost $1.6, day to dusk enhancement costs $4. You can do virtual staging at $32 per project and full virtual renovation at $24 to $172, depending on complexity.
When taking a 360° photo, you want to show off an area or room with many interesting features, considering that the viewer will want to explore the full image.
Upwork is the largest remote working platform, connecting freelancers, independent professionals and agencies with businesses of all sizes. It currently has over 12 million freelancers on its platform.
Upwork provides an easy way to hire experts to do work you’re not qualified for or that’ll take up hours of your time. For example, hiring a VA for your real estate business is as simple as posting a job description and waiting for qualified bids to come to you. Upwork’s platform allows you to interview applicants by asking any question you want. You could also interview freelancers via video or voice call on the Upwork platform.
Upwork freelancers bid on projects. Pricing is determined either per project or per hourly freelance rate.
Your job description should be as clear and accurate as possible since these contractors know nothing about you or your company beforehand.
Lead generation and marketing automation
Apart from its recognition as an email marketing leader and being an all-in-one online marketing software, GetResponse serves you as the ultimate lead generation software.
GetResponse features many lead-generating tools, including a wide array of landing page templates, live chats, marketing automation, conversion funnels, and webinars. You can also run Facebook and Google Ads directly from GetResponse and even build a website for your real estate business. This makes it much easier to build a strong online presence and target custom audiences.
Here’s a quick overview of their new website builder:
There’s a forever free plan that comes with a free website builder, landing pages, and essential email marketing features. Its paid plans start from $15/month for the basic plan that packs even more features that’ll help you automate your communication through autoresponders, integrations, or paid ads.
Use lead scoring to identify which leads require more lead nurturing from your marketing team.
Customer relationship management
Pipeliner CRM is specifically built for sales. As such, there are built-in features for sales management. This is great if you lead a real estate team, group or brokerage. Plus, it’s very visual, making it easy to forecast and work towards targeted goals. Movement of opportunities between stages is a snap – you simply drag and drop opportunities from one stage to the next. Pipeliner CRM is on this list because it’s one of the least expensive, highly functional CRMs out there.
You can get started with a free 14-day trial, or with the basic plan that starts at $25/m billed annually.
Pipeliner is great for tracking opportunities like qualified leads. A useful tool for seeing how you’re doing visually is the pipeline view – it allows you to see exactly where an opportunity lies relative to your sales process stage. Do you need to follow up now? Is the prospect staying too long in one stage? How valuable is the prospect relative to others? These are all questions you’ll be able to answer with the Pipeline view.
Owned by Compass, Contactually is a CRM specifically built for real estate agents. It has an impressive referral feature that prompts you to keep communicating with clients, encouraging referrals. Set up your customer database, email drips and organize daily efforts by priorities within the app.
There is a 14 days free trial. You can also start with the professional plan at $69 per month.
Follow up with new contacts as soon as possible to ensure you’re still fresh in their minds and that opportunities aren’t lost.
9. Teamwork CRM
Have a step-by-step process realtors in your team go through to win deals? Then a CRM like Teamwork would work great for you. It’s a visual CRM, meaning that it offers greater visibility over what’s going on with leads and prospects (opportunities). Forecasting features help you predict future sales for a period of time. Stage probability lets you set a score for each stage of the pipeline to quantify the likelihood of closing.
It’s priced at $10 per user per month ($8 when billed annually). For the enterprise plan, you’d need to request for a quote on their website. They have a 30 day free trial.
There are high priority and low priority deals. You should spend more time with high priority deals – deals that have more weight or a higher probability of closing. There is a handy deal auto-prioritization feature in Teamwork that alerts you to these high priority deals.
Followupboss is one of the most functional real estate CRMs. It started in 2011, and it is one of the most common real estate CRMs used by real estate agents. Its best features include smart lists that help you prioritize contacts and leads based on specific criteria. Followupboss integrates with many of the common real estate lead gen sources including the MLS, Zillow, Redfin, Curaytor, Ylopo. There is an inbuilt dialer that allows you to follow up with leads via calls and voicemails in-app.
Followupboss’s basic plan starts at $69 per month. The annual subscription offers two extra months for free.
Followupboss integrates with GetResponse via Zapier or Leadsbridge. Integrating your lead generation tool and CRM in this way allows you to sync leads to and from both tools.
According to a Gartner study, by 2020 smart agents such as smart advisors and virtual personal assistants will facilitate 40% of all mobile interactions. AISA (Artificial Intelligence Sales Agent) Holmes is a real estate virtual assistant that strikes up conversations with leads from Facebook, Zillow, or any real estate lead provider.
The chatbot is programmed to respond in a human way to questions from leads within 1 to 2 minutes. One of the perks of Structurely is that it follows up with unresponsive leads for up to 12 months. This means follow ups are extensive and automated. Structurely says it usually takes 6-8 contacts to close a deal.
It’s the most expensive tool on this list, starting at $179/mo for 50 monthly leads.
Use the mute Holmes feature to take over the conversation at any point. Although Structurely’s bot has the right vocabulary and is able to respond with empathy, oftentimes people want to converse with an actual person.
When you don’t have the budget for an AI bot platform like AISA Holmes, you want a non-technical bot builder to interact with your audience/leads. Chatfuel works primarily with WordPress or Facebook messenger. Each lead it interacts with can be re-engaged, i.e, you can broadcast, schedule or send messages to them instantly or as a follow up sequence. This is great when informing prospects about new listings on the market.
There is a Free Forever plan for a bot with basic features. The free plan is limited to 1,000 messenger subscribers. Premium pricing starts at $15/month for a full featured bot.
Build your chatbots faster with templates. Whether qualifying prospects or following up with existing clients, customize and choose elements that work best for your end goal. See how to build your chatbot with Chatfuel in the video below:
Canva does almost everything: image editing, banner designs, brochures, social media graphics, post cards, newsletters, presentations, photo cropping, social media videos and video editing. You can have high quality, professional looking graphics in minutes without any training. Canva is on this list because it’s probably the most user-friendly graphics design tool out there.
Canva is free for all. Canva Pro (ideal for brands) costs $9.95/m annually and $12.95/m when billed monthly. While the free package has 8,000+ templates, the pro package comes with 60,000+ templates. You can also create a brand kit (important for creating a consistent visual identity).
Color is an integral part of any design. Specific hues can provoke different emotions. You want to carefully select them, and use complementary colors to create balance in your design. This big list of color combination ideas should come in handy.
Magisto was one of the top 10 video apps of 2020. It’s one of the most intuitive and affordable tools on this list. Of course, it makes a lot of sense to hire professional video creators to put your listing in the best light. But when you need a professional video fast without the need for complex editing, use Magisto. It allows you to add graphics, cool effects and your own branding to make moving stories.
Magisto starts out at $5 per month billed yearly. For more editing features and templates, the professional package comes in handy at $10/m (annually).
Take videos of best rooms and best views at the right time, usually when the room receives the best light. Of course, you want to open up windows when taking videos. Piece together your different video content clips using Magisto. Here’s how to make a video from scratch using Magisto.
One of the most effective forms of offline marketing is direct mail. But while direct mail pieces can get pretty expensive fast (up to $10 per person), you can save costs on envelope and mail postage when you send out postcards.
With over a decade of experience in creating direct mail campaigns, Postcardmania has hundreds of templates for realtors – from prospecting and open house postcards to announcement and invitation postcards. You can choose from any of these and send out your own postcards to your farm area directly from PostcardMania
You could get 5000 4.25″x6″ postcards for just $359. There are many customizable options for postcards and matching ads on Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
A good rule of thumb to follow when creating postcards is to have a big bold, central headline, filling up at least 15% of the front of your mailer.
Just as its name denotes, Promo offers an easy way to create real estate promotional videos. That is, videos for Facebook ads, Google ads, email marketing, etc. There are over 2,500 templates and access to over 23 million stock videos from partners like Getty and Shutterstock. It also has an easy to use iOS app with which you can make high quality videos in 5 minutes.
The annual starter plan costs $12/month and $144/yr. It offers access to 140,000 stock videos and photos, you can create unlimited videos and add your own media. Starter plan users however only get 100 templates out of 5000. The higher tiers are the business and agency plans which cost $29 and $99 respectively. These offer 5000 templates, 110m+ premium stock video clips, and a social media calendar. The agency plan allows you to manage multiple brands.
If you’re promoting a listing, keep the promo video all about the listing, especially clips highlighting the experience prospects would feel.
Social media marketing
Most top producing realtors are active on social media. But social media marketing doesn’t need to be time consuming. With Buffer, you can connect your website and share snippets from your blog. You can schedule posts on all your social media platforms and have them posted at the best possible times for maximum visibility.
There’s a free 14 day trial. You can also get started with 8 social media accounts for $15/m. The starter plan allows up to 100 scheduled posts monthly.
Monitor your analytics in Buffer and note posts with high engagement to see why they work. Then post more of these.
Before you go
The reality of the situation is that the devastating Coronavirus’s effects would be felt a while longer than we expected. So while you plan how to approach your business post-coronavirus – for now, stay safe.