A real estate agent’s bread and butter is the transaction. Simple math dictates that the more transactions an agent completes, the more commission she generates and the more exposure she gets in her sphere of influence.
The goal for many agents is to increase transactions, and there are several ways it can be accomplished—hire more agents, work more hours, discount commissions to get more listings, or put more dollars into marketing and lead generation.
All of those are options and all can result in more transactions, but there is another tactic that agents can employ to give themselves the gift of time and organization, which will ultimately result in the ability to manage more transactions and follow up on more potential buyers and sellers: automating the transaction process.
So many agents have told me that when they are juggling multiple transactions at one time, they spend a majority of their day chasing paperwork, following up on necessary documentation, and communicating with lenders, co-op agents, and coordinators in order to ensure that all the required steps are completed. If they could free up more time to engage new clients and follow up on leads to generate more deals, they could definitely earn more money. But, as it stands, most agents are limited on the amount of business they can actually handle.
Solo agents in particular, who aren’t part of a large team, or even teams who are all sharing a coordinator, can have a lot of the workflow fall upon themselves to complete. With an all-in-one system like Infusionsoft, real estate professionals can utilize the CRM to house their database, the campaign builder to automate lead follow up to their segmented lists, and almost completely automate their transaction processes.
Why automate the sales process?
They can do this through use of a customized sales pipeline with automated follow up. For instance, an agent would want to detail the necessary steps for a buyer and seller transaction, and once those steps are defined, they would then outline exactly what occurs with each step or stage.
With Infusionsoft, ideally each agent or coordinator would have a clearly visible pipeline with an accompanying set of tasks or a checklist to be completed before the client moves to the next stage. The beauty in the type of setup is that the owner/broker can have clear visibility into where every current client is at in the process, the coordinator or agent knows exactly what has and has not been done in the transaction, and communication to the client, co-op agent, title rep, and anyone else involved can be automated so all parties are aware of the status throughout the transaction.
Clients can get automated emails explaining the process, home inspection, closing expectations, or whatever else needs to be communicated to make sure they feel the “white-glove service” effect and the agent can rest easy knowing that the transaction process is not managed solely by them. And with their free time, they can work on getting more deals in the pipeline.
Stages of the sales process
In the listing process, an agent might have the following stages that a client goes through:
- New lead
- Listing pending
- Listing secured
- Under contract
- Listing sold
- Listing lost
When a contact enters the agent’s CRM, automation can create the opportunity record for that contact and place them in the new lead stage. Some automation might occur then, such as a welcome email from the broker or agent, and perhaps a document overview explaining what they can expect as a client of that agent and some of their options would be emailed to them. The agent sees that they have this contact in the new lead stage and makes contact, thereby hopefully setting a listing appointment.
At the listing appointment, if the agent secures the listing, they can then move the client’s opportunity record to the next stage, listing pending. This would be a good time to send out some information regarding tips they can utilize to create better listing photos or make a recommendation for a preferred home staging vendor.
When the listing paperwork is completed and signed, the agent moves to the listing secured stage and several tasks can be created at that point for a coordinator to fill, such as placing the yard sign, recording the MLS listing in company documents, and sending a congratulatory email to the client.
These are only a few examples of ways that the sales pipeline and automation can save time, create better processes, and keep everyone in the loop of the client lifecycle.
Growing your business with automation
It takes some time, effort, and investment to get this type of automation set up in a real estate business, but the effects of automation technology can be incredibly beneficial in this industry. The importance of the agent/client relationship is equally balanced with the importance of being intentional and carefully completing time-sensitive tasks and ensuring legalities are observed. The successful real estate agent has the perfect marriage of hustle, personality, and organizational attention to detail that can only be accomplished when you have just the right tools in the toolbox.
Automated technology can be a lifesaver and there are many programs out there that offer some type of plan or campaign for the transaction process, but the best solution is a software that will allow a large amount of customized communication and adjustment to process. In the case of real estate transaction automation, you would not want to use an ultra-templated solution because processes vary by state and local areas. Whatever solution an agent employs, it is clear that automation software is the key to capturing a larger number of transactions annually and expanding the real estate business.
Anjie Roberson is the owner of AlbaCon Technologies, the experts in automated real estate solutions. Anjie has been working with real estate agents and brokers for several years and understands the unique needs and challenges in the industry. AlbaCon Technologies, an Infusionsoft Certified Partner, offers solutions to help agents and brokers manage their busy schedules and keep in front of their leads and clients. Anjie, a graduate of Arizona State University, lives in Gilbert, Arizona with her husband Donavon, their six children and two dogs.