As the country practices social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus, these tech tools are helping agents stay connected and showcase listings.
by Adrian Fisher
The proliferation of marketing technology has had a massive impact across numerous sectors, real estate included. Now, with the rise in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the increased practice of social distancing to curb its spread, real estate agents are relying on technology more than ever to communicate with clients and show houses.
Given these recent adjustments, real estate marketing technology will play an increasingly important role this year, making it easier for real estate professionals to grow their businesses.
According to research firm Ascend2’s Marketing Technology ROI Survey, nearly 70% of marketers rely on technology to increase their return on investment.
Here’s a look at what to expect from marketing technology in 2020.
Lead Generation and Engagement Automation
Generating new leads can be challenging for real estate agents. Once new leads do come in, following up and managing them can be time-consuming, especially for busy agents. But AI-based conversational chatbots can initiate a dialogue and respond instantly to help real estate professionals capture, engage, and qualify online leads.
Using natural language processing, conversational AI can handle the initial stages of working with a potential customer, such as greeting website visitors, responding to prospect queries, collecting valuable information, and potentially scheduling showings for agents. Since AI learns from experience, it can determine the right questions to ask prospects based on previous conversations.
For instance, Roof.ai is an AI assistant that helps agents personalize and scale customer interactions. The chat widget engages website visitors, asks prospects qualifying questions, searches MLS data and sends listings that match, answers questions about specific homes, and schedules showings for agents.
According to research institute Capgemini, 62% of customers said they were satisfied with the chat assistants they find on a company’s website. Chatbots and virtual assistants still have a long way to go but are becoming more sophisticated and humanlike over time. Therefore, agents and consumers can only expect chatbot capabilities to strengthen in the future.
Agents have access to more data than ever. Datasets, combined with predictive analytics, now make it possible to group consumers who share common lifestyle traits. This allows agents to understand consumers and segment audiences better to create highly personalized messaging that resonates with their pain points.
For example, agents can create content specifically targeting eco-conscious individuals. This particular segment of people may be looking for homes with solar panels or energy efficiencies, or they might appreciate content about reducing their carbon footprint or making eco-friendly updates to their homes.
Spatial.ai, for instance, is a company that organizes billions of social media conversations into more than 70 actionable segments revealing the personalities, attitudes, and interests of communities. Types of social segments include dog lovers, outdoor adventurers, and fitness enthusiasts. The company also provides information for each segment, such as income, political affiliation, education level, and geographic tendencies, giving agents a highly dimensional view into their consumers.
Instead of delivering broad, generic statements, today’s marketing technology enables agents to target prospects effectively and create personalized content.
Even during this era of social distancing, real estate agents can grow their businesses. Today’s marketing technology can generate visually appealing, targeted advertisements automatically.
Software systems can automatically generate ad campaigns for new listings. These platforms, such as PropertySimple, create on-demand, professional-looking video ads that can be used across social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram. Once users create an ad, AI displays it to the right prospects and reports back with real-time performance stats that show views, clicks, and demographics.
According to Hubspot, more than 80% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. Video isn’t going anywhere, and now is a crucial time for agents to be incorporating it into their marketing strategies. The good news is that agents can turn to marketing technology solutions to generate visually appealing real estate ads and videos.
Virtual Property Tours
Innovative tools using virtual reality and 3D modeling allow consumers to view properties without ever stepping foot in them. Agents can now deliver a customer experience that’s better than a physical tour.
With a virtual tour, potential buyers can fully immerse themselves in the viewing experience of a particular property. They can get a feel of a neighborhood and experience how a property would appear at different times of the day. Someone purchasing office space, for example, can get a sense for setup and fit before even seeing the place in person. Builders can also show spaces that aren’t built yet to give consumers an idea of how a property will look ahead of time.
Tools such as EyeSpy360 and immoviewer allow real estate professionals to create 360-degree virtual tours and 3D floor plans. Numerous prospective buyers can view the property any time of the day from home.
With VR, neither the builder, seller, buyer, nor agent have to visit the site location, saving all parties time and money.
The Future of Real Estate Marketing Technology
According to chiefmartech.com, the marketing technology landscape has grown to include 7,040 solutions as of 2019. As more solutions appear, it will continue to become easier for real estate professionals to automate numerous marketing processes, personalize content, and offer virtual tours. Undoubtedly, marketing technology has massively benefited the real estate industry and will continue to do so throughout 2020.
About the author: Adrian Fisher is the founder and CEO of PropertySimple, a real estate technology software that allows agents to build their personal brand online.