Category 1. The completely automated category are those that you would consider “set-and-go” type functions. One you set them up they pretty much look after themselves. For instance, you might opt to outsource your social media posts through services like City Blast. There are also newsletter companies that create content and mail out a set number of newsletters to your farm area each month. Many website companies will keep your site current with timely articles and IDX or Vow feeds can keep your site current. You can even find services to do email drip campaigns, Facebook ads and SEO. Additionally, your brokerage might have its own lead generating system that you participate in or online surveys to provide feedback on your services.
Category 2. The next category is the 1 to 3 touch automated. It is slightly more complicated than the fully automated category because its success relies on you either entering data or pushing a few buttons to make things happen. Unlike fully automatic functions you will need to spend some time at a device, like a computer, iPad or smart phone. There will be some data to enter either in your CRM system or perhaps just setting up a prospect match. If you have done the templates ahead of time then just listed or just sold cards fall into this category. For the busy agent there are a number of touch point services to help you build connections with potential clients like sending thank you cards from your phone or choosing closing gifts and depending on your skill level you could incorporate automated email response systems.
Category 3. Finally there is the not automated category. These are functions like home showings, putting offers together and negotiating deals, door knocking, open houses, writing blogs and doing research. To accomplish anything in this category you need to be fully invested in the real estate business. There is little chance that over the near future these tasks could be performed by an automated source.
The truth is that real estate is a business that requires a great deal of attention from many different directions. At the heart of it is relationship building, networking, and staying top of mind with the people in your network. While some of those functions can be completely or almost completely automated to be a standout success you must have boots on the ground. It is important to note that neither category 1 and 2 can work in silos without input from category 3, yet category 3 can function without 1 and 2. Also interesting is the costs associated with each function. Category 1 relies the most on outsourcing the jobs and is therefore the most expensive, while category 3 is the least expensive but the most time-consuming.
Mark McLean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office, the Immediate Past President the Toronto Real Estate Board and a director at the Ontario Real estate Association .The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB, OREA or Bosley RE.