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5 min read

4 ways to improve your real estate business with automation

By Elena Alston · December 21, 2020
A man and woman stand outside looking at properties. He is carrying a folder and she is pointing up at a building.

Every step you take as a Realtor is aimed at one outcome: Finalizing a property sale.

Yet getting to that point is a push. There are hours of data entry to get through, contact details that need to be entered into different systems, deals to track, and documents to be sent for signature. 

For every humdrum job the property business demands, it seems like there is a separate app designed to ease the burden—like Follow Up Boss or LionDesk. But juggling all these different platforms becomes yet another tedious task. 

Fortunately, when you connect your apps through Zapier, you can automate all the workflows that bind you to your desk, so that you can turn those properties over faster, in person.  

Here's a look at some of the most popular ways to automate your real estate workflows so you can save time, improve your productivity, and spend more time with clients.  

Manage your client relationships

Clients are the core of your business, whether you are working to help them sell a property or buy one. Keeping client records organized automatically helps you spend your time focused on the buyers and sellers, rather than data management.

Add new leads to your CRM

It's not up for contention: There are dozens of ways to capture potential homebuyers and sellers (or leads) for your business, including your website and social media ads. 

So garnering interest is probably not a problem. But what is—and what's a major time-suck—is manually gathering leads from one source, then entering that information into a CRM by hand. And that's not even factoring in the time you spend checking each of your innumerable sources for new leads that have come in, which you likely do multiple times each day. 

Wouldn't it be far more efficient if leads automatically appeared in your CRM as you acquired them?  

The short answer is yes. You can use a Zap that adds new leads directly into your CRM from form apps like Typeform or paid lead generation tools like Facebook Lead Ads.  

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Let's say a prospective customer sends you an email. 

If you're on-the-go or out of the office, you may enter that new contact into your phone—thinking you’ll put it into your CRM later.  

Save yourself the headache. Connect your email to your CRM, so that anytime you enter a new contact into your email contact list, it gets logged in your CRM automatically. 

Now let’s say an existing contact emails you with something important regarding an ongoing sale. You can create a Zap that compares the sender's email address to your existing contacts. If there's a match, Zapier saves a record of that email to your client's record in the CRM. This allows you to keep track of all your conversations in one place, without having to scroll through or search emails to find what you're looking for. 

Send new calls to a CRM as leads

A lot of new leads will call or text you first, instead of filling out an onsite form. (Because who likes to fill out forms?) 

That's why Zapier can also help you send these calls straight to your CRM as leads. By using call tracking software—like CallRail—and connecting it to Zapier, you can add them straight into your database, and jot down any details about the specific call. 

Plus, to avoid creating duplicate entries, you can also use Zapier's Filter to check whether or not that person has called you before. If they haven't, they get sent to your CRM. If they have, the Zap won't add them. 

Stay plugged in to lead generation

Speed matters. If someone's shopping around for an agent, the faster you respond could mean the difference between landing that client or seeing them go to a competitor.

Follow up fast with instant notifications

Somebody looks at a potential property listed on your website. Swayed by snazzy photos of their dream home, they fill out their contact details and request a callback. 

Yet very often, real estate agents miss out on following up on these requests right away because they can't check their forms for new leads every five minutes. Or they spend too much time digging through online files to find the right information.   

When you're fielding countless contacts a day, that window of opportunity to call back can swing shut, fast. These Zap templates can automate that process by letting you or members of your team know when you have a new lead via an SMS, email or through your team's chat program. 

That way, you can reach out right away (and make your client's day.)

Send follow-up emails to new leads

Sometimes, you might simply have too much on your plate to follow up with a lead right away. Don't let your schedule be the reason you don't reach out.

Instead, you can automatically send a templated email to new leads letting them know you'll be in touch soon or to provide them with more information. 

By letting them know that they're on your radar, you’ll keep them sweet (and motivated). 

Manage your workflow

A lot of time and energy goes into managing the piles of paper and digital files that accompany every deal you're working to close and each client relationship you're maintaining. Automation can help.

Get meeting reminders

Your day may get so filled with paperwork, call backs, and emails, you might feel like you need to memorize your calendar a day in advance to avoid missing any important showings or meetings. 

To keep from being blindsided, send yourself appointment reminders in advance.  

Create a Zap that texts you before any viewing on your schedule. This reminder can tell you start time, location, other attendees, and whether you need to notify or get a confirmation from clients. This can allow you plenty of time to reach your location and bring any necessary paperwork well before your meeting starts. 

Learn how to set up a Zap that will send you a daily digest of the next day's events, right where you need it, whether that's an email, team chat, or by text.

Organize and sign documents

There’s a river of paperwork for any real estate deal. 

Between the inspection reports, disclosures, offer letters, counteroffers, lease copies, and final signatures, there's an awful lot to keep track of. And these files get sent in, sent out, and filed by different team members, so automatically storing them all in one place can save you a lot of headaches down the line. 

You don’t need to drown in documents. To keep your head above water, use one (or all) of these workflows to keep you and your team in the loop about every signed document.   

Bonus: Share listings across social media 

Any prospective buyer spends a decent chunk of time on social media. 

(Let's be honest: We all do.) 

That's why sharing your latest listings on Instagram or posting videos on Youtube is a solid way to reach out to the prospects you might otherwise miss, like those who aren't actively searching for properties across your site.

But copying and pasting the same posts again and again can get tedious, fast. That's why Zapier can do the heavy lifting for you, so you don't spend your time resharing posts (and questioning your sanity).

These Zaps will automatically share your posts across different channels, delighting your leads with pretty snapshots of their new dream home or business location. 

Scale the property ladder

You get it: the real estate industry is a client-facing role. The more time you spend in front of buyers and sellers, the more deals you'll close and the more your business will grow.  

That's why you should automate the stuff that gets in the way. 

Automating the more manual aspects of your marketing, sales, and administrative efforts will help your clients scale the property ladder faster. In turn, you'll climb the rungs to success, too.

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'