Time management is an area where nearly every real estate agent has room to improve. Real estate agents have a ton of different tasks to manage — from marketing to open houses to closing paperwork — and it can seem like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Most agents who struggle to prioritize effectively end up jumping from task to task without bringing any to completion.
In today’s highly competitive, always-on real estate environment, the agents who succeed are those who optimize their efficiency. Technology enables agents to streamline and automate their workflows so they can secure more leads inside of the traditional eight-hour window and focus their time and energy into tasks with the greatest impact.
A REAL Trends survey found that agents who incorporate technology into their daily workflow are 50 percent more productive than agents who don’t use technology. That’s a pretty stunning data point. The reason is linked to the 80/20 rule, which states that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your effort. Spending a significant portion of time on non-sales related activities, like marketing, advertising, and lead prospecting is time away from the tasks that more directly make money, such as listing presentations or closing new deals.
To maximize results, real estate agents need to prioritize high-impact tasks and automate what can be automated. For example, lead importing, scoring and routing all absorb a fair amount of time, but an industry report published by HubSpot indicated that 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. This means agents are wasting huge amounts of time on leads that never go anywhere. By automating the lead scoring process with a CRM, agents can direct their energies to prospects with a higher likelihood of converting.
A CRM can also automate lead engagement by enabling agents to automatically follow up with leads. Poor response times have a drastic impact on an agent’s success, as 65% of buyers work with the first agent they talk to.
Conversely, when an agent responds to a lead within five minutes, the chances of conversion increase by 100%. It’s not realistic to expect an agent to personally respond within five minutes to every query, nor is it an effective use of time, but technology makes this level of engagement feasible.
This is why chatbots have such tremendous potential for the real estate industry. Agents are 5X as likely to see engagement when using a chatbot. Chatbots ensure 100% of leads receive a response in under 2 minutes and can respond to leads 24/7/365. This allows agents to communicate with leads more effectively without dedicating every waking hour to work.
Agents who don’t manage their time well end up working 14 hour days, or more. As a result, they don’t have time to get enough rest, to exercise, or to eat right, which means that at an open house, they may seem exhausted and stressed. Presentation is everything in real estate, and agents who are not on their A-game don’t see great results.
Chatbots free agents up to handle tasks that technology can’t, like beautifully staging an open house or providing personal touches to clients, like sending holiday cards. Now, thanks to advancements in AI, chatbots are becoming more sophisticated and able to respond to a broader range of queries. Real estate-specific chatbots, such as Structurely’s (which are integrated with the Chime CRM) have a full grasp of real estate jargon and understand multiple spellings of basic real estate vocabulary. They also have instant data access to 365 billion public records, including tax and transaction history on nearly every U.S. property.
By 2020, it’s expected that chatbots will power 80% of all customer service interactions. And by integrating chatbots into a CRM system, chatbots can respond to individual queries in a highly personal way, which leads to greater success rates. Customers want to feel that they are getting a personal touch, but agents with many different clients can’t provide a high level of personalization at scale, unless they have technology to help them.
One of the reasons chatbots are so impactful is they untether real estate agents from their offices. Certainly some work needs to happen from behind a desk, but the most critical work generally happens while agents are out-and-about in the community. Optimizing efficiency requires agents to be as productive away from the office as they are in it. This is why mobile tools are also an essential part of any agent’s arsenal. Whether it’s the ability to enter new lead data into a CRM from a mobile device or to order a flower delivery to an open house while on-the-go, mobile tools are key to getting things done in the 8-hour work window.
CRM, chatbots, and mobile devices let agents spend more time doing what they do best—human interactions. These tools automate manual, nitty gritty tasks, help agents stay on top of priorities, enable them to be responsive without getting bogged down in busy work, and get things done on-the-go. The result is agents have more time, within the 8-hour business day, to invest in activities that will translate directly to sales. With the right tools, there are enough hours in the day.
Scott Sanor serves as Senior Director of North American Sales at Chime Technologies, and is currently assembling an inside and field sales organization that will support the Real Estate Industry. Sanor comes to Chime having previously worked for Ingram Micro, McAfee, ADT, Tyco, and ServiceMaster.