No matter which way you look at it, technology is disrupting the real estate industry inside and out and today, we’re all familiar with mega players like Zillow and Realtor.com transforming the way we interact with buyers and sellers.
But what about the back end of your business?
As a leader in the wild world of real estate, it’s crucial to stay on top of your game when it comes to choosing the right tech tools to run your business — and make no mistake, your front end tools and your back end tools are absolutely two sides of the same coin.
Or at least, they should be.
If you’re like most brokers and team leaders, you’ve probably already adopted a few commonly recommended tech tools in the hope that automation will save you time and money, and that’s great.
But in a world of chatbots and robocallers, the days of automation for automation’s sake are over.
The question now is:
Does each tool in your tech stack pull its weight to deliver a wow experience for your clients?
In this article, we break down all the key elements to consider to ensure you’re using real estate technology, apps and software that not only help you and your team save time, money and energy — but also help you exceed client expectations and keep the referrals and repeat business coming.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
- What Is a Tech Stack? And Why It Matters to Your Real Estate Clients
- How to Create a Customer-centric Real Estate Tech Stack
- Ready to Take the Next Step for Your Clients?
Ready to give your clients something to brag about? Give them real visibility into the transaction process (with way fewer back-and-forth emails) with a little help from PrecloseGO!.
What Is a Tech Stack? And Why It Matters to Your Real Estate Clients
A tech stack is an assembly of apps, software platforms, and other technology tools a company uses to manage its core business functions.
Most real estate teams don’t have the time, budget, or expertise to build their own tech solutions and even if they did, building from scratch likely wouldn’t be worth the effort given the wide range of affordable tools in the market.
But not all tools are created equal, and with the increasing pressure on commissions and client expectations, it’s critical to choose the right ones.
Here’s why it pays to have the CX-friendly real estate tech stack
- Break free of time-sucking manual tasks and get more time to focus on your clients
- Better understand your clients by analyzing and reporting on key data
- Get key insights into team performance to help deliver a consistent brand experience
- Breaks the silos in your business and enable seamless collaboration between team members and clients
- Get quick and easy access to your ongoing projects, documents and digital assets
If you’re here, you’re probably already using a CRM to help manage your leads and an email marketing system to send listing updates to your database. Or, if you’re more tech-bullish, you might even be using a smart retargeting tool like Ylopo and stitching your tech stack together with a little help from a tool like Zapier.
But when was the last time you audited your entire tech stack to make sure each piece works well together for the client’s end benefit?
Let’s take a minute to analyze the technology in play for each function of your business and make sure it’s pulling its weight on client experience.
How to Create a Customer-centric Real Estate Tech Stack
In case you’re not already convinced, here’s some of the latest research on why client experience matters:
- Firms that excel at customer experience grow revenues by 4% – 8% above their industry. (Bain and Company)
- 73% of customers say excellent customer experience is critical in influencing their brand loyalties. (PWC)
- Loyal customers are five times more likely to purchase again and four times more likely to refer a friend. (Qualtrics XM Institute)
- Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that weren’t focused on the customer. (Deloitte)
And there’s plenty more data where that came from.
Considering that for agents in the game 16 years or more, repeat business accounted for 40% of their business and referrals were an additional 24%, you can’t afford to add tools at random to your tech stack.
Instead, you need to carefully consider the role of each tool in helping you build the kind of client journey that leads to a healthy uptick in repeat business and referrals.
As we walk through each category of your tech stack, consider the following questions:
- Does this tool make the client journey more fun and enjoyable?
- Does it help reduce the friction of closing a sale or securing repeat business?
- Does it answer a key question or remove a barrier for my client?
- Does it free up my team’s time and energy so they can spend more time one-on-one with clients?
Let’s walk through the different tools you need in your tech stack and take a closer look at the list of client-centric must-haves in each category.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platform
In case you’re new to the term, a real estate CRM helps businesses manage and organize customer data to centralize incoming leads, track lead nurturing activities and (if you use it right) increase the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) of every individual in your database.
Rather than trying to use a patchwork email-plus-Excel-spreadsheet system for managing leads, a cloud-based CRM makes it possible for members of your team to access data on existing and potential customers straight from their mobile device.
This can be a gamechanger for busy agents who need to respond to leads between showings. Plus, by centralizing all your lead communication (whether that be email, text or phone), it’s much easier for team members to pick up where the other left off in case one person gets too deep in the weeds to follow up.
To deliver a truly client-first experience, your CRM should have the following features:
- Great UI (user interface) to make it easy for less tech-savvy team members to use
- Streamlined communication history with prospects and customers so you and your agents always know exactly who to follow up with and when
- Clear data visualizations for where each lead is in the customer journey so you can help them take the next step
- Simple tagging, team chat, or @ mention features to bring team members into the loop on client-specific tasks or questions
- Fully responsive mobile app so agents can check in with leads and clients on-the-go
- BONUS 1: A tracking pixel so you can see who’s been on your website and which properties they viewed.
- BONUS 2: Group text messaging to engage with clients and their spouses, lenders, lawyers, etc.
Real Estate Lead Generation Technology
There are tons of digital lead gen tools out there, which only makes the decision about which ones to use that much harder.
Luckily, we’re here to help make it simple. No matter which lead gen tool you use, you really only need to look for two things:
- Does it align with your overall marketing strategy?
- Does it bring you closer to your ideal clients?
For example, if you’ve had the most marketing success on Facebook, you might look for a tool like Curaytor that has a website builder, landing pages, ad templates and more — all with a long track record of success on that specific platform.
Beyond that, there are some other important things to consider to make sure your lead gen tools are 100% optimized for CX.
You’ll want to look for:
- Deeply customizable website builder to ensure brand consistency from A to Z of the client journey
- Easy to automate and integrate with your website and CRM
- Advanced targeting to narrow down on your ideal customer demographics and locations
- Fully optimized for both desktop and mobile responsiveness
- BONUS: Super smart AI that can make chatbots feel more relevant (and less like bots!)
Email Marketing and Automation Tools
With automated email marketing systems, you can consistently deliver valuable information to your prospects and clients, without being chained to your computer.
But not all email marketing campaigns are client-friendly. Despite the fact that real estate buyers are better informed than ever before, many teams and agents still underestimate their intelligence by spamming them with generic emails.
Today, 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement. So, if you’re still taking a blanket approach to your email lists, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build a real connection with your clients.
When looking for an email marketing solution (EMS), there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you choose a client-centric tool:
- Easy lead segmentation so you can target clients based on custom criteria like lead type, age, location, occupation, etc.
- Ability to integrate with your CRM so you know which email campaign led to an actual conversation with a prospect or client
- Robust templates and customization options to make sure your brand makes a consistently awesome impression (no matter how busy your client’s inbox is)
Social Media Management Tech
Social media tools help you boost and manage your real estate brand presence and interact with customers across several social media platforms, without spending your whole day logged into Instagram.
The right social media management tool should also provide an inside look at how your customers behave on each platform through simple, visual analytics to help you understand the type of messages your customers respond to.
For a social media tool that really engages your clients, look for:
- The ability to integrate with the major social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so your brand can be seen everywhere
- Real-time notifications of comments and brand mentions so you or your team can respond quickly
- Alerts on what’s trending in your market so you can jump in on important conversations in your community
- Automated scheduling so you can stay top-of-mind while freeing up your time to engage with existing prospects and clients
Real Estate Transaction Management Tools
Successful real estate teams handle a lot of transactions. Thankfully, many are now seeing the benefits of a fully paperless model with a little help from amazing tools like Dotloop and Skyslope.
The upside for your clients? Transaction management technology helps make sure they go from contract to close with as little headache as possible.
But real estate teams need more than an e-signature tool to make sure they don’t become a burden during this red-tape heavy part of the process.
Here are some things to look for in a client-friendly transaction management tool:
- Ability to integrate with your other tech tools
- Easily view and manage transactions for each property so you can react quickly to changes
- Ability to upload documents, collect valid e-signatures and convert documents into different formats so you don’t have to bother the client with unnecessary document requests
With a little help from PrecloseGO!’s deep partner integrations you can instantly import dates, details and documents for all your transactions, and easily pull that data straight into your next client email.
Transaction Coordination Platform
One thing you definitely don’t want to leave out of your real estate tech stack is a smart transaction coordination platform.
By the time you and your client reach this part of the process, you’ve been through a lot together. The last thing you want to do is drop the ball and leave them with a bad impression.
When it comes to choosing the right platform for this part of the process, we’re a little biased — but there are some general things you’ll want to keep in mind whether you’re sizing up PrecloseGO! or any other tool to help you uplevel the closing experience for your clients.
Here are the top must-have features for a truly client-centric transaction coordination tool:
- Automated deadline management, email templates and chat-based messaging to help your agents and TCs instantly communicate with homebuyers, sellers and other parties
- Ready-to-use, fully customizable email templates to help you stay responsive without sacrificing brand experience
- Easy integration with Gmail, Outlook, dotloop, Skyslope and others so that all contract dates, documents and milestones are instantly streamlined
- Full visibility into the transaction at every point in time for you, your team and your clients
This level of transparency sets your team apart by shattering the everyday stereotypes about real estate agents only caring about their commissions and ensuring high-value customer touchpoints from contract to closing.
Ready to Take the Next Step for Your Clients?
The future of real estate isn’t about the next shiny automation tool. It’s about one thing and one thing only: Your clients.
Now that you know the key ingredients of a truly client-centric real estate tech stack, it’s time to make sure each tool in your arsenal helps deliver a genuine and lasting connection between you and your clients.