Working in real estate has many moving parts. A realtor’s daily schedule varies, but they need to find prospects, schedule open houses and sign over the papers when a property closes.
That’s why effective task management is the difference between a successful real estate agency and one that’s forever treading water.
A successful real estate agency uses seamless processes: everybody in the team knows their responsibilities, tasks and deadlines. For tasks to be delegated effectively, many real estate agencies invest heavily in task management software and processes.
Think of task management as a virtual to-do list and a personal assistant rolled into one. It’s a tool that keeps tabs on where you’re at with a client, reminds you when you need to send emails and has the right paperwork on hand when closing deals.
Let’s dive into why real estate task management is important, and how it can benefit you and your agency.
There’s no such thing as a “typical day” in real estate, but there are several tasks realtors must stay on top of.
Realtors must handle dozens of administration tasks every day. But you’re also in charge of finding new prospects and closing new deals. Finding a way to make these tasks time-efficient is crucial to success.
Administrative tasks that every realtor needs to be on top of include:
On top of administrative tasks, realtors must also actively prospect for new buyers and sellers. At the end of the day, without prospects to buy and sell homes, you would be without an income.
Planning your real estate prospecting activity in advance will ensure your funnel is always generating fresh leads. The most efficient way to make this happen is to automate as much of this process as possible.
The real estate sales funnel is a little different from other industries. It involves taking prospects from being a first-time visitor to a qualified lead ready to hand over their contact information.
Other lead generation activities can come through more traditional routes, such as your personal network, business associates and recommendations from other prospects.
Time is money. And all of these tasks can be extremely time-consuming. Which is why a modern realtor does one of two things: hires an assistant, or enlists the help of a Real Estate CRM.
The benefits of real estate task management go beyond saving time. Keeping on top of daily tasks and staying organized can relieve stress and increase productivity within your real estate agency. And as we all know, happy agents are productive agents.
If you’re juggling dozens of tasks on a number of different platforms, chances are you’re feeling the stress. Bringing in all of these tasks into one platform and managing them effectively can make your entire role as a realtor more organized.
Benefit 1: Lead generation and nurturing
Most people will either rent, buy or sell a property in their lifetime. That means, nearly every person you come across in your real estate career is a potential client.
A typical day may involve connecting with prospects, responding to website inquiries and nurturing leads. Without a task management system in place, managing your leads can become scrappy or unorganized.
Following up leads effectively can be broken down into six steps:
1. Generating leads
2. Qualifying leads
3. Nurturing leads
4. Lead distribution
5. Pursuing leads (sales process and pipeline)
6. Tracking and reporting
Having a system in place to follow up with leads in a timely manner can make or break a deal. You must provide leads with an end-to-end sales experience that adds value and provides the right information at every touch-point.
Benefit 2: Handling meetings and tours
Whether you’re selling a house or finding a client their dream home. You’ll typically spend most of your day working directly with clients.
Not only that, but you also have to work alongside brokers, loan officers and, of course, other realtors in your agency.
For example, regular meetings give realtors the chance to share new listings, update other agents on price reductions and discuss buyers' needs. Not to mention help realtors line up buyers and sellers.
All of this can lead to an operational nightmare for a real estate agency.
If you’re using a CRM for task management, the tool can automatically schedule meeting times and enable document sharing through third-party apps like Google Drive or OneDrive.
Not only will this make the meeting more efficient, but it will save you time by avoiding dreaded back-and-forth emails.
Benefit 3: Organize mundane tasks
Managing your tasks online is a lot easier than using paper lists that litter your desk.
One of the biggest benefits of online task management is it gives you the option of organizing and automating these mundane tasks.
Using a task management tool is a great way to keep on top of yawn-worthy tasks like data entry. As many tools work on the cloud, it means you’ll be able to stay on top of everything (even if you’re away from the office).
Benefit 4: Keeping your accreditation in check
The cornerstone of a reliable real estate agent is having an active realtor license.
While it’s not on everybody’s daily task list, realtors are required to maintain education credits to keep an active license. Many realtors who want to climb the ranks in their office also study additional certifications to improve their credentials and marketability in the industry.
Including your accreditation upkeep on your task list can help you to make sure you never fall behind the required standards.
Setting up a task management system will depend on your agency, but each real estate purchase or sale follows roughly the same formula.
Split up into two phases, there’s the search phrase of buying a property, and a purchase phase.
Taking everything needed to close a sale into account, your task management process might look like this:
On the other hand, a task management setup to build an online funnel will look completely different:
All of your to-do lists will be combined into one place. So, your sales tasks for a property will be integrated into your sales funnel so you’ll never forget an activity:
Let’s take a look at how a typical setup may be built for your own agency.
Setting up a property sale from scratch
Let’s say a seller approaches your agency to sell their property. The first step is to add that seller to your task management system as a client.
Here, you can enter details such as when your client wants their house sold by, or how much commission you hope to make from the sale.
Next, it’s time to build your online sales funnel. After you’ve created a landing page for the property on your website, you can build a custom webform in your task management system to pull any data from leads straight into your task management dashboard.
When a lead makes contact and fills in your webform, you’ll receive an alert. From there, you can follow up manually, or streamline the process with email templates.
Contacting leads after they’ve reached out helps you build a relationship early. But staying on top of these initial contact points can be difficult.
Luckily, automation can take the pain out of this mundane (but crucial) step.
When the sale starts progressing and it’s time to conduct a comparative market analysis, you can add documents to the property deal in your dashboard so they’re all kept in one place.
You should also keep a record of files sent from the seller, such as copies of the property deed and tax bills. This will help you organize the sale when it’s time to close the deal and send paperwork to the buyer.
Use task management to take the pain out of open houses
Remember that online sales funnel you built earlier? Well, this is where task management really starts to shine.
Leads which are automatically collected should be segmented by property inside your CRM. To send out invites, just open up the house you’re selling, click the list and send out invites to the open house using a pre-built template.
Close your deals strong and stay on track
Scheduling final inspections and conducting final negotiations are crucial parts of closing a property deal.
Having a visual overview of where a deal is at in your pipeline, and what tasks you need to complete before you can sign off on it, can help you stay on track.
If your agency uses a purchase agreement template, you can set your task management system to automatically add it to a deal when it reaches a certain stage, such as “after sale paperwork” (as illustrated above).
While it’s easy to see how a task management system can help you close deals, how about how it can assist you in day-to-day tasks in the office?
You don’t need dozens of tools to keep you on track. These days, a CRM is the perfect tool to help manage your real estate agency.
In fact, more realtors than those in any other industry are now looking for industry-specific CRMs that can help them juggle their unique sales process.
“Today the challenge for agents in conversion. The only way to convert is to engage with the prospect. With so many leads coming from so many places, finding a system that meets the needs of today’s agent is daunting,” says Bruce Ailion, owner of the The Ailion Team in Atlanta.
This is where a real estate CRM can really help you maximize your time.
Your CRM can help build you deeper relationships while increasing the conversion rate on your deals. To do this, you must regularly stay in touch with buyers and sellers. Do this by providing ideas and sharing potential properties.
You also need the right information, at the right time, at your fingertips. Whether that’s available properties, or active and potential clients neighborhoods and more.
A CRM can automate these activities and give you a solid structure to create, build and nurture every relationship that enters your sales funnel.
CRM Win 1: Adding new leads into your funnel
When a lead contacts you, either by email, phone or via your website, you can add them as a prospect simply by creating a new prospect inside your real estate CRM.
For example, using a CRM, you can add them into your pipeline as a new deal.
Even at this stage, you can add files to the prospect like any promotional material templates you use or purchase agreement templates. This will save you time when a deal gets moving, as everything you need to keep on track will be on file ready to pass to the seller.
You can also invite other team members into the deal, keeping them in the loop while providing your client with an end-to-end customer experience.
CRM Win 2: Follow up emails
Email templates are one of the easiest ways to save time as a realtor.
You can add and customize templates for open house invites, or follow up emails for leads that make property enquiries.
Email templates are even more powerful when you send them straight from your CRM.
By doing this, you can easily customize your emails based on deal and contact information. They’ll also be tracked and recorded in the dashboard when recipients interact with them.
CRM Win 3: Schedule your meetings and calls automatically
Have you ever gone back and forth for days with a contact, struggling to find the elusive “right time” when you’re both available?
What’s worse is when you figure out a time that suits you both, only to open up your calendar and find you’re double booked.
Back-and-forth emails to schedule calls causes friction that loses deals. Worse still, if you have to ask to reschedule because you’ve realized you’re double booked, you risk frustrating a potential customer.
After all, your leads expect you to handle simple administrative tasks.
The right CRM, with the right features, can automatically schedule meetings for your email inside your account. For example, with Pipedrive Scheduler you can:
With a good CRM, you can also choose to be reminded to follow up on calls for any important deals in your funnel, and track your real estate cold calling activity.
Not only will this help you to schedule follow-up calls, but also add notes about a prospect’s activity for the duration of your relationship. This will help you keep conversations flowing and your deals progressing.
CRM Win 4: A clear view of your revenue reports
Monthly, quarterly and annual reports are a mundane but essential part of keeping your real estate agency on track.
If you’re still using Excel to create reports and forecasts, there’s a chance you’re spending hours on reporting that can be easily automated.
Is one of your agency’s realtors selling more houses than others? Is one of your agents getting stuck in a certain phase of their sales pipeline? Are you on course to hit your monthly, quarterly or yearly targets? These are all questions CRM reporting can answer.
Using CRM reports, you can see the number of new deals your agency has added, the average time for how long it took to close them and stage-to-stage conversion for all deals during specific time periods.
Analyzing reports can help shed light on where your agency is winning and where it can perform better.
If a specific realtor is struggling to progress deals, or your agency is spending too much time on administrative tasks, you can then find ways to help them.
If you’re already using a productivity or accounting tool, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to integrate it to work alongside your CRM and supercharge your sales processes.
A CRM shouldn’t be the only tool in your toolbox. Here are some integrations you can use to boost your real estate task management efforts.
With JustCall, you can keep track of your phone conversations to keep each deal moving down your sales funnel.
JustCall, which tracks and records incoming phone calls, integrates with a CRM to automatically log call information, call source and call recording under your contacts and deals as an activity.
The Pipedrive integration does some of the heavy lifting for you when a prospect first reaches out. It can create a new contact and deal in your CRM account and log any call activity under that newly created deal.
Use Triggers, Actions and Conditions to design highly personal marketing automation journeys for your leads.
Autopilot can even score leads on their behavior and interest, helping you to make sure you only spend time on the hottest leads.
The LiveChat web app integrates a chat widget into your website so that your sales or support teams can answer any site visitor questions in real-time.
Link it up to your CRM so your team can add any interested website visitors straight into your sales pipeline. Has someone asked about a property advertised on your website? Make a note to contact them later.
Manage your accounting on the go with the Xero app.
In real estate, bookkeeping can take up a lot of time. With the Xero app you can stay in touch with your accountant, colleagues and staff so that all receipts and invoices are filed automatically.
Xero becomes even more powerful when integrated with your CRM, as it enables you to track the monies exchanged when deals close.
Just because you’re at an open house or outpricing a home, that doesn’t mean you should be out of the loop on communication.
Slack can keep your agents informed about anything going on with a property without having to schedule meetings or write lengthy emails. It will alert your team when a new property has been added to your agency’s funnel, or when a deal is progressing.
It can also help save your team a ton of time with its channels. Using Slack channels, you can create streams to discuss certain topics like #inspections, #openhouses or #agencyculture.
Less time spent in team meetings plus more productive agents? That equals a win.
Check out Pipedrive’s Dealbot for Slack to streamline your sales and messaging processes.
Zapier allows you to connect over 1,000+ apps together and make your own custom automations.
If you’re using Zapier with Pipedrive, you’ll be able to automatically capture information from other apps you use and send it directly to Pipedrive (or vice versa).
Because each action can be customized, Zapier is the perfect way to automate your information flow.
For example, if you’re creating a new listing on your website, you can set a trigger to add a new board in Trello or update a deal in your Pipedrive pipeline. This updates everyone on your team that the step has been completed.
There’s no getting around it. The to-do list of a realtor is long and never-ending.
The success of a property sale hinges on managing your relationship with not only a seller, but your potential buyers. Keeping on top of communications and the progress of a sale can be tricky. But a solid task management system can help.
A task management system can help take care of mundane tasks like data entry, email follow-ups and meeting schedules. But it can also give you an updated checklist of what else you need to do to progress a sale, and get it closed faster.
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