Putting Marketing on Autopilot

by Kevin Hawkins on June 10, 2015

RebootToday, not a single agent among the nearly 3,000 that staff 170 RE/MAX of New Jersey offices is marketing a single listing. That’s because their marketing is on ‘Autopilot.”

That’s the name of RE/MAX of NJ’s new marketing automation solution. Not one of their agents has to lift a finger to market a listing: It is being done for them, automatically, for every single listing.

Autopilot creates, publishes and distributes both digital and print marketing material, including a printed “Just Listed” flyer and postcard, a digital ePostcard, a Single Property Website for the listing, a Virtual Tour and posts a YouTube Video slideshow of the listing photos. Using responsive web design, everything is mobile friendly, meaning it all looks great on every device.

RE/MAX of NJ is literally creating a marketing campaign for each listing.

Perhaps best of all, it’s all being created from listing data, which means it uses the information the agent has already entered.

Let’s do the math. Say it takes just two hours for the average agent to create, publish and distribute all of these materials. It probably takes a lot more than that, but let’s be conservative.

After 5,000 listings, that’s 10,000 hours. That’s 1,250 workdays (8 hours) or more than three years of productivity savings.

So the question is why isn’t everyone jumping on the marketing automation bandwagon?

I believe the answer is, they will be. With these kinds of numbers in terms of productivity add, the ROI is ridiculously sweet.

But there are other reasons automation will be a mainstay in real estate marketing.

After productivity boost comes the benefit of brand consistency. This is where real estate marketing is unique: Agents often create the vast majority of their own marketing materials.

Attempting to maintain brand consistency and quality control in marketing materials created by more than a million licensed agents is harder than herding cats. Franchises and major regional brands know this. Marketing automation solves this problem.

Next comes guaranteed frequency. Broker owners love this about marketing automation. They know that all of the key materials needed to promote a property are not only being created and published, but they are being distributed. That’s huge because the idea that every agent creates all of the marketing pieces for each property is a fairy tale, because life happens.

Autopilot has one more feature that is key to marketing automation: Automatic updates. Business rules are in place so that whenever there is a material change in the listing data – a price change, addition of an Open House, etc. – every marketing material is recreated with updates and redeployed. Again, the agent does nothing.

Finally, when you tally up what marketing automation can deliver – productivity increases, brand consistency, marketing frequency and automatic updates – the result is happier agents.

This is a big one, because recruiting and retention is job-one of the real estate broker-owner. Pleasing agents can be a huge challenge, especially with technology.

And before you label Marketing Automation a Big Brother play, know this: Autopilot allows the agent to go in and edit and change and customize any of the pieces.

If you lift under the hood and look at what’s powering Autopilot you will see the Imprev brand, the same company that’s behind the RE/MAX Design Center. Autopilot is built on the same robust platform, as is the recent similar offering by RE/MAX of Michigan, as well as BHHS Fox & Roach.

Marketing automation in real estate is rapidly heading down the hill, building up speed and that means more innovation and even greater benefits for brokerages and agents. But I would say that in the case, earlier adoption is going to take away a time consuming task that few agents enjoy.

Happy agents, happy broker-owner.

 

Disclosure: WAV Group consults with all of the companies and/or brands mentioned here.

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