These days, capitalism survives on online content, and no marketing effort can afford to miss out on the sales just waiting to be made on digital platforms. Real estate may have taken a tad bit longer to catch up with the digital age than some other industries, but agents and marketing departments can no longer get by without the help of the internet. However, with so many options to choose from, how do professionals in the real estate world know which tech tools will make the greatest impact on their business?
This guide to digital marketing tools for real estate, coupled with our previous article on social media tools, will get you started. To further facilitate those marketing efforts, and improve your sales pipeline, our detailed explanation of how to choose a CRM will go a long way.
Top Digital Marketing Tools for Real Estate by Category
WordPress, which we recommend, is a website builder and Content Management System (CMS) that users can customize and manage from their phone, tablet, or browser. The free version works especially well for blogs and simple websites, whereas the paid versions help business owners develop eCommerce websites. WordPress offers flexibility and good customer support, with built-in search engine optimization features as well as the ability to choose themes and add plugins that extend the platform’s functionality. The free version allows you to use a WordPress subdomain and 1GB of storage space. Paid plans provide more storage and the ability to set up a custom domain name that you already own or wish to buy.
- Cost per Month: Free, or up to $45 per month, depending on the options you choose.
- Pros: Well-established website builder that offers many options for customizing your website.
- Cons: Can be expensive for added features, such as plugins, also a steeper learning curve.
- Best for: A variety of business applications, including blogging, small business websites, or eCommerce storefronts.
Wix uses an intuitive approach to website building that involves a drop and drag interface. You can customize most of your page elements by choosing colors, resizing, and adding images, using hundreds of available templates. Wix also includes the ability to integrate 300+ apps without needing to code. However, once templates go live, you can’t switch it to a new one without recreating it from scratch. Wix is also capable of email marketing for lead generation and allows https urls for more secure websites.
- Cost per Month: Free, or up to $59 per month, based on the premium plan chosen.
- Pros: Easy to use SEO features built into the software and fast site speeds.
- Cons: The free plan displays Wix ads on your website, and it also contains no analytics for tracking performance.
- Best for: Beginners who want to create a website quickly.
On Squarespace, users easily build clean and modern websites with templates and a drag and drop interface without needing to know how to code. Squarespace incorporates security features, such as SSL encryption and two-factor authentication. Along with the ability to add email marketing, monitor the analytics of your website, and integrate extensions for marketing, e-commerce, and social media, users can create member-only content and implement a system for scheduling and managing appointments. They also offer web hosting, custom domain names, and email.
- Cost per Month: They offer a 14-day free trial, then charge up to $65 per month.
- Pros: Easy to use drag and drop interface, modern templates.
- Cons: They don’t offer a free plan past the 14-day trial, or enough design choices.
- Best for: Entrepreneurs, such as artists or photographers.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Zillow Premier Agent
When someone becomes a Zillow Premier Agent, they are immediately connected with serious buyers through Zillow’s targeted lead generation system. With an average of 232 million views per month on the Zillow website, Zillow Premier Agents pay the platform to feature them in specific zip codes by placing their contact information next to available listings. According to Zillow, premier agents close 2x more sales than those without premier agent status. Also, many agents and brokers appreciate the overall exposure as they build up their business.
- Cost per Month: Varies based on the price of the home sold, its location, and the competition in that market.
- Pros: Partnership with a known company, effective way to build up brand awareness.
- Cons: Expensive for new agents, with prices averaging $300 – $1,000 per month.
- Best for: Real estate professionals looking to expand their reach.
Using cloud-based technology, Salesforce developed a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system in order to help manage sales, marketing, and analytics in a way that streamlines the customer experience. This program also includes tools for app creation, integrating data from other sources, and developing training. Their CRM emphasizes what they call Customer 360, which helps to automate a business’ customized sales pipeline by personalizing the customer experience and finding solutions in an efficient way.
- Cost per Month: 14-day free trial, then up to $300 per month.
- Pros: Comprehensive CRM software with the ability to implement multiple tools and workflows in one program.
- Cons: It’s expensive, especially for smaller businesses.
- Best for: Larger businesses that need a robust range of features.
Photo, Video, and Appointment Management
Google Drive provides cloud-based storage alongside a suite of tools, such as a word processor, spreadsheet creator, and slideshow maker that you can access from any device anywhere you go. Instead of relying on your hard drive and storing documents in multiple independent apps, Google Drive allows you to create, store, organize, and manage your photos, attachments, and workspace documents that usually take up lots of space on your computer.
- Cost per Month: Free for 15 GB of storage, or $1.99/100GB, or 2T for $9.99 per month.
- Pros: Free storage, or low cost for larger storage capacity.
- Cons: Privacy is a potential concern since there is no zero-knowledge encryption.
- Best for: Useful for accessing your files remotely.
As a cloud-based file storage service, Dropbox keeps all your files in one place so that you can access them from any location, using either desktop or mobile devices. This cloud-based system also offers a way to collaborate with other team members by sharing older versions of files and providing recovery for deleted files.
- Cost per Month: Free 30-day trial for business dropbox account, then up to $24 per month.
- Pros: It’s easy to access multiple files from any device.
- Cons: Sync time for photos can be slow and users find customer support lacking.
- Best for: Business owners with many large files and a need for flexible mobile access.
Google Calendar is a tool that can help individuals and teams organize appointments and events. Its Gmail integration makes sending and accepting event invites easy. You can also block out your availability for meetings, schedule focus time, and display your out of office dates. The free version allows for a read-only view, while the business version allows calendar entries to be edited.
- Cost per Month: Free, or up to $18 per month.
- Pros: Many features available for the free version.
- Cons: Free version is read-only, and there’s not much customer support for the unpaid version.
- Best for: Individuals or businesses that want to schedule or view their meetings.
Sound Like a Lot? Get Everything You Need with AptAmigo.
When you join AptAmigo’s apartment locating team, you gain access to a dedicated marketing team that will support your lead generation efforts and deliver additional leads straight to you. Our referral links, in-house marketing, and trusted brand name, will enhance your online business presence. Plus, you’ll receive social media templates and training to up your game, and we’ll tap you into our own custom-built CRM so that you can provide the optimal client journey. Check out our current job openings and apply today so that you too can use the best marketing tools for real estate!
AptAmigo is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and does not discriminate based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law, in connection with any aspect of employment at AptAmigo.
Jennifer Schmidt is a freelance writer in Vancouver, Washington, who specializes in real estate topics.