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Good news for real estate agents: our profession — especially in the luxury space — is highly skilled and human-centered, meaning that it’s not at risk from automation. More good news: our days are filled with tasks that have the potential to be automated, freeing us up for the strategic, people-focused work that engages and fulfills us.
I admit I was an automation skeptic at first. As anyone who works in client services and sales knows, we’re independent problem solvers by nature. I was worried that automated systems would be difficult, boring, and stifle my creativity. But then a friend invited me to a coaching workshop for Realtors, and I saw for myself how technology boosts performance, streamlines tedious processes, and helps build a better work-life balance. I was sold.
For 60% of all occupations, 30% of tasks can be automated with the technology available today, according to McKinsey. I would encourage all luxury agents to identify those tasks and implement solutions. It will help elevate your operations and your offerings, so you can be less of a salesperson and more of a business leader. Here are four tasks to start automating now.
1. Respond as soon leads reach out
Automating the lead response process can be a game-changer. It ensures you never miss a beat, even when your unread emails seem endless. There are many great programs that enable you to manage this easily and affordably.
2. Show clients you’re working for them
My clients love that when they work with me and my team, they’re placed on an automatic property finder that keeps tabs on the market and makes sure we can alert them to every new listing that meets their specifications.
3. Track relationships as they progress
The whole client journey can be streamlined with standardized automated touchpoints. In our office, each client is categorized as A, B, or C in terms of their readiness, which informs our level of interaction with them. We then have a range of solutions for engaging the right buyers and sellers at the right time — whether that’s putting in and accepting offers, following up with under-contract processes, or facilitating additional services for client care.
4. Lighten your business admin burden
One of the biggest benefits of automation is simplifying bookkeeping and bureaucracy. For example, I have a system for managing my P&L statements monthly, enabling me to save on taxes by regularly donating to nonprofits that align with my team’s passions and values.
Starting automation requires a strategy
Before you start adopting solutions for automating your real estate business, here are three considerations to keep in mind.
1. Be intentional in your approach
As agents, we need to know who we are and understand what an optimized business would look like for us. Make a list of all the aspects of your day-to-day life you don’t enjoy, then start exploring potential solutions that can systemize and automate them.
2. Collaborate with a professional
Working with a coach was really impactful for me as I transformed my business and my mindset, and I strongly recommend it to others. Moving from being a “doer” to being a leader who supports other “doers” on the team is a major transition. Team up with a professional who can help you step back, reframe your thinking, and take a longer lens on your newly-improved business.
3. Some tasks need a human touch
Of course, you can’t automate everything. Keep picking up the phone and writing personalized emails, because as luxury agents, our business is referral-based and our VIPs are invaluable. When there’s a topic in our market or region that’s relevant to my past clients, I block out an hour of time to make calls and tell them about new trends, opportunities, events, or establishments. And of course, I remind them that they can contact me anytime if they need advice or services for their home.
Automation may be limited to simpler, routine tasks, but that’s what makes it so liberating. When I’m not spending my time running after deals or powering through repetitive activities, I’m building my relationships, growing my business, and generally being more creative and inspired in my personal and professional life. As agents, we now have tools that let us provide better service to our teams, our clients, and our communities without stretching ourselves thin — and that’s a wonderful thing.
With over 20 years of experience as a top Real Estate Broker, Emily Garcia is consistently one of the best brokers in Santa Fe. After graduating from Northern Illinois University with degrees in Business and Art and studying in Spain, she continued to travel and work in Europe and in several locations in the United States. Emily is an accomplished businesswoman and entrepreneur, with experience in a broad range of industries. She is known for her keen negotiating skills and exceptional client-focused attention. Her passions include her son Isaac, travel, international cooking and cuisine, music, outdoor sports, and of course, her love of Santa Fe.