How Small Property Dealers Can Start Their Digital Journey and Grow their Brand Online?

PropTech Industry went through a rapid evolution in terms of property listing and inventory management courtesy of the big players. However, small players haven’t caught up with this tide of digital transformation. Here’s a guide on how small real estate agents and firms can start their digital journey and grow their brand through a SaaS model.

7 min read
Dec 2, 2021

Being the last industry to embrace the technology, real estate has rapidly changed the face of PropTech, making up for the lost traction. The evolution of PropTech, especially the property listing and inventory management industry is blooming as many big players offer a streamlined way for users to discover new properties at the comfort of their homes.

The industry is keeping pace with the current digital transformation with big players having a solid web presence to bring brand awareness and generate new leads. As per one HubSpot report, 69% of the realtors have their own branded websites.

However, small property dealers haven’t quite caught up with this increasing tide of the digital boom and are yet to start their online journey and grow their brand. But often they face some roadblocks such as technical disability, platform limitation, and money constraints.

Building a branded website is not a feasible option for small-scale property agents and firms such as yours. Since it requires a team of development experts and significant investment, both of which are in short supply for your real estate business.

But what if I tell you there’s still a way to build a portal that doesn’t require much technical expertise and also doesn’t attract much investment. What if there was a SaaS-based platform where you could list out all your properties, manage contracts, process payments, and also manage customer relationships? Sounds interesting, right?

So, would you consider building your own customizable site that requires little to no technical expertise and doesn’t ask for large capital?

Your answer would depend on what features, customization, and integrations are offered and how it’ll power your web presence. That’s why we have come up with a guide to discuss what set of features will entice you to build your own property listing portal and start the digital journey. Without much ado, let’s start.

Features to Help Small Real Estate Firms Start Digital Journey

SaaS-Based Dealer Specific Platform/CRM

A SaaS-based PropTech Platform that caters to the needs of individual dealers/agents and small real estate firms. A platform not only for listing and managing all your real estate assets and properties but also streamlines customer relationship management.

Small players in the industry can start their digital journey with little to no effort that too without needing large capital and scale their way up. We are talking about a highly configurable and persuasive platform that suits your business model, workflows, and processes.

Drag & Drop Customization

Customizations will be made easy with drag and drop elements. It enables even non-technical people to make sure the resulting website is looking professional and elegant. Such simplifications help you focus on things worth your attention, avoid that doesn’t add much value.

Building a beautiful website that resonates with your company objective will be just a few clicks and minutes away. And for the same, you won’t need a team of expert developers and large capital investment upfront.

Property Functionality Comparison

Oftentimes, end-users find themselves in a dilemma while going through multiple property listings to choose the best fit. A real estate listing portal with a comparison feature helps save time while crawling through different properties and provides a seamless experience to end-users.

The side-by-side comparison comes in handy to highlight the similarities and differences between the two properties. Your users would see a comparison of different property elements such as location, price, furnishing, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, balconies, parking space, and other amenities. This enables users to decide which properties meet their requirements and move forward with the one they like.

Landing Page Creation

Landing Page is an important marketing tool to help you build your own marketing funnel. The purpose of landing page creation is for users to land on an intended page through promotion such as running ads on different marketing platforms.

It helps you generate more leads that are potentially interested in buying your properties listed on your web page. Through visual elements, the landing page helps convince users of the worth of your listed properties and go through with it in exchange for the contact information they are providing.

Advanced Contact Form

Another great feature for capturing leads from your property listing page would be the advanced contact form. Contact form is a necessary element while building your web presence to generate quality leads. The form will have custom fields to gather additional information such as budget, location, and other preferences users may have so you can offer them personalized recommendations.

Since the digital transformation, users have shifted online for searching properties and connecting with real estate agents. That means the days are numbered for the offline market before the digital market takes over completely.

Automate Notification & Lead Distribution Across Team

Once your website is up and starts to generate a good amount of leads, you’ll need a certain degree of automation to manage those and distribute them across your team. Since your web platform will be capable of automation, the task of managing your leads becomes effortless and efficient.

For different property types, you may be able to assign a different member of your sales reps team so that leads coming for a particular property are managed effectively. The system automatically sends notifications regarding new leads and their information to assigned team members. This way, managing your leads becomes more hassle-free and frictionless through automation.

WhatsApp Integration for Effective Communication

WhatsApp hasn’t remained just an instant messaging app today, it has become much more than that. With the launch of WhatsApp for Business, many small businesses leveraged the platform for communicating or sending important media files/documents that can be seen just within a matter of seconds.

With WhatsApp API Integration, interested candidates can directly send messages to your official business number to start a conversation. This way potential leads and prospects can contact you within a matter of seconds after seeing your property listings. You can further communicate with them to ask their preferences and budget needs to offer personalized recommendations. Also, you can convince them for a personal visitation of the property to finalize the deal.

Hide/Show Finalized Listings

When a lead shows interest and finalizes the property, there’s no point in showing it to others. Until the payment goes through, you can hide the property from your listings page and delete it later to not receive any further leads or communication.

In case the deal doesn’t crack, you can always bring your property back online to start appearing on the listing page for further lead generation.

Media Upload and Editing

Visually appealing photos and videos attract visitors and persuade them to take further action. Uploading and showing property photos and videos is the most common feature available in all user-oriented property listing websites. However, editing and tweaking changes such as enhancing the contrast or applying a filter to give viewers a clear image may entice users to view property in person.

The image editing feature is something very rare and not found on many property listing platforms. Thus, including such a feature would help you optimize your images to impress and create a better appeal to the viewers.

Analytics

Analytics and reports provide you with important insight into how your property listings perform. Important analytics such as impressions, click-through rate, number of people contacted, and others help you devise strategies for further marketing funnel improvisation.

Also, showing such important analytics on the front of the property listing would help viewers get an idea of which property is popular and is likely to be gone soon. This can incentivize them to take further action and contact the respective agent of your real estate firm.

Testimonials from Past Clients

Testimonials from past clients are important as over 90% of the users read and consider testimonials as an essential part of their journey. There will be a whole section dedicated to past clients speaking their minds and kind words about your services and the experience they had with you.

Such type of social proof increases your brand’s trustworthiness and credibility in front of first-time users. Thus, having such a feature is vital for scaling up your real estate business.

Future Expansion

Here are some features that can be availed through future upgrades if possible.

Accounting and Reporting

With Powerful reporting tools available at your fingertips, you may track budgets, rent payments, deductions, and many more things. This will simplify the various business processes so that you can spend more time on essential activities.

Through effective accounting and reporting, tracking the year-over-year growth of your business is possible. Further, it paves way for you to maintain records throughout your buying and selling processes and stay organized for vital activities such as tax collection and compliance.

Quotation Tracking & Management

Quotation tracking and management system aims to bring efficiency in quote generation for different property listings. With a quotation tracking system, filtering quality leads out of all is easy and can be nurtured further for conversion. This will boost the productivity of your sales team with a powerful automation system in place.

Also, the follow-up becomes easy as bogus clients with too spammy and low quotes are filtered out by the system, leaving you with only highly interested prospects who have made respectable quotes.

Payment Processing

Offering an online payment processing option will add another layer of convenience to the buying and renting experience for end-users. Real estate firms are not only responsible for renting or leasing the property but sometimes have to manage those properties including rent and maintenance costs.

Facilitating a way to make rent and other payments through online mode eliminates the need to collect and deposit cheques. Having a seamless online payment collection and processing system may also benefit users as well as your accounting team.

Rent/Leasing Contract Management

Property documentation, especially the rent and leasing contracts can be tricky. With tools in place to help you manage property agreements in a defined order and flow i.e. document creation, reviewing, agreeing, finalizing, and signing simplifies the process. And since the remote culture is gaining momentum due to COVID-19, a new way to create and manage rent and lease contracts would open the doors for real estate future innovation.

Final Words

Let us know your thoughts about the idea of building a dealer-specific platform that caters to the needs of real estate agents and small firms. In our research, we found a shortage of such a platform in the market and felt small real estate players are being left out of the digital transformation. And SaaS-based platform will aid them to start their digital journey and scale their business.

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