By: Alexa Lemzy
Real estate agents who adopt new communication tools can have more success engaging customers and increasing their exposure.
From the obvious (social media) to the newest craze (video listings) to the content-driven (blogs) to low-tech (SMS) and high tech (mobile apps), this post will tell you how to optimize each of these tools to promote your business and bring in clients.
Ready? Here it goes:
- Social media
Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes wrote in a Fortune Magazine post that “for businesses today, the best way to keep your company successful…is to fully embrace social media.” The failure to do so, warns Holmes, is a “serious business liability.”
Social media crosses generational divides, but, it does cater particularly to the younger generation who “watch YouTube more than TV. So, without further adieu:
- Facebook pages. These commercially driven pages are the perfect place for you to post property listings, updates, photos and videos. One of the biggest benefits of having a Facebook page is increasing the chances of people sharing your listings with others, allowing you to cast a wider net.
- YouTube. Videos help clients get a live view of the property they’re interested in and are very popular (more on that later). If you haven’t made any property videos yet, you should know that 73% of homeowners are more prone to listing with an agent who shows a video.
- LinkedIn. This is the ideal place for you to improve your professional branding by including information about your real estate experience and listing referrals from clients and colleagues
More than half of marketers say that video is the content that has the best ROI. Did you know that an introductory email that has a video has a 96% higher click-through rate than one without a video?
If you’re not already using videos to showcase your properties, don’t wait any longer. Here are two ways video can help real estate brokers connect with potential buyers:
- Livestream Open House. Today a simple internet connection is all you need to attend or host an open house. Perfect for out-of-town clients or clients who are trying to fit a lot of showings in on the same day. Agents can showcase the house and dedicate time to Q&A.
- Show them the neighborhood. This is a helpful feature for a lot of people who are looking to relocate. Highlighting local businesses, parks, schools and leisure activities with a video can help buyers make decisions. They’re buying a lifestyle, not just a property.
Text is a real estate agent’s best friend. When you consider that the up and coming generations (Gen Y and the millennials) are primed for real estate purchases, it’s time to adopt your communication to the clients you’re serving.
Using text messages to remind prospective buyers of appointments has proven helpful for Marketplace Homes whose dismal response rates to voicemails caused them to turn to text:
“We went from an average for 25% of our voicemail confirms returned to about 85% of our text confirms returned.” It also saves their agents time leaving voicemails every morning.
- Mobile apps
In a highly competitive business like real estate, a mobile app can help your agency court and retain buyers. Mobile apps act as information and communication centers and also allow companies to provide high quality customer service.
Some enticing features of a mobile app that made it a must-have for real estate agency Century 21:
- Ability to welcome new clients and get them started with tips and suggestions.
- Regenerating interest in inactive users.
- Ability to send push notifications to users when a property that fits their interest comes on the market.
- In-app messaging, so there are no lost messages or miscommunications.
90% of homebuyers do internet searches before making a purchase. According to research by the National Association of Realtors, 89% of buyers who used the internet to do research found photos to be very useful while 85% found “detailed information about properties for sale” very useful.
A well-written blog that provides valuable information and answers frequently asked questions can help you engage clients. It will also help you attract potential clients from organic search – when they’re looking for that kind of advice in search engines like Google.
Real estate agents know well that customer communication should be valuable and timely. Take advantage of the tips mentioned above and market to your clients where they are: on social media, mobile, and web search.
Alexa Lemzy is the customer support person and blog manager at TextMagic, a text messaging software for business. She is passionate about customer service, mobile marketing, and productivity hacks for small businesses.