Despite lots of technology scattered around everywhere, real estate today is still done largely as it's traditionally done. The majority of real estate pros focus on getting new buyers and home sellers using the same techniques they've been using for the past 50 years or so:
- Local networking (i.e. "Shaking hands and kissing babies")
- Print ads/flyers/direct mail/local real estate magazines
- TV and Radio ads
- Family and friends
- Charity sponsorship
- Giveaways swag (shirts, hats, cards, stickers, mugs, calendars, etc.)
The problem? Well, the internet. And mobile apps. And social media. And Alexa. And Siri. Accurate, easy web and mobile search has never been more important.
Leads, Leads Everywhere and Not-a-One For Me
These days, consumers want to use an app or the web on their phones to find what they want, research it, make decisions, buy and be done with it. As quickly, efficiently and with talking to as few "real" people as possible. They want to talk to smart devices in their homes and just ask "Find me a 4-bedroom home in Fresno under $500K."
What does that mean for real estate agents and their sites? If you're not being found - and found well - in search, you're going to be in trouble. Especially as time goes on.
At any rate, digital searchers become digital leads. If you want to grow or sustain your business, you have to work them. The problem there is, digital leads can't best be worked to a close like traditional leads from all those sources listed above.
Working Digital Leads Requires Changing Your Ways - And Learning New Ones
For the folks here at HomePocket, we've been compiling data on digital leads and conversion rates for several years now.
Like leads you get in other ways, digital leads come in many personalities and require diligent work - and in the right way! - or you will not have success. Some things to understand about digital leads today:
- Digital leads tend to be younger on the whole than other leads you get
- High-pressure or "car salesman"-ey sales does not work - ever
- Digital leads prize convenience and simple processes above all
- Digital leads don’t like phone calls and prefer text, email and chat
- Speed of outreach is even more essential - wait a day or two and you won’t engage
- Don’t ever “touch base” instead only communicate to offer valuable info or convenience
- Kindness, gratitude and politeness helps every time
- Be simple and efficient, don’t waste time and be concise in saying what you will do
- Always follow-up when/do what you say you will
- Get tech savvy so you can speak their language - or they’ll bolt
- Let them know you will handle all big and small details for them!
And, finally, one last bullet that's the most important:
Digital leads expect to do almost everything online.
That means your web, your mobile apps, your contracts, your communications need to be as simple, fool-proof (i.e. "not broken"), up to date as is possible. If not, they'll find a competitor who's better.
What does that mean for you?
It means adopting tools like Snapchat or GroupMe or mobile apps with chat features. It means your website has to be more function that form (pretty does not equal effective, folks). It needs to be keep fresh and up to date. Forms and features must be simple and intuitive and....work every time.
Also, get as much of what you do with them as you can out of email and into a functional website or 3rd party tool (e.g. Docusign is a good example, as well as shared Pinterest boards for them to save and show you homes they like, etc.).
I could go on here for a small book's-worth of items, but you get the idea. Well, maybe you do.
Understanding these kinds of concepts is easy. The hard part? Actually changing what you do to attract, work and acquire more digital leads.
The future is here. The old ways are dinosaurs and the weather's only getting colder outside. The new ways are small, furry and agile creatures that will adapt and survive. Which one are you?
About the Author
After having spent my career in Information Technology and government service for the US Intelligence Community, I'm helping build a better, more direct way to connect home buyers and sellers. We think real estate can be a better, more convenient experience for everyone involved and we're out to make it happen! Our solutions will change the way buyers, sellers and realtors market themselves and connect with one another. We're just getting started! In fact, it's our goal to make the home buying and selling experience as much as possible like what we've all become accustomed to with the likes of Amazon, Zappos, LetGo and other powerful, simple, easy and convenient solutions that have transformed our lives as consumers.Follow on Twitter More Content by Rebekah Polancich