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It doesn’t matter if you’re a seller, a buyer, or both – you should take advantage of what technology can bring to the table as a real estate agent. Gone are the days of waiting for customers to come to you or knock on your doors – thereby giving you a potential buyer or seller. Through the internet, the social media platforms that exist, the advent of mobiles phones, and other technological factors, the real estate business has gotten faster, more competitive, and more flexible.
Here are some ways technology can help you be a successful real estate agent:
Take Advantage of the Social Media
Everybody is on social media nowadays, and that includes your potential customers. Most real estate agents are starting to build up their social media sites – and you should, too!
It is proven to be very good for your business if you have social media accounts on all the big networks (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and even Instagram if you snap a lot of pictures of the properties you sell). Interact with users, share good press, and promote your properties.
Social media helps a lot in building a good reputation when it comes to accessibility: customers and potential buyers would definitely choose a real estate agent that can easily be contacted, especially through social media. Also, if you can provide a good way to entice potential clients (perhaps by making good snaps of your houses through Instagram, interior shots in Pinterest, or maybe a 360-degree video of the house through Facebook), you can easily attract customers.
Build a Good Website
Aside from social media websites, people are now looking at websites first before they go to open houses. As a rule of thumb, if you have a low-quality website (or no website at all), it is more unlikely for potential clients to trust you. So if you need to hire a web developer, do so, because it could make a huge difference.
Today’s consumers prefer to start their legwork online when making major purchases, and that does not exclude real estate buying. This is where they look up vital information about the houses they want to buy such as where it is, how near it is to key establishments, how much it is, how trusted it is, and much more. Make it easy for users to access all of this information – make sure all your property pages have great photos, virtual tours, and easy access to Google Maps and Google Earth.
Furthermore, learn about listing syndication. Sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor all have 0listing syndication enabled. This is a concept that allows multiple sites to receive automatic feeds from the original listings. Basically, it collects data and feedback from the original sites, based on the interactions with consumers. Sites like this show analytics such as number of clicks, time spent on page, and who made the appointments. It can also show heat maps to reveal where users were most drawn to on the page.
The information is invaluable for generating results sellers want to see in your marketing efforts. It also shows you where you should be spending and where you should be cutting back.
Use Photography as an Advantage
Sometimes, you have to think of a real estate property as a commercial product. Like any other commercial product, real estate can be sold with good first impressions. Successful real estate relies heavily on great photography, and that’s the truth! Bad photos diminish interest in even the greatest of properties. Which is why you’ll often hear knowledgeable real estate agents say, “When it comes to real estate, pictures, images, and visuals provide far more value than words. Whereas written and spoken words only describe a property, pictures tell the entire story.”
It is important that you have attractive photos of your properties. Hire a professional photographer (preferably one who has the experience of photographing homes and architecture), or, if you have sophisticated equipment and are confident in your abilities, try your own hand at it. Just remember, this is one of those scenarios when it often pays to bring in the professionals.
Photographers, or artists in general, understand the human psychology involved in producing great pictures: they know the right angle to choose, the correct color scheme, and the best time to take a picture. Because of their expertise, they can attract buyers to tender your real estate service.
Another powerful imaging tool is video, which can be used to show a virtual tour of your property. There are limitless angles and locations within your home that can be viewed through this feature. It provides an excellent interaction for the online viewer who cannot otherwise walk through the home.
Aside from video tours of the home, you can also incorporate a little bit of audio-visual advertising featuring yourself. Nothing says “Sell your house for cash today. We’ll buy it.” better than a nice short advertisement clip.
Advertising professionals can greatly help with your cause. They can pinpoint which parts of the house should have footage, which angle to view them from, what kind of lighting should be used, etc. They make the house more attractive to potential buyers, especially those who are too busy and can only afford to view online.
Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel, and through every step of the buyer’s journey. The idea focuses every marketing and communication effort on listening to the needs of prospects, and providing the information and answers they want. It’s a marketing tool that’s successful for many commercial products, and it is proven to be successful in real estate, too.
Think of it as trails of breadcrumbs you leave for someone like Hansel and Gretel to be lead to a house. Only this time, you’re using the breadcrumbs to lead your potential customers to their dream house.
Basically, what you do is to leave your clients a trail of quality breadcrumbs (that they should see subconsciously) by controlling your interactions with them based on previous actions they’ve taken. A good example: if they first attended an open house with you, send them an email about other nearby houses on the market. Also, while you’re with them, try to study what their likes and dislikes are. In this way, you can lead them into other houses that are more fit for them and may still be available for selling.
If they attended your first time homebuyer’s seminar, send them your “10 Things Every New Homebuyer Should Know” eBook that can guide them in their decision to picking their dream home. Deliver content that can actually help your clients take the appropriate next step, depending on where they are in their journey to finding their dream home. This is how Nurture Campaigns basically work.
Real Estate Applications
It is very helpful for real estate agents to be able to access their listings anytime and anywhere, especially through their mobile phones. The major websites like Zillow and Trulia have apps that make it easy to view your listing, so it’s important to post your home on these sites. It’s also important that your content be optimized for mobile.
Zillow’s Chief Marketing Officer Amy Bohutinsky revealed that an average of 600 million homes are viewed on mobile devices per month. That’s 223 homes per second! This is why mobile apps are becoming a huge platform for Real Estate to be involved in.
Finally, it’s important to take all of the other technologies mentioned above and use them in unison: use good videos and photos and post them through your website, your social media, and your accounts on real estate applications. Build your nurture campaign based on the responses you get, and work a lot harder.
Eventually, you will become a successful real agent thanks to your avid use of helpful technology.