By Prem Luthra, President of Elm Street Technology
The real estate brokerage business is evolving, rapidly. Undoubtedly you’re witnessing first-hand how today’s digital landscape is affecting consumer behavior, particularly with their expectations (or demands) on our industry. You may see this change as a disruption or distraction, although today I’d like to offer a different perspective--that a tech-fueled brokerage business environment and the many technology offerings available are in reality, opportunities and untapped resources.
Breaking down why I think these new platforms are so important, I’ll draw attention to the three main components I believe comprise a successful brokerage: productivity, transparency, and communication/collaboration with consumers.
With every passing moment, a new app or whiz-bang technology hits the market. New software gets launched, and new businesses are formed. This new business ecosystem is a roller coaster and, whether you like it or not, you’re along for the ride.
As a brokerage, you have three options when it comes to dealing with the multitude of tech platforms, CRMs, and various other products.
To effectively leverage your online presence, it’s vital to take advantage of digital platforms. They’ll help you find leads, build trust, and stay connected with your consumers.
Conversations that were once held behind closed doors or at the negotiating table are now occurring on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook and in front of thousands of people. Data that was historically only available to our industry practitioners can easily be found on dozens of websites. Sound familiar?
At first thought, this can seem like a scary thing. But, this too can be seen as an opportunity to build trust with your online audience (and future clients).
Blogging and posting on social media about recent transactions, company events, policy changes, or customer service responses are great ways to show your customers the behind-the-scenes operations of your brokerage. It tells them that you have nothing to hide, and it may answer some of their questions that they’ve been hesitant to ask.
Communication and Collaboration
Social media, particularly Facebook and LinkedIn, is great for staying in touch with people that you don’t have frequent contact with. Perhaps you even have a few old high school acquaintances on your friends list that you hardly, if ever, talk to but still keep them as a “friend” for old times’ sake.
When leveraging these platforms for business, your goal is to make sure you’re accessible and memorable, without overstaying your welcome or becoming an annoyance.
It’s true that this is a difficult balance to achieve, but doing so successfully can mean increased online and word-of-mouth leads and testimonials.
Where do you begin?
Although the platforms and tools are new, the principles of your business remain as they always were. To find out where you can start implementing these changes, refer back to your customer value proposition from Marketing 101.
Find out how you can use the various new platforms at your disposal to meet the total sum of benefits your customer expects from your relationship.
So, to recap:
This new, digital age of brokerage is upon us and will only become more integrated into business as time goes on. The upshot is that we can use these platforms to increase leads, productivity, transparency, and to build better relationships with consumers.
To be an effective broker in today’s world, you need to put on your consumer hat on, focus on your value proposition, and start planning the implementation of these platforms into your business.
When it comes to potential buyers and sellers finding you online, a personal real estate website is indispensable. But is your real estate website built to generate leads? Your goal is to have your website visitors give you their contact information. Here are the key ingredients to convert visitors to clients:
1. Always direct leads to your website
You’re probably marketing your real estate business in many different ways, so it’s important that everything you do funnels leads back to one place—your website. Make sure all of your social media profiles, e-newsletters, email signatures, and printed materials have your website on them. Your website is the hub of your marketing, and the best place to capture lead information.
2. Provide the ability to search listings easily on your website
Once your leads arrive at your website, it’s crucial that they can find all of the information that they might be looking for as buyers and sellers. Feature a property search and listings on your home page. Make it easy for site visitors to contact you. Always follow up as soon as possible with any leads who register with a phone call or email.
3. Offer helpful information to website visitors
Leads are looking for information: buying and selling FAQs, neighborhood data, local schools, and recommended professionals like mortgage brokers and home inspectors. You can also provide helpful information like this through blog posts.
4. Stay in touch with your leads
Once you have their contact information, managing leads can seem complicated. The best way to simplify things is to get in touch directly as soon as possible, either via email or phone, and ask how you can be of service.
If you’re ready to leverage Elevate’s beautiful websites and powerful CRM to help capture and incubate leads and create clients for life, get started here.