Technology and innovation. They can be invaluable and revolutionary but in many industries, the disruption comes so fast and so far-reaching that professionals are often overwhelmed by the wave of change. Think travel agents at the advent of the internet. Some believe real estate professionals are at risk of a similar fate.
It is important, however, to dispel that myth. Savvy Realtors and real estate agents know the benefits and limitations of the latest home–search platforms. They work diligently to cultivate a niche for their customers that helps connect the dots while providing a tremendous service.
Ensure your clients (past, present and potential) know that that you understand the latest technologies – and can help implement them – which allows you to sharpen your service. Incidentally, this has worked for travel agents as well; they are now using online tools, combined with specialized knowledge, to help their profession make a rebound.
Below are five tips for mastering the latest trends and using them to broaden your business.
1. Excel at Social Media – Most of your clients, particularly – but not limited to – Millennials, use some sort of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat. If you aren’t using some or even all those sites in your real estate business, you’re missing a major opportunity to stay connected with past and potential clients. Real estate is a perfect industry to promote via social since it’s so visual. Post about your most recent successes, clients getting keys to their new homes, answer FAQs and show off homes you are currently representing. But don’t make it all about self-promotion; your audience will tire of the content quickly.
Most of the content you share should be of interest to homebuyers and sellers. People go to social media to learn and be entertained. Don’t forget to engage with others and build connections by liking, sharing, or commenting on their content as well.
2. Use Videography and YouTube – If, as the saying goes, “A picture is worth 1,000 words,” then what is video worth? The answer is 1.8 million words (for a one–minute video). Plus, homebuyers engage more with video than with a still picture of a home. Posting a video on your own YouTube channel, website, and social media accounts will help your listings stand out. You can also incorporate virtual tours or the action at an open house. Many high-end agencies now have in-house video departments to make sure the content is of the highest caliber.
3. Have a Presence on Search Sites – With real estate search websites, clients don’t need to rely only on an agent to show them what’s available through the multiple listing service (MLS). But they do usually need a professional to see the home. Some of the most popular real estate websites are Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, RealtyTrac, Movoto, and Homes.com, so make sure you have a profile on those that are applicable for possible referrals.
4. Ask For Reviews – After you’ve completed a successful transaction, make it a habit to ask your clients to post a review online, on whatever website they feel most comfortable doing so. Yelp, Zillow, Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn are all popular review sites. These reviews will not only be helpful when your future clients look you up before working with you, but will also boost your SEO (search engine optimization), which is important since ninety–percent of buyers search online at some point in their homebuying process!
5. Provide Fantastic Service – There is one thing that technology can’t do (though it can help): provide stellar service. Now more than ever, it’s paramount for real estate professionals to respond to clients and to follow up with everyone involved in every transaction as quickly as possible.
After all, few things are more stressful than buying and/or selling a home. Responding to communications immediately and keeping your clients apprised throughout can help reassure and calm their anxiety. High-touch, personalized service is something that can’t be replicated by a website. In short, make yourself invaluable.