Back in the day, the only way for consumers to learn about a product or service was to talk to a salesperson – whether it be in a store, on the phone or in the home. Today’s consumers are operating in a much different environment. Buyers have access to endless, instantaneous information about a variety of product and service options – and it’s available at the touch of a button. What’s more, not only do buyers have access to product information, they also have access to reviews from other consumers to take into consideration.
Transparency is here to stay – and buyers hold all of the cards.
What does this mean to your real estate business?
If you’re good at what you do, this ‘shift’ represents great news. Showcasing reviews from happy clients can not only help you get better search engine visibility (thanks to the weight of major review sites like Yelp and Google), it can also help you stand out from your competition and fast track your way to more clients. However, there are a few proactive things you need to do in order to be successful in this new environment.
As a small business owner, you must:
- Leverage instant information and transparency to drive new business
- Serve as a valuable resource to attract potential homebuyers
- Connect and engage with internet leads who are still researching options
Here's how you take advantage:
Leverage instant information and transparency to drive new business:There are two steps you can take in order to reap the benefits of instant access to information and complete brand transparency:
- Confirm your website and public profiles are informative and accurate.
When people visit your website or one of your social profiles, you want to make sure the information listed is the most current and accurate. This way, regardless of where a lead encounters your brand, they know the best way to connect with you. Make a list of all of your sites and profiles and take the time to visit each and update your information as necessary over time. Make sure your contact information is front and center, and when possible – add a sentence or two that describes why you’re different or better than your competition. For best results, use our free online visibility guidebook to boost your SEO.
- Use testimonials to help you land new business
You should implement testimonial gathering into your business cycle and lead nurturing practices. Doing so will help you use clients’ positive experiences to generate new leads and clients. Click here for tips on how to solicit great testimonials and download our free testimonial template to simplify the process.
Serve as a valuable resource for prospective homebuyers:It’s time to talk content. The best way to invite new business relationships is to prove to prospective clients that you have insightful data and knowledge that isn’t available anywhere else – data and knowledge that will help them simplify the home shopping process and move forward in their buyers journey. How do you do this? You need to provide information that addresses key homebuyer questions and concerns. You can do so by offering an intimate look at your local market, sharing things like appreciation rates across property types, providing free home valuations or highlighting an in-depth look at your community schools. Basically, you need to think like your leads – write down things that would be important to you if you were considering buying in your area and create content based on those topics.
Connect and engage with buyers who are still researching their options:These leads aren’t ready to talk to an agent yet, but they are interested in learning more about your community and researching available homes in your area. Often times, agents enroll these clients in drip email marketing campaigns – which is an easy option, but it comes at a cost. The problem is that these messages typically lack details that are relevant to that particular lead’s wants and needs – which means the conversion rate is likely to be low at best.
The bottom line is, there is no “one size fits all” messaging when it comes to real estate leads – and if you’re sending out useless content, you’re likely to lose your prospect. It’s best to take the time to really understand what your leads are looking for and to send personalized responses to each and every new Internet lead. It’s well worth the time to manually manage this process – but there’s also a way to automate the process while improving message quality at the same time (click here to learn more).
As you adjust your marketing strategy to meet the needs of today’s home shopper, keep these three considerations in mind to maximize your opportunity for success.