As we wake up every day to new challenges, it’s important to look at how our existing resources can help us to adapt. We’ve been regularly checking in with our customers to understand how they are impacted, and helping to answer questions on getting the best from Adfenix products during this time.
Understandably, in this time of social distancing, digital solutions are taking centre stage. What we have seen around the globe is a very quick adaptation and adoption by real estate professionals to new ways of doing business, with digital-first gaining more traction in the industry as the ‘new BAU’.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at quick wins that can help you stay connected with current and prospective sellers, continue to attract buyers to your available listings, and also stay top of mind whilst potentially unable to be physically present in your office or marketplace.
Of course, at this time it is also vital to work closely with your team and some of these are also useful for doing that as well.
Most are simple solutions using technology you already know, and software you probably already possess.
1. Video Chat Streaming Services
Real estate traditionally operates largely on a face-to-face, in-person and handshake basis. With the current situation, agents and brands need to adapt to ensure those meetings still happen using the digital tools available.
Sharing a plan with the seller and getting their buy-in puts the agent back in control.
Thankfully, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Hangouts and Meetings, and Zoom are already providing workable solutions in this field, with Zoom shares rocketing as a result of global social distancing over recent weeks. Other chat streaming services are available, so choose one that best suits your needs - a familiar product could be a better choice, as opposed to a new one, boasting an impressive feature suite that you don’t need.
Facebook has also launched their own Messenger for Desktop video chat app on 2nd April, in response to the huge increase in demand for desktop-based solutions with so many people working from home (#wfh). The familiarity of Messenger for both yourself and your customers might make it an easy solution to use with clients for quick check-ins. StopPress: Facebook Messenger Rooms are also being rolled out this week which will allow video chat calls with no time limit to be created for up to 50 people, even if they don’t have a Facebook account.
Use for: in-person team meetings, client updates, supplier meetings, appraisal presentations.
Remember to: use a headset, and find a quiet environment
2. Video & Virtual Reality
The magic of walking into a property for the first time is a powerful moment for many potential buyers. While this may be unavailable right now, it’s still possible to create that experience in a virtual sense, using the right tools.
Video content captures attention and is a rising trend. Experts predict that 82% of internet traffic will be video by 2021, so it’s worth investing time and energy into. Bringing property to life through video enhances connections with potential buyers and establishes credibility.
As with photography, ensure the property’s best features are highlighted, and speak to the customers’ pain points. Consider breaking video footage into multiple bite-size pieces rather than one long video; footage under 90 seconds typically generates much better response rates.
The magic of walking into a property for the first time is a powerful moment
If you are posting video to your social media channels, and particularly Facebook, there is a great opportunity to use longer duration videos as, since May 2019, quality, original videos that are searched for, watched for over a minute and are original (i.e. not uploaded from YouTube) are surfaced more frequently.
This is a bonus for real estate professionals who may want to share a weekly market update with followers at a consistent time and date.
We have also heard of agents, where allowed, using Facetime or Facebook Live to conduct open for inspections walk-throughs in markets where this is permitted, and even secure offers off the back of these video shares.
Use for: property viewings
Remember to: consider the backdrop, tone and attitude of the video
3. Keep advertising
Facebook usage has surged in every country affected by COVID-19 by a reported 50%.*
*Wall Street Journal, 24 March 2020
This makes maintaining, building and retaining a healthy pipeline possible through a considered social media strategy.
Proactively promoting current listings to reach both “in-market” and passive audiences shows commitment to getting maximum exposure for each property, while celebrating “sold” successes offers a valuable branding opportunity – keeping agents and brands top of mind. Industry pundits have forecast that people are actually spending their downtime planning their property move in coming months so it isn’t a time to ‘go silent’.
Sharing a plan with the seller and getting their buy-in puts the agent back in control. Showing sellers that there is a healthy market of buyers currently using social media, allows agents to actively build interest in their property, while waiting for the market to improve. It helps to nurture the relationship, and prevent the seller from pulling their listing.
The property could be marketed as an “exclusive preview property” or launched to relevant clients in a CRM. When the market picks up, the property can be launched to the portals where it arrives as a brand new listing with buyers already lined up.
Use for: active / upcoming listings
Remember to: formulate a plan for the upcoming weeks and get the seller on board
4. Join the online conversation
With more activity on social media, it’s a good opportunity to check in with relevant contacts and reach out with likes and comments.
Avoid sharing the same content across multiple channels
Choose relevant pages and topics to listen to the conversation and learn what your potential customers are looking for.
Establish rapport over time to build new relationships, and share relevant content to build authenticity and establish your credibility.
Share helpful insight and create value, while keeping content on tone and constructive.
A great organic (‘free’) strategy at the moment is to spend most of your time engaged with your local neighbourhood/ postcode Facebook Groups.
Regularly search the group for the terms “Property”, “Selling” “Renting” and “Recommendations”. Add value and answer questions in all areas of expertise – you are perfectly positioned to be the group’s local property ‘go to’ person. If a local neighbourhood group doesn’t exist, create one.
5 Essential Facebook groups for real estate agents
- Local community, business and suburb groups
- Class of/ Grew up around/ Remember when/ Then and now/ Memories or histories
- Mothers and fathers groups
- Buy, sell and swap groups
- Property to buy, rent or sell
Use for: local contacts, local groups
Remember to: avoid sharing the same content across multiple channels
We hope you have found the tips shared here useful for your business. We encourage you to find out more about our latest marketing automation and lead qualification product suite, Engage, which is available to Adfenix clients for free until 30th September. Maximise your ongoing website traffic by deploying Engage today. Find out more here.