How To Leverage Digital Tools To Boost Your Real Estate Business
Real estate has historically been an offline-centric business, where the buying and selling of physical homes meant setting up open homes signs, creating flyers, and writing an ad to the newspaper. However, no industry is immune from the unstoppable advancement of digital technology. We live in a digital age and this has a profound impact for real estate agents.
Traditionally, the first step to buying or selling a home was to reach out to an agent. Conversely, 94 percent of millennials search on online websites, as compared to 84 percent of Baby Boomers and 65 percent of the Silent Generation. For millennial buyers, the internet is not only part of their process — it’s their first step, as well as where over half of these buyers find their home.
Millennials now represent the largest group of home buyers. They are also the first generation of digital natives, who grew up with the internet, and as a result have a fundamentally different approach to looking for homes. Real estate professionals that don’t leverage these technologies adapt to these seismic shifts in the industry will quickly find themselves left in the dust.
Here are 3 ways real estate agents can set themselves up for success in the digital age.
1. Robust online search
88 percent of clients use an online website and 50 percent search from mobile devices. To capture and retain their interest, agents have to offer helpful online resources that fulfill the desire to search independently and acquire information.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 83 percent of buyers find including photos improves listings and 79 percent find detailed information about properties to be useful. Interactive maps, virtual tours, neighborhood information, and video are also beneficial additions to their buying decisions. Today, buyers want to have control of their search based on specific parameters and efficiently compare different options. A dynamic website that offers tools to effectively inform the buyer of prospective properties that fit their needs, is a critical part of the modern real estate sales process.
2. Social media marketing
Millennials are the most active Facebook users, with the average user spending over 30 minutes per day. Today’s leads are also active on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. Agents who hope to build relationships with these prospects have to embrace social media marketing. This not only means posting engaging content and establishing yourself as a resource on these platforms, but also becoming more data-driven about your outreach. Using social media marketing tools, agents can now track conversions and click rates to turn cold leads into warm leads and learn about the people they are marketing too. This represents a significant improvement over archaic methods, like sending postcards.
However, no-one wants to be blatantly advertised to, especially not in social media. Potential buyers are more reciprocating to agents that promote their brand by creating an authentic voice and focusing on sharing interesting content. Paid marketing campaigns that include relevant, high-quality, informative content are essential for generating and converting leads.
3. Mobile devices
Just as today’s buyer is often immersed in social media, they also rely on the ease of their mobile devices. Millennials use of a mobile devices twice as much as the generation before them, and given the demographics of home buyers, mobile-compatible tools are quickly becoming a critical aspect of real estate sales. People want and need the ability to search for homes when they are out and about, communicate with their realtor any time through text or email, and take photos and notes in the heat of the moment, all on one device.
Buyers aren’t the only ones reliant on being mobile; Agents often spend a majority of their time running around from one place to another. They need tools that enable them to work on-the-go. Over 90 percent of realtors use their mobile devices to communicate with clients, but that’s only a sliver of what they need to be successful. The ability to manage customer relationships, access information, follow up, and manage teams from their phones provides them the mobility and efficiency that they need. After all, being tied down to a computer all day means losing time to show more buyers their next dream home.
The industry is currently evolving, but the old methods are hindering our potential as agents. With all the innovation out in the world, many of them are not mobile-focused nor were there an easier way to consolidate all the tools we used to track our leads. Working with the top realtors, Chime designed an all-in-one platform that provides a suite of next-generation tools that can help bring any agent and any team into the digital age. Using Chime’s solutions, agents can provide robust listings that satisfy buyers, launch strategic marketing campaigns that produces effective ROI, and foster and track leads and customer relationships. In addition, working with a team has never been easier with Chime’s team management system. Embracing the digital age is not intimidating, but allows you to maximize your potential as an agent, and with Chime, you can be focus on what you do best: matching buyers to their new homes, whenever and wherever you are..
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April Wong represents Appsurdity with a passion for leveraging technology in all industries. For the last 10 years, April has honed her expertise in IoT, smart home tech, consumer electronics and is constantly on the lookout for the next big thing. When she’s not immersed in the world of big data, AI and VR, you can find her running, climbing and riding mountains around the world.