Any real estate agents who are serious about successful careers or their clients and customers should educate themselves on the latest real estate methods. Buyers used to be dependent on real estate agents having listings in a multiple listing service (MLS), advertising them in newspapers and real estate magazines, and hoping potential buyers would see their ads and call for more information.
Now with smart phones and tablets and the Internet, interested buyers can download listings and tour the home by watching videos of the interior and exterior, including the neighboring property. The thoroughly modern agents even have drones shooting videos of bird’s eye views of nearby parks, shops, and other amenities.
Over 55 percent of Internet use comes from mobile devices; 65 percent of all Internet searches start on a smartphone. In the growing mobile demographic, when buyers are interested after these views, their phones help them find the address. With a sign out front with Quick Response (QR) codes and the reader App on their phone, they can listen to more information about the property from their car before ever calling the agent.
Definitely include the price, interior pictures, and community information on the sign’s QR link. Also there should be a note explaining that a QR Code Reader can be downloaded to their phone right then from their app store. A tiny URL written below the QR Code will allow the frustrated people unfamiliar with scanning QR codes to type the shortened URL into their mobile browser instead.
QR codes can be added to flyer boxes, the property flyers, mailings, and even business cards in addition to the signs. Goo.gl allows any URL to be turned into a QR Code in seconds and all scans are tracked. The QR codes must point to content optimized for mobile devices in image size and page dimensions. They just take a photo of the bar code and are able to see instantly the property details and pictures. A full video tour of the home would be best. Watch the video on how to set up QR codes.
Business card codes should point to more information about the agent, preferably a video recorded on YouTube thanking them for scanning the code and giving them links to the agent’s Facebook, Twitter, and blog. One place not being utilized very much for QR codes is on the agent’s vehicle. This could link to a video thanking them for scaning the code and reminding them that this is one tech savvy agent ready to help with real estate buying and selling that they should contact when ready.
There are 2R codes which unlike static QR codes are dynamic. The action can be changed at any time or have randomized actions for promotions and updated information without printing a new code.
Agents may object to this technology because they want to claim the buyers up front, establish a personal relationship with them before they look at properties, determine that the buyers are pre-approved in writing, and show them other listings their company may have. Some older agents were taught to claim buyers by not including a price or address in their listings with the idea that people would have to call them. Today’s buyers expect information immediately and tend to skip such properties.
The new technology can ensure that more accurate details about the home are at buyers’ fingertips. Agents must be more prepared to compete by telling customers or clients about FSBOs, expired listings, and potential appropriate properties they have in their database which are not active listings. They should suggest that the buyers be added to their search list for any new listings as soon as they hit the market that meet the specifics the buyers are looking for. They can offer to target the desired neighborhood seeking more sellers by postcard mailings or social media.
An app on an agent’s phone can handle MLS searches, featured listings, property images, GPS, integrated Google Maps, and lead generation tools. Mobile users visiting a real estate website can be automatically redirected to a mobile website without downloading an app. Working with the IDX provider, MLS data can be kept current integrated with an automatic data import from the Board directly into the mobile website. Sitemaps can update many times a day and tell search engines at Google, Bing, and Yahoo automatically about the changes immediately. Page views statistics to determine how property information is being accessed can be reported to sellers in a PDF once a week. Live chat and Email support can be set up for desired hours or 24/7.
Although it is crucial for agents to have a website of details about their listings, blogging is not a top priority tool. If it is easy to insert daily content of valuable changing information, once customers are familiar with the agent and website it can be of use. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies are important to direct new clients to the site, but asking them to fill out a form before giving them property details may turn them away. It is not that they are not serious buyers, but people are protective of their personal information, rightfully so these days, and do not want to be deluged with unsolicited Emails.
Many companies are selling agents new software and techniques to generate referral leads. Most important is to respond quickly to telephone calls and Emails, get leads from satisfied clients and customers, and provide the best service possible to sellers and buyers to achieve efficient, painless closings.
Agents must obtain more listings to bring in more buyers, to have more showings, and to interest more sellers in listing with them. They should use the new techniques that increase business substantially and drop the least productive activities, review checklists and business plans yearly, and increase their visibility.