Love it or hate it, the digital age has flipped the real estate business upside down. Twenty years ago, prospective homebuyers were forced to rummage through a phonebook or purchase a newspaper from the local supermarket to discover the home of their dreams. Today prospective homebuyers can find a home or real estate agent with the click of a mouse. For the tech savvy real estate agent, the digital revolution has presented new opportunities. For the not so tech savvy real estate agent, it has presented new challenges.
What are you doing to incorporate emerging technologies into your marketing plan?
Below are 4 tips on how to sell homes in the digital age.
Time is money. And in the bustling world of real estate, virtual tours save both real estate agents and potential homebuyers valuable time. How does it work? Real estate agents simply map their home using a virtual tour service. Potential homebuyers then find the home online and take a three dimensional tour. If the home interests them, they can contact the listing agent and schedule a tour in person. If the home doesn’t interest them, nobody’s time was wasted. Everybody wins. Mapping prices are affordable and vary from a one-time basis to yearlong packages.
Social media is a powerful tool. One password and the world is at your fingertips. However, in real estate, social media is sometimes best looked at as another hook in the water. More than anything, social media serves as an alternative way for potential homebuyers to contact you. Likewise, you can post news or links. When setting up your social media profiles, remember to keep URLS short and consistent across platforms. Keep things simple. In addition, place your social media contact information alongside phone and email information when posting flyers or sending out postcards. Social media, after all, is the new email.
Quick Response Codes are readable mobile bar codes that store alphanumeric data. Think of them as digital wormholes. You can place them anywhere and redirect potential clients anywhere. Have a new listing? A website? A Facebook page? Simply create a QR code using a free QR code generator online, and then strategically place it somewhere potential clients might see it. Once a potential client scans the code with their phone, they will be taken to the link of your choice. At expresscopy.com, we often see real estate agents place QR codes on their direct mail postcards.
Optimize, Optimize, Optimize
Have you ever tried visiting someone’s website on your mobile phone, only to have the page appear jumbled and counterintuitive? Don’t be one of those people. According to the digital marketing organization Smart Insights, 51% of people now use their cell phones to access the internet rather than a desktop. That’s millions of people. How does your website look right now? If it isn’t up to standard, you run the risk of losing business. In addition, Google now lowers ranking for websites that aren’t mobile friendly. The good news? Virtually every Content Management System from Blogger to Wordpress now offers free plugins to optimize websites for mobile phones. All you have to do is enable it.
The Digital Age
Digital technology has undoubtedly changed the world we live in. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Unlike in the past, real estate agents now have the ability to reach potential clients at any time or place with a simple mobile phone or laptop. Reversely, potential clients can just as easily reach out to agents. Indeed, emerging digital mediums and marketing tools have not only liberated agents from the traditional constraints of daily newspapers and phonebooks, but allowed them to work faster and more efficiently. Why not embrace the digital era? If you don’t, your competition will.