How To Follow-up With Today's Digital Customer

Real Estate Agent with Joe Manausa Real Estate 8508880888

I don't know about you, but it seems like yesterday's phone call on a listing has evolved to today's online inquiry. While we still get a healthy flow of incoming phone calls, our bread and butter today is the online lead that has registered to look at properties or read our proprietary content. Because of this, we have evolved our follow-up processes to meet today's consumer demands.

Immediacy Is A Must

Many companies in technical fields offer live support personnel on their websites. It is something every company, in every industry, should strongly consider adopting. If your operation is too small to do this, plan an elaborate routing process so that customer inquiries make it to a live person rapidly. Then ensure that your personnel knows that every second counts. The goal at my real estate company is to respond to every form of inquiry and every email inquiry within 30 seconds of it arriving on our computers.

Sometimes, we are able to initiate communication using a live chat feature on our websites. Currently, we outsource our live chat application to an outside company. We worked out a dialogue for them to use, and the live chat button is available on every page of our website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, we have it pop up 30 seconds after a new visitor arrives in order to facilitate more chat sessions. We have initiated many relationships through live chat that have resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue over the years. It’s fast, it’s effective and it rarely annoys a visitor as they only need to close the pop-up window to move on with no more interruptions.

If you are a top-producing real estate agent, then you are likely busy. There is no way to handle incoming leads while also interacting with customers. This is why live support on your staff is so important. I think about this way: Why spend the money on generating leads if I'm not going to be there to handle the customers right away?

Tips On Working With Digital Customers

Digital customers are similar to telephone customers in that they have contacted you for a specific reason. We work very hard on perfecting our first contact, and we use the following tips when training our inside sales associates:

Be curious
Follow-up on customer inquiries needs to be well planned and well trained throughout the customer service and/or sales departments. Most agents throw a volume of sales propaganda at prospective customers who only want an answer to a question, and this leads to poor conversion and lost opportunities.

Seek first to understand. Be curious. Our first responders need to be prompt, and the primary goal is to get the prospective customer to reply to the response. Every good conversation requires give and take, and it is imperative that this first customer contact begins as a conversation that can be cultivated into a long-lasting customer relationship.

Pay attention
Our customers give us hints at what we need to know in order to facilitate a great experience for them. Whether it is through direct communication (the questions that they ask) or through deduction (as an example, deriving the occupation of the consumer by taking the time to read the signature block in their email signature), we must pay attention in order to find what we need to relate better to the customer.

Seek common ground
Commonality, or common ground, is a wonderful way of building trust in a new relationship. Our sales staff has been taught to establish commonality with prospective customers in order for the customer to identify with them. We need to be able to do the same thing in an email conversation that we once did during a verbal conversation. Any time there is an opportunity to strengthen the trust component of the relationship, it must be seized.

Short Conversational Dialogue
If you were to ask a group of children to demonstrate how they communicate with each other through cell phone texting, you would gain a great understanding of the evolution of written communication. Our customers do not expect the Queen’s English, but they do expect prompt responses. Proper spelling and grammar should never be compromised as they emphasize professionalism and competency at all times, but speed and simplicity are the heart of a properly executed customer communication.


Final Thoughts On Communicating With Digital Customers

The need for speed is much greater than many might assume. In the old days, you could return a phone call from a prospective customer the next day and typically do fine. But today's digital consumer is seeking answers, and they don't have any patience when they know the next website is merely a click away. This is why I believe a totally incompetent person who responds right away is better than an expert responding ten minutes after the inquiry. Of course, if you can respond immediately with a well-trained agent, then you have the best of both worlds.


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Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Joe Manausa - Congratulations! Your post was FEATURED in the BananaTude Group! Keep them coming!!!


Aug 26, 2019 05:37 PM #4
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Joe- with changing ways for our customers to reach and communicate with us, agents must make adjustments. And, it's a bit more difficult because you may not get to actually speak to the potential client initially. Your tips are excellent. 

Aug 26, 2019 08:09 PM #5
Joe Manausa
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

Thank you for the comment and feature in the OFC Myrl Jeffcoat 

Aug 27, 2019 03:12 AM #6
Joe Manausa
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

Yes, I think this "digital thing" is going to be around for a while Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP . Thanks for the comment and the feature in BananaTude Group as well!

Aug 27, 2019 03:13 AM #7
Joe Manausa
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

You are so right Kathy Streib . It can be scary adding a layer to your operation, but I don't know how to be everywhere all the time (which is what is needed to be responsive to leads and also invested in current customers).

Aug 27, 2019 03:15 AM #8
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Joe Manausa - you just gave me a light bulb idea.  I will want to look into live chat and a service for this.  I am glad that Carol Williams highlighted this.

Aug 31, 2019 07:49 AM #9
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Excellent point!  The customer is often scatter-minded and even the slightest bite should be followed up immediately.  Thanks for the write-up.

Aug 31, 2019 09:19 AM #10
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Joe - I have some issues with "immediate" response as it relates to non-emegrency issues.  Patience is said to be a virtue but it usually relates to the "other guy".  Conflicted?  Maybe so.  Food for thought.  But don't eat too quickly.  

Aug 31, 2019 10:55 AM #11
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Joe Manausa,

You outline some points we all need to consider. Potential clients will move on quickly to the next agent if we don't respond.  

My biggest issue is with actual cell calls from spammers. We answer a call, get our game face on find out the other side of the call is someone trying to sell me. 

Aug 31, 2019 02:18 PM #12
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


                                                    Thanks, Joe!

Aug 31, 2019 06:56 PM #13
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Joe:

These tips are a great reminder about the need to be responsive as immediately as possible to digital inquiries, and of course to do it well. I haven't used a chat but sounds like it's something I need to seriously consider!


Aug 31, 2019 10:32 PM #14
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Congrats on your features....I can see why they chose to highlight your post!

Sep 01, 2019 07:38 AM #15
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Well said Joe! Speed is important in today’s world of instant gratification! I try to get back in under 5 minutes. That said I still strive to build my business on SOI

Sep 01, 2019 06:51 PM #16
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Lifetime Friend/Helper!

Much to fill the mind.  THanks for all the tips Joe Manausa .  Hope you are not too windy there!

Sep 02, 2019 06:23 AM #17
Joe Manausa
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

Thanks Bruce Hicks we are fortunately well west of the storms potential core and should be OK.

Sep 02, 2019 06:46 AM #18
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I totally agree. If we don't answer a call immediately, the buyer/seller just calls someone else, unless they already know who we are and what we do.

Sep 04, 2019 06:05 AM #19
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Great post, and great endorsement from someone who knows about real estate investing!

Sep 05, 2019 12:35 AM #20
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

You are correct Joe. Todays consumers have the attention span of a sparrow. If you don't grab them in a few seconds they are gonzo.

Sep 05, 2019 09:37 AM #21
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Interesting that you've gotten customers and made money by using an outsourced live-chat company.    Are you willing to share what that costs and who you use Joe Manausa ?    Thanks in advance!

Sep 05, 2019 04:30 PM #22
Robert Buys Houses DFW
Robert Buys Houses DFW - Dallas, TX
We Buy Houses Fast in Dallas-Fort Worth

Joe Manausa... Very good information and Thank You for sharing.

True it is no longer enough to simply have auto-follow up emails. I forward phones to my cell when I leave my office and try to answer ALL calls if possible. (So far So good with that). 

Today, as a business owner, you MUST be the first to answer the call or reply to email if you want to stay in business. As I was reading your bog post, I had to answer a call, (no deal) but had to answer.


Much Appreciated


Robert Hernandez

Sep 05, 2019 04:31 PM #23
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