Instant Messaging (IM) is a means of communicating with potential and current clients as well as family and friends. For the purpose of this blog, I will focus on the clientele communication opportunities.
IM is a innovative way for people to ask quick questions and get quick answers. You can download the software free from various different entities to include MSN, YAHOO!, and AIM. There are also software programs that are free in which incorporate all three entities so that you done have to have three different accounts to log into for different customers, such as Trillian.
Why should I implement IM? Communicating with potential and current clients is essential. The top ranking complaints that buyers and sellers have about their agents is communications. Today's consumer wants answers now and not the next day, IM allows us to answer their questions when they are asked. Sure we have phone texting, but we pay money for that as well (maybe even per text).
How can I use it to increase my business? After downloading your preferred program (for free). Go through your database and invite them to your IM. Once invited and accepted, they will forever by on your contact list. Now you have immediate contact with those people when they are online. Even saying a quick hello and how are you can go along way. When you are in your office at our computer for floor duty, updating your MLS, website, etc, have your IM up and logged in. In your "personal messages" write something like, I am available to take any real estate questions at this time. Clients feel like they have a more open relationship with you and are not so intimidated to ask a quick question online. This alleviates the questions you always ask when you bump into the customer who says, "I was gonna call you, but I didnt want to bother you." You can also communicate with mortgage lenders, home insurance agents, attorny office, etc to ask a quick question (whats your interst rate today? can I squeeze an client in to see you about that insurance binder today at 3p?, etc) There are so many different ways you can use this form of communication. Try it out and experiment.