October 23, 2020
Operating a business built on person-to-person contact is a challenge amid the global pandemic. With the difficulties surrounding COVID-19, it’s hard for customer-facing industries like real estate to stay engaged. Real estate agents are thinking outside the box. But with great difficulty comes great opportunity.
From social media to newsletter blasts to live Q&A’s, technology is helping real estate agents and brokers get and stay connected with would-be customers in their market. In fact, virtual-only real estate agencies are sprouting up in response to the pandemic, making accessibility a key component of real estate moving forward.
The best real estate agents in the industry understand that new tools and tech-savvy resources are the keys to success to continue in this new normal.
Here are some tech tips that real estate agents can leverage.
Optimize for Mobile
Mobile is becoming the leading source of information for users on the go. From tablets to iPhones, today’s real estate customer is a mobile one. With this in mind, real estate agents and brokers would be right to optimize their site and listings to cater to this platform and experience.
To optimize for mobile, agents need to download the right real estate apps and be savvy at updating their websites and their listings for desktop and mobile viewing. They should be succinct in their approach and only provide the most essential and necessary information for websites and listings to encourage consumers to contact them for more detailed information.
Operate with Insurance
Real estate agents especially need to protect their operations and livelihoods against potential lawsuits and claims. And while the legal field is still trying to work its way through COVID-19-related claims, agents should always operate with adequate Real estate insurance.
While coronavirus claims might be a new reality for every industry, those in the real estate industry can still take advantage of Real estate insurance for everyday claims, such as errors and omissions and cyberattacks.
Use Email & Newsletters to Market
Sending an email every few days to potential clients, in addition to a weekly newsletter, keeps potential homebuyers educated and informed of listings and the market. This regular contact also helps with relationship building, trust, and proving that agents are experts. Having a good finger on the market’s pulse and what buyers can expect and forecast helps legitimize an agent as a leader in the industry.
One challenge real estate agents and brokers are experiencing today has been stay-at-home orders or just social distancing in general. Even if some people are more lax in their quarantine approach, some buyers may still be hesitant about meeting in person.
With social distance regulations strictly enforced, selling homes in person has been difficult or off the table entirely for the time being. But, thanks to video streaming and great broadband services, agents don’t have to be in the same building to allow a viewing.
From Google Hangouts to Zoom to FaceTime, agents can show properties, have Q&A’s, and give prospective buyers, updates all without leaving their home office.
Small agencies should never underestimate the power of online content in the form of a blog. When an agent blogs regularly, even once a week, customers look to them as experts and see them more as approachable personalities. A blog can establish and build a relationship with a customer without ever actually meeting them face-to-face. And in this age of visual content, agents and brokers can opt for video blogs, or vlogs, uploading them to their website, social media profiles, and YouTube channel.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO, or search engine optimization, may sound to some buyers like another tech tool that’s hard to navigate. However, it’s a simple tool that helps agents get more recognition online. How a website is written can make or break how it shows up in search results on Google or Bing, for example, so it’s worth investing.
Social media is quickly becoming the primary marketing source for agents who want to connect with clients and strategize their branding. Social media services offer various benefits, and a real estate agent should tailor their choices to the audiences they want to connect with. Social media use is usually defined by demographic information, such as age, race, and income.
For example, Tik Tok reaches more teens than other social media platforms, so this might not be the best tool to use. Now, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook are go-to tools that agents can utilize to boost their brand and listings. Here’s a breakdown of some of those social media apps and why they’re great for agents and brokers:
- Facebook: It may come as a surprise to Facebook’s early adopters, but the average age of a user on the platform is 41 years old. This puts agents and brokers in a good position for connecting with potential buyers at the right age. Agents can use Facebook to not only show listings and link blogs, but host live video sessions, such as Q&A’s, tour of homes, and interviews with other agents in the industry.
- Twitter: According to social media marketing company, Hootsuite, the average age of a Twitter user is 40, and 42 percent of users hold college degrees. That statistic is important to agents and brokers as there is a correlation between the advanced education someone has and the likelihood of investing in real estate. Twitter helps direct leads to a real estate agent’s website or other social media profiles.
- Instagram: For first-time homeowners, Instagram could be a better choice as the platform holds a lot of users between the ages of 25 and 34. Strictly visual, Instagram offers agents an opportunity to be more visual and direct with potential buyers.
About Associations Liability Insurance Agency (ALIA)
The ALIA Team (part of the Riverton Insurance Agency Corporation), specializes in helping real estate professionals find the affordable and comprehensive liability insurance they need, without the hassle. ALIA dates its roots to 1991 with the founding of FREA, Foundation of Real Estate Associates. In 2013, ALIA was created to work with multiple insurance companies thereby broadening the portfolio of products to customers. For more information about our products and services, contact us today at (800) 882-4410.