Technology

New technology is coming for real estate agents

Mobile may seem old hat, but it's getting ever more important

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Takeaways:

  • Agents should mobile-optimize their websites.
  • Video doesn’t have to be perfect.
  • There’s a smarter way to convert leads from a drip campaign.

SAN FRANCISCO — There are some technologies that have been touted so often they seem old hat: video, mobile, drip campaigns.

But agents aren’t necessarily using them, and if they are, they aren’t necessarily using them well.

That’s according to panelists at Inman’s Agent Connect conference today.

RebekahBastian

Rebekah Bastian

1. Mobile: “The level to which everybody is on mobile right now in terms of how they’re using technology is beyond what most people recognize,” said Rebekah Bastian, vice president of product teams at Zillow. Seventy percent of Zillow’s traffic comes from mobile devices on the weekends, she added.

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It’s important that agents have a presence on mobile devices and that their listings be marketed on mobile because that’s what customers are expecting, she said.

Jed Carlson

Jed Carlson

Jed Carlson, CEO of AdWerx, agreed. “We actually just looked at a couple hundred of the landing pages that agents were sending their traffic to and less than 50 percent were mobile-optimized,” he said.

“Mobile is still not being done super well. Make sure everything you’re doing is in that vein, including the types of advertising.”

2. Video: If agents had to choose a communication method, they would probably say they come across best in person. But they can’t meet everyone face to face, and video can help bridge that gap, according to Steve Pacinelli, vice president of strategic marketing at BombBomb.

He doesn’t buy agents’ No. 1 objection to video: that they don’t look good.

“That’s the way you look in real life,” he said, eliciting laughter from the crowd. And agents don’t let their looks stop them from meeting clients face to face either, he added.

Videos don’t have to be perfect, Pacinelli said.

“We’ve been conditioned to believe that video is all about commercials and polish,” but the shinier a video is, the less people trust it, Pacinelli said.

Off-the-cuff videos that speak from the heart can generate “incredible engagement” because people like their authenticity, he said.

But there is a time and place for different kinds of video, he added.

“Put professional video on your home page. Don’t have a shaky ‘Blair Witch’ project video for your home tour,” he said.

Pacinelli recommended agents use Clips Video Editor, a free app that allows users to easily piece together short video clips and add a voice-over.

3. A smart drip campaign: Pacinelli also recommended what he called an “intelligent follow-up system” — Conversica. Conversica will “read” the emails of people who are responding to an agent’s drip campaign.

“It interprets that info and makes the intelligent choice of whether or not to send it to a human being,” he said.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.