- Social media is a must, but that doesn't mean that you should just put your listings out there. Be authentic.
- Your website should be mobile-friendly because that's where potential clients are -- on their phones.
- Have an a kick-ass CRM to back you up.
In a recent interview with industry trend and technology commentator Brad Inman, we discussed where real estate was heading and what the best agents are doing to connect with their clients and add value in new and exciting ways, which is how I came up with this tech fit quiz.
Inman has correctly forecast that consumers are getting smarter and will seek out the agent with the tools and tech savvy market profile to help them with their real estate solution. Pretty much a no-brainer one would think, except the majority of agents still don’t get it.
You can check out my interview with Brad Inman here.
When I listened back to my interview, I made a heap of notes and quickly came up with what I’m calling a “Real Estate Tech Check” so agents can test their tech readiness to attract new clients.
Take the test now, and give yourself 10 points for every yes.
1. Do you have a personal website?
Here’s the thing: This morning, in the area where you make a living being an awesome real estate professional, someone woke up, yawned, rolled over and reached for their iPhone or tablet, booted up Google and logged a search for “real estate agents (your area)”
Did you come up on their radar?
Almost two hours later, somebody else woke up and decided to move to your area and searched the area. Did you make an appearance?
If not, that’s a couple of potential deals ruined.
Now imagine that happening multiple times on a daily basis.
Take a squizz (that’s Australian slang for “look”) at www.GetWhatYouWant.ca and listen to my podcast with an agent who can get up to 1,200 online buyer and seller messages every day. Yes, every day!
Your personal and excellent-looking website will not instantly catapult you to page 1 on Google — or any other search engine, for that matter — but when you follow some simple rules, (like having a mobile-friendly website, which I’ll talk about in a sec) you will begin to climb upward in rankings.
If you have a personal website, give yourself 10 points.
2. Is it a cool website that engages visitors?
Is it easy to navigate, with an obvious phone number above the fold (top right is best) inviting visitors to call or text you anytime?
Folks won’t wait. They will keep searching for an agent’s website that has what they’re seeking.
In fact, here’s a cool idea: Why not add an online client questionnaire extension to your website (abcrealty.com/clientquestions) and email it to your potential client before your listing presentation? They fill it out, and their response is automatically emailed back to you.
And because people are nosy, they’ll do some sniffing and click the about button on your navigation bar to read up on you and see just how awesome you are. When you roll up to deliver your presentation, they’ll probably greet you with “Where do I sign?” (in a perfect world).
If your website is so awesome that you need just one more look before you go to bed each night, give yourself another 10 points.
3. Is your website responsive?
Keep in mind that your market is mobile, and at the time of writing, most real estate websites are not user-friendly. If a potential client is trying to navigate a non-mobile-friendly website on his or her mobile device, he or she will think bad website equals bad agent. Wouldn’t you?
Did your website pass Google’s mobile-friendly test? Excellent — add another 10 points.
4. Does your website have a blog?
There are so many ways to leverage a great article hosted straight from your website. You can put a link on Facebook or LinkedIn and the keywords in your article will also boost the living daylights out of your organic search results over time. (Winning!)
In fact, when Buddy rolls over and searches “real estate Austin Texas,” one of your blogs might come up before your actual website because your article is headed up “5 things you must know before buying in Austin.” There’s your connection right there. You’re shooting fish!
If you’re a blogging legend, and you post weekly, then you just got 10 points — boom!
5. Does your website have a pop-up chat feature?
A few months back, I talked one of my favorite clients into installing a pop-up chat feature on his website. We set it to activate after his homepage is open for about 10 seconds.
He kicked and screamed a little because he didn’t want to spend the money to add the feature ($29 a month) and was concerned tire-kickers would be messaging him and wasting his time.
But I’m pretty persuasive and gently reasoned with him to at least try it out. But he resisted.
So I lured him to Reno, then hog tied him naked, covered him in pure Ontario honey and sat him on an anthill just outside town in the burning sun, and he quickly came around to my way of thinking. (When a couple of people stopped and came over to see what was going on, I told them we were in rehearsal for the new season of “Breaking Bad.” They bought it.)
We set it up, so the messages go to a very helpful 22-year-old chap named Ravi who runs a thriving 24/7 support business above an organic curry joint in downtown Mumbai. When the chat inquiry comes through, Ravi or one of his minions jumps on the chat and replies in perfect English to the site visitor.
In the past two months, Team Ravi has handled more than 200 chat inquiries, and my coaching client has listed three homes in his area and sold two. Total return on investment, assuming the listing will sell, is $62,000!
If you hate ants and have a 24/7 chat feature installed on your website — 10 points your way.
6.What’s your email situation?
Does your email address read email@example.com, or have you “cheaped out” with a Gmail address — or the even more pointless and anonymous firstname.lastname@example.org?
Let me ask you a question: If you were about to drop half a million clams on a piece of real estate, would you feel completely comfortable using an agent with a Gmail address?
The average real estate agent in North America is a 54-year-old woman who does something like 2.3 deals a year, and chances are, she has a Gmail address or something similar. If you consider yourself a pro (and I know you are, because you’re reading my stuff), don’t go there.
If you have better than a Gmail, Yahoo or Ymail or email@example.com business email, give yourself 10 points, partner.
7. Do you have smoking-hot images of your listings?
Great agents use great photos to attract more buyers and sellers. This was happening way before the new economy, so it’s amazing many agents still flunk the great photo test.
You will be judged by your photos, and after your sizzling personality and engaging monologue, it’s probably one of the most important marketing assets you can have.
If you can say, “Yes, Ray. My images are the talk of the town,” give yourself 10 points.
8. Do you have an up-to-date social media profile on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn?
Remember — back a few steps — how I was talking about search? Well, social media profiles play an increasingly important role in helping you get on the radar. Google is the new phone book, but it’s not alphabetical. It’s a constant race to page 1. Every link and entry you can have will help you get there.
And don’t fall for the trap of loading your listings on there. That’s not what social is about. You’re looking to engage potential clients in your area with cool, local and interesting content that involves others.
If you are all over social media and hardly ever post house pics — nice. Give yourself another 10 points.
9. Do you have smoking-hot images of your yourself?
If your PMI or personal marketing image (OK, I just made that acronym up) was taken back when the Dead Sea was just feeling sick, it’s time for an upgrade. Otherwise, when you turn up for that listing presentation, they’ll wonder what the heck you’re doing there.
It is what it is, and we are what we are. We can’t all look like George Clooney or what’s-her-name from “The Hunger Games.”
So get a good night’s sleep and Google “professional portrait photographer in (your area).”
These pros are paid to make us look good, and you’ll have an awesome looking PMI to use everywhere.
If your photo is clear, sharp, well-lit and was taken in the past five years (and apart from that little sunburn incident in Mexico last year, you look pretty much the same), good news for you: 10 more points.
10. Do you have a killer CRM?
I didn’t make this acronym up, but if I did, I would have named it CRMS for customer relationship management system — but I digress.
A few dollars a day will get you a killer contact relationship management (CRM), and it’s a game-changer.
Your CRM is the bucket where you keep your contacts and show them the love. You can customize mass emails and text blasts, buyer match your buyers to new listings and a heap more.
A good system will tell you who has opened your email and give your selling clients the option to log in and see the last action on their listing.
I guess it comes down to deciding if you are going to be that average 54-year-old 2.3 sales agent from Boise, or are you going to leverage technology to get that swagger in your walk and kick some butt!
If you use a CRM and it rocks your world, give yourself 10 points.
So how’d you do? The world of real estate tech is waiting to help you take your career to the next level.
Can I suggest you go over this list and highlight the areas you need to tweak?
Dream big, take names and continue forward in perpetual awesomeness.
Ray Wood is the host and presenter at Top Agents Playbook. Follow him on Twitter.