Just because you’re practicing social distancing doesn’t mean your team should give up on engaging with prospects and clients. Here’s how to build quality connections online.

Client engagement has always been a key pillar to success for real estate agents. COVID-19 has made it even more crucial. In the age of Zoom calls, work-from-home situations and social distancing, the businesses that win are those that are able to build genuine connections with clients. Let’s break down some of the ways you can engage with your clients and sell more houses.

1. Reach out to current clients via text

In times like these, effective communication is key. If you’re looking for a channel that almost guarantees that clients will see your message, then text messaging is the way to go. Studies show that text messaging has a 98 percent open rate, compared to a 21 percent open rate for emails. 

Mass text messaging is a great way to promote new listings and upcoming open houses. Of course, it’s also important to respond to customers who have questions in a prompt manner.

If you’re looking to get more leads in your text messaging list, here’s a helpful strategy: The next time you put up a sign advertising a new listing, include a phone number and tell potential clients they can reach out to you there. When clients text you, you can send them more information about that specific listing.

2. Use website chat to attract new leads

Ultimately, quality engagement means making it easy for clients to reach out to you if they have any questions. That means that your business should have a channel where customers can reach out and expect an instant response. Website chat can help. 

With website chat, clients don’t need to wait on hold or potentially get lost in an email inbox. They can expect an answer to their question while they’re still on the site. All they have to do is type a message into the chat box, and they can be connected with one of your team members. 

If you don’t have the resources to offer live chat, consider using chatbots. These are automated programs that can respond to common questions with programmed answers.

3. Try email marketing

OK, I know I just talked about how text messaging and website chat is better than email, but bear with me here. Even though it’s a saturated channel, it can be an effective method of communication — provided that you’re able to stand out from the noise. 

Usually, this means writing an effective subject line. A great subject is short, punchy and speaks to the personal needs of your prospect. Something like “Our monthly newsletter” might not stand out in an inbox. Instead, something like “5 new listings for young professionals” may be more enticing for the right demographic group.

Not sure whether your subject lines are good enough? There is a solution. You can use A/B testing to sort between different options. Keep an eye on the subject lines that perform the best over time. You can then try to repeat the tactics that work.

4. Respond to client reviews

Many agents make the mistake of not taking any action after a client leaves a review on a site like Facebook or Google. Remember that reviews are an opportunity to show your appreciation and fix potential issues. Engaging with clients — both happy and unhappy ones — shows your dedication to world-class service.

To respond to a good review, make sure to thank the client for their kind words. It’s an easy way to show your appreciation.

Bad reviews are trickier. Although it can feel disappointing to get a bad review when you take steps to provide fantastic service, it’s important to respond to this feedback in a polite and professional manner.

Much of the time, these clients simply need help from your team and are more than happy to edit or delete the review when the problem has been taken care of. Though there is vocal minority of clients who can’t be satisfied, simply leaving a response shows prospective clients on your review profile that you are making a sincere effort to provide a great experience to everyone.

5. Leverage video

Ultimately, a good agent builds great relationships with clients. But it’s hard to replicate the magic of an in-person meeting through phone calls, which makes it difficult to build these quality relationships. That said, there’s one method of communication that can help — and that’s video

Try meeting with your clients through video calls rather than phone calls. This simple change can help your team build a closer connection with clients. There’s less room for miscommunication when clients can see your facial expressions. You also send the subtle signal that your attention is completely focused on them. 

Recorded video is also a great way to engage with clients. Some agents choose to send a personalized thank-you video to every new client. Others use interview videos with past clients to show off the strength of their services. Regardless of what you choose to do, remember that video can tell an engaging story that simply can’t be told through text.

In conclusion, just because you’re practicing social distancing doesn’t mean your team should give up on engaging with prospects and clients. A winning real estate engagement strategy means that you’re able to build quality connections — even if you never meet your clients in-person.

Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — RE/MAX Results in Minneapolis and co-author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on YouTube or Facebook. Dhiraj Nallapaneni is a product marketing writer at Birdeye in San Jose, California. Connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn

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