Agents are starting to dip their feet in the water when it comes to marketing online, but not all agents are embracing it and are still sticking to the fundamentals.
Blogger: Jhai Mitchell, Elders
Real estate agents are struggling to find their feet in the new digital world. If you haven’t seen the video with a real estate agent rapping about a house or Batwoman appearing in the photos of a property you are looking to buy, you soon will.
Technology is changing marketing quickly for real estate agents
What agents are starting to do now, is integrate the best of the old, which could not have been effectively done before. For example;
- Transfer of old rolodexes and file of buyers into database that is accessible via iPads
- Transfer newsletters into clickable emails with up-to-date sold properties
- Transfer paper floor plans into online floor plans with photos or video
Basically, agents are moving from the old 1.0 ways of doing business to implementing new technology bit by bit, into an already well-oiled machine. Agents that are doing this are slowly reaping the benefits. We like to call these agents 'Agent 2.0'.
How to spot 'Real Estate Agent 2.0'
Agent 2.0 is the new type of agent that is a significant upgrade from agent 1.0. This agent is able to immediately send a contract using his iPad to the buyer whilst at the open home, and not at 5:30pm that afternoon. They are twice as fast as agent 1.0 that uses pen and paper. They only need to do 1/3 of the data entry of their predecessors. They have direct access to multiple social media accounts via their smartphone, and update them regularly creating ‘buzz’. You will be able to find them on Google within a blink of an eye. The video marketing will be second to none. They are able to create instant reports of interest on any particular property they are selling, and adjust their marketing to keep a high level of interest. The beauty about Agent 2.0 is that they can do all of this out of the office.
While this analogy may sound a bit silly, the productivity of Elders Toongabbie and Kings Langley is at an all-time high. In November 2013 we set a new record for property sales, done by one office in the Toongabbie area. I’m not saying we did not do some good old-fashioned door knocking and cold calling. However, I’m sure the integration between new technology, marketing, and communication systems was a contributing factor.
Agent 2.0 communicates with buyers the way Generation Y likes it
There is no doubt that Ggeneration Y is becoming a growing group of homebuyers. These buyers are smart, internet savvy, and aren’t afraid to do their research. They are constantly asking their friends on social media “How do I get into the market?”, and “Check out this property, should I buy it?”. They are looking for advice and someone they can trust to guide them through the property maze.
This is where Agent 2.0 comes in. Where just like the old way of building a list of buyers in a rolodex, Agent 2.0 is building a list online instead. The difference is, this list is being built with buyers that like, know and trust the agent before they even meet. This can be in many forms, such as a friends list on Facebook or Twitter followers retweeting their useful updates. They are not giving any new information that 1.0 agents already don’t know, but the difference is they are just communicating the way Generation Y likes it. This builds trust and people want to see a personality behind the brand. When all of these elements come together, these buyers are more likely to buy from the agent.
So when vendors are choosing a real estate agent to sell their property, they are starting to think about what type of people are going to buy their property. Here is a quick checklist to see if you are a 2.0 real estate agent;
- You have more than 60 friends on all of your social media accounts
- People are liking and commenting on your page
- Build relationships online and you are posting at least twice a week
- When people send a message to you via social media you respond with useful, non-pushy answers
- Your Google online reviews overall rating is over four stars
- Can you find your office on Google without using your brand name (on someone else’s computer)?
These are some very simple and effective tests to see if you are a 2.0 real estate agent. This can make all the difference when reaching Generation Y buyers and sellers.
Jhai Mitchell, internet marketing business developer at Elders
Jhai Mitchell is the internet marketing business developer at Elders Toongabbie and Kings Langley. Prior to this, he had a successful career running his own online business in Western Australia and achieving the top 10 per cent in sales with a mobile phone group. Jhai made the move to real estate after seeing a gap in agents' abilities to market themselves online.