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Acquiring Customers Is Not Just About Posting Advertisements
The real estate industry has changed dramatically with the rise of the internet and mobile technology. Yes building and construction probably involves the most physical business activities that can never be replaced by internet advancements. But the buying and selling landscape is no longer how it used to be 20 years ago.
Property listings are inserted into websites with fancy descriptions, appealing photos, and breath-taking virtual tours that make the job of a real estate salesperson so much easier. So high is the demand for these media design services that there are businesses set up solely to service these needs of realtors. This convenience and dependence on media technology that could sometimes forget that this is more of a people business rather than an information provider. Here are some notes on managing client acquisitions.
Customer acquisition over customer service
No matter how patient and graceful you think you are when dealing with people, there will be no one to demonstrate your charm to unless you can first acquire them as your client. The skills you need for marketing yourself is the most important aspect that determines your success. Not your proficiency in real estate environments, or how well you have memorized the transaction process. And since there is always a time gap between people thinking of buying or selling to the time that they actually do so, lead generation should be one of your key focuses in your marketing objectives.
Under promise and over deliver
Most people are able to understand this killer concept to attain customer satisfaction. But many still forget to apply it due to the over eagerness to close. If you market yourself to deliver something specific over a specific period of time, prospects and customers will hold you accountable to deliver on your promises.
Many home hunters are often left disappointed by the level of service and attention they get from agents. And this leaves them with low expectations on who they hire next. Even so, this does not mean that you can make a half-hearted attempt to serve them, especially when you have advertised yourself as “Killer Negotiator”, “Service Oriented”, or “Widest Network”. It will be fine if you can really deliver. But it will put a damper on anyone’s spirits when you fall short of your own claims. It will always be better to under promise rather than promising something you will find difficult to follow through with.
Acquisition activities need more effort than customer service
Major corporations understand that the costs of getting new customers are much more compared to the costs of retaining one. This is why they spend a lot of money to build consumer loyalty. This applies to you as an agent as well. But in the case of real estate, people don’t keep buying and buying again every other week. So although you should keep them well-serviced till the end of the transaction, putting too much effort into retaining them can be a waste of your resources, unless you have a referral strategy.
To supercharge your income, you need more acquisitions rather than retentions. This should be enough to convince you that you need to use your resources to acquire the skills needed to market yourself. This includes both soft and hard skills, people skills and technical skills.
The type of client can determine the dynamics of your relationship
If you are serving a hands-on meticulous house hunter, you can expect to be micro-managed like a baby. And if you acquire a client who needs you precisely because he is too busy, you will have more freedom go about your job. Do you see how this issue of client selection alone can make your life heaven or hell? If you intend to serve a niche market, remember to market yourself accordingly so that homeowners and investors in that niche can identify with you. If you want to go into more specifics, also draw up a market segment with demographics data that you should target.
Dispatch systems only when they are ready
Sad to say, there are so many real estate agents who are spamming the web just to insert their website links online wherever they can. This is a rather weird practice that can only come from those who do not understand marketing. For example, why would you put your website on a forum about beauty products. The sadder part is when you land on these site that presumably belong to great agents, they don’t look the part at all.
If you are going to buy that poster space on the busy walkway, advertise your listings website on a property portal, or put your contact number all over the newspapers, remember to have a dependable system in place to attend all inquiries. Failing to do so is leaving money on the table. Imagine putting all that money to get your marketing message to a targeted prospect and the look of your website completely turns him off. Even worse, the navigation is so messed up that people cannot find your contact information. Don’t be that kind of agent.
The same thing with telephone calls. You need to be able to attend to calls when the phone starts ringing. No matter how unreasonable you might think it is, people expect to reach someone when they call a number. Especially when they are with the mindset that they have the power to reward.
To avoid missed opportunities, consider this tactic. Use your advertisement to market buying or selling tips. Then record your tips in a voice message with contact details at the start and end of your message. This will be diverted to play whenever someone calls your hotline or when you are unable to pick up. You will never have to worry about losing prospects for no reason again.