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“I’m too busy” is the reason we hear most often about why agents aren’t customizing their websites, writing valuable content, generating leads and performing other real estate business musts. If there’s a problem with their businesses, it usually boils down to being too busy.
The obvious solution is to hire help, but agents are, by and large, a thrifty bunch and parting with money isn’t in their natures.
If you find yourself too busy to perform these real estate business musts in your business, however, you need to part with the bucks. It’s just plain stupid to allow any of these real estate business musts (and those in parts II and III, coming soon) to fall through the cracks.
Every year, the California Association of REALTORS surveys homebuyers and one of the questions they ask is “What was the single most important reason for selecting the agent that you used in your recent home purchase?”
Consistently, year after year, the answer is that they chose the agent who was the most “responsive.” And, by “responsive,” most mean they expect either a human being to answer the phone or to be contacted within one hour.
Wait too long to follow up on a phone lead and you may as well kiss it goodbye
Live-answer is the best way to go and one of the real estate business musts we think ALL agents should implement. It’s not only the best way to greet a new lead, but to demonstrate a high level of customer service to current clients.
“But, I couldn’t possibly answer each phone call I get,” you’re thinking.
This is where you need to part with some bucks. Consider hiring help. This can come in the form of a receptionist or assistant. But, you may end up spending less by hiring an answering service or virtual assistant to grab the phone when it rings.
In fact, with the latter, you can hand off many of the tasks on this list, which will make paying his or her salary far less painful.
Even if all your live-answer person does is assure the caller that, although you’re showing property, in a meeting or at a closing and will return the call within a specific time frame, you’re one step ahead of most other agents.
If you prefer that your live-answer person be able to multi-task, you’ll find virtual assistants at upwork.com, myoutdesk.com, myvirtudesk.com (also provides transaction coordination) and Kim Hughes & Company (who has been in the business for years, comes highly recommended by many agents and works only within the real estate industry).
According to Teke Wiggin at inman.com.
Ok, so not only are you busy, but you’re broke (how does that happen?)
If you simply must let your calls go to voicemail, at least find 10 seconds to instantly respond via text. Yes, we get it that some people don’t like texted responses to phone calls, but too bad.
It will be easier for these folks to swallow if you include in your text why you aren’t calling back. “Hi Jack, I’m showing a home right now. I’ll call you as soon as I’m finished,” lets the lead know that you got the call, you’re quite responsive, but he got you at a bad time. It also lets him know that you’ll be in contact shortly.
Time is definitely of the essence when a buyer calls you. Most want to take action immediately, before they lose the home to someone else. Or, they’re finally pulling the trigger on looking at homes and want to get the ball rolling.
Don’t respond quickly enough and they’ll call another agent.
One who answers her phone.
If you’re too busy to go after what may be the most effective form of advertising for agents, ads that cost nothing, you better rethink that schedule. Gathering testimonials is absolutely one of the real estate business musts.
Testimonials, or “social proof,” as they are also known, are what 70 percent of Americans rely on before using a service or buying a product, according to recent research.
And, no, it’s not enough to have all of your reviews confined at Zillow. You’ll need to show them off where potential clients are looking for them. This includes Yelp, Google and others.
And, since studies show that a photo of the reviewer boost the testimonial’s authenticity, get permission from your clients to use theirs.
“The social proof people receive from reviews and personal referrals acts as a catalyst for increased business and more real estate leads for an agent,” according to Elizabeth Christensen with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“From a local search optimization point of view, it’s essential for local businesses to include local terms (aka “geo-modifiers”) in their site content and link building activities,” according to Myles Anderson, Founder & CEO of BrightLocal.com.
“Google needs to know where you’re located and which areas you serve in order to return your business as a search result for a relevant, local search.”
One of Search Engine Land’s surveys finds that 63 percent of consumers use a local modifier in their searches when trying to find information about local products and services. Realtor.com’s results show that 69 percent of homebuyers did the same.
Few of these modifiers included the name of a neighborhood (only 6 percent), but this number is most likely higher when it comes to real estate searches.
“Google can identify searcher location down to neighborhood level and return hyper-local results to them,” claims Anderson.
Sixty percent of the searchers used the town and city name while 42 percent used a ZIP code.
First step? If you haven’t already done so, replace all template content on your site with your own words, sprinkled with local key words. Make sure that anyone landing on your site immediately knows what areas you serve.
Create or kick down the money for a freelancer to create neighborhood-specific content Then, each time you get an Easy Agent Pro blog post, find places in it to localize it (pretty much all of EAP’s posts can be easily localized).
All of your local content should include quality outbound links.
Of course, these are just the baby steps to get your site to rank for local searches. But you’ll be off to a good start by taking them.
We’ll be back with part II of this series, soon.
If you’re looking for more time for your business, a LeadSite might be the solution. Learn more here.
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