From the time people bartered for food and other goods, sales has meant building personal relationships. A successful sale meant you had a good conversation, spent time together, and that you liked one another enough to put your trust into the exchange. Little has changed in that way – sales still means building relationships and you aren’t likely to have a successful sale unless you have trust.
What has changed, in the 8,000 or so years since bartering began, is how people communicate.
Psychology Today reports that since 2014, the public has felt more comfortable revealing information about themselves through their devices than in a face-to-face or over-the-phone interaction.
The majority of people are no longer calling to ask questions either – with Google alone having 8.5 million searches a day, it’s obvious they prefer to do their own research. So, if you aren’t having physical interactions with people, how are you building trust, or getting to know one another?
What many agents are missing is that the conversation between your business and thousands of people is already happening. Every interaction a customer has with your brand, whether it is through your website, social media, email, or messaging, is all a part of a conversation you are having with them – a digital conversation.
The question is whether your voice is out there providing the answers, guidance and assistance people need in the way they need it. With this massive change in communication trends, here are some basics to help you have a successful digital conversation.
1. Client time
Clients don’t want you to call them and interrupt their day. They choose when, how and where you communicate with them. This could mean they read your blog at 2 am or that they watch your video at their kid’s football practice.
You are on their time and should be able to answer questions, providing educational information 24/7.
2. Multiple channels
Social media, email, instant messaging, Youtube, Whatsapp… Recent studies show we spend approximately 5 hours a day on our phones and looking at social media. Find where your clients are, and how they want to be communicated with.
Conversations must be accessible and easy to have.
In any productive conversation, when a client gives you information, your responses should relate to what they’ve told you. Automated conversations like chatbots or journeys have many pros but a major con is that, unless done well, can put a person off.
To be successful, you must put the right information in front of the right people at the right time.
One of the hardest parts of a digital conversation is that you often feel you are speaking into a void without an immediate response. Clients don’t want to call to ask questions, they want to find answers themselves and so, their questions are often silent to human ears.
The public also want new information and they want it now. Using your expertise and experience to answer unspoken questions and consistently offering this advice is a great way to promote your brand as the resource for all things estate-agency-related in your area.
While this sounds complicated, don’t worry. A big plus to having a digital conversation is that, with technology, it can be scaled to work with thousands of people and once set up, takes very little maintenance and updating. Here are some good places to start in planning or using technology to scale up your conversations:
An easy-to-use website with strong Q&A pages is a solid place to start.
Regularly updated blogs and videos that are posted to social media accounts and then sent out monthly in an email. Content that is created specifically targeting individuals you are looking to work with will be most effective. You should have content for people like first-time buyers or vendors looking to sell in a specific town or area for example.
As mentioned earlier, this option is popular but dangerous. Make sure you dedicate time to researching, setting up and testing a chatbot before putting it in place.
4. Nurture Journeys
Use the information your clients give you to identify the kind of message they want and need and then give it to them in bite-sized chunks that are easy, educational and engaging to read. This makes your message accessible and a fun way to spend 5 minutes.
Once you have mastered the art of a digital conversation, you will again be building relationships and gaining the trust of your potential clients. Take the time to plan, get the help you need (whether it be technology or a bespoke content writer,) and always remember to use your brand and your voice in the conversation that is already happening right now.
You have some concerns, right? And you are not alone, I get asked this all the time.
“How do I manage all of this, and still run my business?”.
While there is an abundance of solutions available to help you with anyone of these, you will need to look at API’s, multiple logins, and data sharing between your CRM and newfound MarTech (Marketing Technology), which is not a seamless solution, regardless of what you are told.
Considering all the above, I leave you with my final thought
Why don’t you consider a solution, that combines traditional estate agency CRM, and marketing software in one platform?
My name is Kelly Jacobs, and I’m the Director of Customer Experience at Iceberg Digital. Which I might add, powers Lifesycle, the World’s-first, and the ONLY solution available to Estate Agents combining traditional Estate Agency CRM and Marketing software in one platform.
Manage your everyday tasks as an Estate Agent while delivering ongoing communication, gathering automatic feedback, and identifying where the best opportunities for new instructions are likely to be.