While the phone is still a useful tool in real estate, “mobile” means something different now than it did in decades past. No longer will a real estate agent’s day consist of sitting in the office, cold-calling potential clients; now they’re more likely to spend their time updating online listings and using the phone as a targeted follow-up tool.
Here are four reasons you should ditch the ancient practice of cold calling in order to better usher in the new era of efficient and effective real estate.
Buyers Now Turn to the Internet
According to the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of buyers now look online at properties as the first step in the purchasing process. And of those online users, “89 percent of buyers found photos and 85 percent found detailed information about properties for sale very useful.”
That means that before calling your agency, buyers are already checking out listings and doing their own research. By optimizing your IDX real estate website with an easy-to-use template, compelling content and easy navigation, you’ll be able to assist potential clients into the pipeline without even having to pick up the phone. By tracking their activity, you’ll already have a great idea of what they’re looking for when you finally do reach out personally.
Email is More Effective
Emails allow your agency to batch and blast, both important verbs for boosting productivity. Let’s say you have a free afternoon. You plan to catch up on your correspondence and try to take several leads to the next level. Cleaning out your voicemail and returning people’s calls is often messy and inefficient; you might play phone tag for days or weeks. Or, people could answer and want to engage in small talk. Or ask questions that are clearly listed on your website. You get the idea.
Emails tend to be easy to tackle in batches. Plus, you can catch up on a thread’s contents in 10 seconds, allowing you to provide informed answers at the drop of a hat. It’s also easier to send out widespread email blasts. You only need to type it once—imagine trying to reach so many recipients at once over the phone!
Texting is the New Calling
Phone users in the U.S. have shown that they prefer texting over talking. As the Chicago Tribune reports, smartphone users send and receive five times as many texts compared to the number of phone calls, which breaks down to about 26 minutes per day texting versus just six minutes per day on voice calls.
Potential homebuyers can check texts between meetings, at lunch or at home in the evenings. Phone calls, on the other hand, tend to be more disruptive and may go ignored. Many people also prefer to weigh their options and digest information before responding. The phone tends to make people feel like they must make a rushed decision, which could potentially cause them to opt out of the entire interaction.
Many Cell Phone Users Screen Calls
Spam phone calls are getting more advanced as time goes on. Now, robocalls often use recipients’ home area codes to fool them into answering. It’s a frustrating practice that makes people hesitant to pick up their phones and eager to join no-call lists. These pesky spam calls are on the rise, and accordingly, more people are screening their phone calls.
Now, you know that you’re no spam caller. You’re just a well-meaning real estate agent trying to follow up with a potential client. But why waste your time and pique their distrust with phone calls when you could reach out in a more efficient way, like email, text or social media?
The ancient practice of cold-calling is out; internet and smart mobile communication is in. Your agency can capitalize on this by having a website with a great user experience and updating communications best practices.
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