Reaching the Right Consumers at the Right Time
By Erin Ruane, VP of Sales for Homes.com
In the real estate industry, timing is critical. According to NAR, an average buyer spends 10 weeks searching for a new home, two weeks shorter than the previous year. Because of this, reaching these consumers at the right time has become more important than ever. Since there are a number of factors that contribute to a closing, providing the right consumers with the right information can be the difference between making and losing a sale. By creating opportunities for yourself and following up with consumers, you’ll be one step closer to that closing.
The majority of homebuyers begin their search on a real estate website. In fact, according to NAR, 96 percent of millennial homebuyers report using the Internet during their home search process. Because of this, agents should be sure that their website is as user friendly as possible. This is especially true considering that buyers spend about two weeks searching for homes online before ever contacting an agent. By creating a positive experience you are ensuring that users will return to your page when they’re ready to start making decisions.
Part of this user-friendly experience includes providing a mobile friendly option for your website, especially with desktop taking a backseat to mobile. In fact, according to January 2015 comScore data, mobile makes up 60 percent of real estate traffic. Responsive website designs allow users to easily view your site on any device, be it mobile, tablet or desktop. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile viewing, there’s a good chance that you’re losing traffic. In fact, 61 percent of millennials who couldn’t find what they were looking for immediately on a mobile website moved on to another site (Google). Keeping this in mind, it’s clear that mobile friendly technology is a key factor in connecting with the right consumers.
When you receive a lead, it’s important to promptly follow up. In order to begin building a relationship with potential clients, it’s critical to follow up with new leads within five minutes. Responding immediately ensures that the property is still fresh in the client’s mind. Making the first contact with these leads allows you to guide them through the process of buying a new home, so when they’re ready to take that leap, you’ll be there.
While responding to leads quickly is important, often times it’s difficult to follow up promptly. Consider creating pre-written texts or emails that you can quickly send if necessary. Let them know that you’ve received their request and that you will be contacting them with more information as soon as possible. You may even look into a lead answering service. Services such as these answer messages from inbound leads when you are unavailable, ensuring that each person who contacts you will be followed up with promptly.
While you may have the right website design and connect with leads at the right time, it’s still necessary to create the right opportunities. Set aside time each morning to prospect. Prospecting allows you to build up your client lists and begin forming relationships with potential clients. When thinking about prospecting, consider advertising to local consumers you want to target and the offer you will be presenting. Prospecting involves nurturing relationships with potential clients to be sure you are staying top of mind, and that they will turn to you when it comes time for them to transact.
Once consumers reach a listing page on a real estate website, many of them are actively interested in that property. Another option to create opportunities to these local consumers is through Homes.com’s new Local Connect. Local Connect prominently places you in front of active buyers visiting these pages on Homes.com by showcasing your photo or logo, phone number and endorsements. Local Connect provides the opportunity to capture this transaction-ready audience.
For more information about how Local Connect can help you reach the right consumers at the right time, visit http://connect.homes.com/local-connect/ris.