Why Real Estate Agents Should Be Leveraging Video Now More Than Ever

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind for nearly every industry in the world. The real estate industry has been challenged and agents everywhere have had to pivot their daily operations to adjust to the current health crisis. Activity has shifted to the digital realm during this timespan of social distancing, which presents a few challenges as well as opportunities for real estate agents.
 
We know that real estate is a human-to-human business of relationships. You do your best work connecting, shaking hands, showing houses, and getting in front of the community. So, it is certainly an adjustment moving all of those interactions online.
 
However, this industry has been shifting for years. Technology has allowed for smoother, simpler experiences for both the agent and the consumer. And we’re fortunate that there’s a wealth of opportunity for both connecting with new, current, and past clients, as well as investing time and energy into your marketing to ensure you come out of the other side on top.
 

The Value of Video

 
This isn’t breaking news. Video is powerful and critical for a thriving business. And hopefully, you’ve been implementing it in your business well before this moment of increased digital presence.
 

Take a look at a few stats:

  • Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more.
  • Social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined.
  • 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
  • Initial emails with a video receive an increase click-through rate by 96%.

 

How To Grow With Video | Kyle Whissel

 

What Should I Share Right Now?

 
You’re not alone if you’re unsure of what content you should be sharing right now to your clients and your community. Just remember to be honest, be human, and be helpful.
 
Right now, what’s important to prospective home buyers and sellers is education and reassurance. People don’t want a sales pitch, but they do want guidance and helpful information — even if they’re just going to bookmark it for later, or remember what you said 6 months down the road.
 
We recommend staying on top of shifts in the market with helpful resources like Keeping Current Matters, HousingWire, Tom Ferry, Inman News, and the National Association of Realtors. Stay current with your local market data as well and be ready to answer questions.
 

Types of videos you can create right now:

  • Personal Messages via Email Video
  • Listings & Listing Presentations
  • Buyer/Seller Advice
  • Housing Market & Local Insights
  • Virtual Open Houses
  • Live Q&A
  • Neighborhood/Community Guides
  • How-To Tips & Tricks

 

Tips for Creating Better Video

 
Before creating anything, be clear on what you want to accomplish and who your audience is. Are you sending an email to past clients and using a BombBomb video in the body of the email? In that case, be sure to speak directly, candidly, and be personable. If you’re hosting a webinar for prospective homebuyers in your community, be prepared with data and speak with confidence and empathy. Instagram Live or Facebook Live can be more casual and fun. At the end of the day it’s important to stay true to your brand and lead with your authentic self.
 

Tips for Creating Better Videos:

  • Add captions! The majority of videos (especially on Instagram) are watched without sound.
    Add captions so your viewers don’t miss out.
  • Make sure your lighting is on point. A good rule of thumb is natural or indirect light. Just make
    sure the light source is not coming from behind you and make sure there is no glare.
  • Always include a CTA (Call-to-Action). You’ve captured their attention, don’t lose it!
    Somewhere in your video direct them to take an action; follow your page, subscribe to your
    channel, visit your website, etc.
  • Keep it short and sweet.
  • Have fun and be authentic. Don’t feel like you have to stick to a script! People like watching
    people not robots. So strive for authenticity, not perfection.

 
Ultimately, we know that there is no playbook for running the perfect business right now. It’s a time of unprecedented circumstances. So while you are at home with factors outside of your control, focus on what you can do to keep your business moving forward. If you stay present, informative, and available during this time, the pent up demand (that was at an all-time high prior to the COVID crisis) will result in a wealth of opportunity down the road. You just have to stay focused and stick with it.
 


How Top Agents Use Video Emails to Convert Real Estate Leads


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4 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Use Their Database to Be Productive Right Now

In times of unprecedented circumstances, there really is no go-to playbook or magic wand. That’s why it’s important to focus on concrete, actionable steps that you can control and tackle day-by-day. While we’re navigating these new waters of “social distancing” and taking a pause from our typical daily tasks, find the opportunities within your digital sphere. Here are a few ways you can stay productive simply by leveraging your database.

 

1. Double (Or Triple) Your Prospecting Time

 
While it’s important not to make sweeping claims, there is one thing we know fairly certainly. It’s going to take more leads to accomplish your goals today than it did yesterday. Which means, your prospecting time will have to increase. Prospecting has always been one of the most important weekly tasks for agents. In fact, Tom Ferry did a study a few years ago that revealed agents who prospect five or more hours per week make over $200,000 a year. Whereas agents who did not prospect at least 5 hours a year made less.
 
The important thing to remember is that there is still opportunity. There are still leads, still buyers and sellers…there are just fewer.
 
Take this time to audit your lead generation efforts. It’s a good time to double up on your online lead generation and pivot your marketing strategies that are no longer feasible in the coming months. For example; pivot your open house plans to include virtual tours. Instead of hosting an event, consider doing a live webinar for your community.

Remember! Most online leads are 6-9 months out from a transaction. This is your chance to make the best first impression.

 

2. Find the “Gemstone” Opportunities That Already Exist in Your Database

 
Keep in mind that before this health crisis, buyer demand was at an all-time high. Interest rates are at an all-time low. There are people in your community that were looking prior to the crisis and will continue to look during and after the crisis. In fact, there may be a wave of people who weren’t seriously looking to move or buy prior to this situation who have since realized their house is too small, they’d like more space for a home office, or they’re thinking of expanding their family.
 
These are the “gemstone” opportunities to keep an eye out for. During this time period of social distancing, people are spending a lot more time online, so it’s important to stay on top of your CRM and keep an eye on not only who is registering on your site, but also who is revisiting properties.
 
Take this opportunity to reach out and say, “How are you doing and how can I help you?”
 

3. Reconnect with Your Sphere & Guide Your Community

 
What is the one thing that everyone is looking for right now? Leadership. Now more than ever, people want to be reassured and they want trustworthy information. You have a chance here to reconnect with past, current, and prospective clients to check in and offer help. Make a list of the ways you can serve them, whether it’s simply connecting them to another useful resource.
 
Understand that while you may be hearing “It’s time to hustle!” from all angles, it’s also important to be human and be a public servant. Carefully consider your wording and make sure it doesn’t sound too opportunistic. Lead with education and service and the business will follow.

For active leads, focus on how they are engaging. Look at patterns in their search. Set up an eAlert in your CRM and make sure it’s tailored to match the homes that they consistently click into and view multiple times. For leads that are not engaging, or have no alert at all, now is the time to get an eAlert set up. eAlerts are also a good way to give a softer touch right now. Providing helpful information without being invasive.
 
Remember: A lot of people are stuck at home in front of their computers and will inevitably be spending more time looking at their next dream home or simply one with more home office space.

 

4. Figure Out Your Numbers

 
Now more than ever, being a data-driven business is critical. There are plenty of numbers you can glean from your database to help dictate your new game plan for 2020. For example, figuring out the average number of leads that you need to generate in order to get a conversation going. Or the average number of conversations you need to have before moving forward with a showing, getting a closing, etc.
 
If this is something you haven’t been tracking – now is the perfect time to start.
 

Follow-Up & Response Time: Generating leads isn’t enough. It’s the follow-up and persistent communication that comes next that truly matters. Ask yourself, how is your follow-up? Track and measure your speed-to-lead as well as your response rates. If you’re using a CRM that tracks these things for you and schedules to-dos, be diligent with your system. Take advantage of accountability tools and dashboards that show you concrete numbers reflecting your follow-up habits.
 
Lead Conversion & Close Rates: These numbers are critical to stay on top of because they directly tie to your transaction volume. When you’re crystal clear on how many leads you’re converting to opportunities and how many deals you’re closing, you can (A) pinpoint where you need to improve, and (B) estimate how many leads you need in order to reach your sales goals.
 

If your CRM has a dashboard that allows you to measure you own performance (and your agents’ performance if you’re a broker/team lead) now is the time to hone in on those numbers and see where there is room for improvement.


Why the Top Agents Leverage Success Metrics


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Economic Slowdown: What the Experts are Saying

More and more economists are predicting a recession is imminent as the result of the pullback in the economy caused by COVID-19. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research:

“A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.”

Bill McBride, the founder of Calculated Risk, believes we are already in a recession:

“With the sudden economic stop, and with many states shutting down by closing down schools, bars and restaurants…my view is the US economy is now in a recession (started in March 2020), and GDP will decline sharply in Q2. The length of the recession will depend on the course of the pandemic.”

 

How deep will it go?

 
No one knows for sure. It depends on how long it takes to beat this virus. Goldman Sachs anticipates we will see a difficult first half of the year, but the economy will recover in the second half (see below):
 

keeping current matters housing covid

 
Goldman also projects we’ll have “further strong gains in early 2021.”
 
This aligns with the projection from Wells Fargo Investment Institute:
 

“Once the virus infection rate peaks, we expect a recovery to gain momentum into the final quarter of the year and especially into 2021.”

 
Again, no one knows for sure how long the pandemic will last. The hope is that it will resolve sometime over the next several months. Most agree that when it does, the economy will regain its strength quickly.
*Quarter 1 data from Goldman Sachs was updated from 0% to -0.2% on 3/17/20 after the initial release.
 

Bottom Line

This virus is not only impacting the physical health of Americans, but also the financial health of the nation. The sooner we beat it, the sooner our lives will return to normal.

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Working Remotely in Real Estate: Proven Strategies from Remote Teams

For most remote teams, time is on their side to ease transitions. But, in our current climate of crisis, many businesses are struggling to adapt to a completely foreign workday. To help with working remotely in real estate, we’ve pooled some strategies from remote teams and from BoomTown’s own Director of Talent, Chris Taylor, to help you stay engaged and productive.

Lead Generation Real Estate Plan

Get the Right Tech Tools for Working Remotely

If you have a dedicated IT team, pull them in for recommendations, or leverage some tech-savvy team members and decide which service you will use for Calendar syncing, communication, and video conferencing. Think through what equipment each team member will need, who can provide support, and build an action plan.

 

Quick Collaboration Tools

If you’re not currently using a cloud-based calendar system, now is certainly the time! Google Calendar and Outlook are leading options that are user-friendly and help your team stay in sync and up-to-date on everyone’s status while working remotely. Google’s suite of tools also offers spreadsheets and docs that can be shared and edited in real-time to make collaboration from afar a breeze.  Email is helpful, but real-time chat communication is crucial. Make sure you’re equipped with messaging capabilities so team members can chat throughout the day and get answers quickly.

For real-time work, Slack is a very important part of what we do, and we have a number of channels so we can not just communicate but stay on task with what we call ‘stand up’ meetings. Teamboard is very important for us because that’s how you update your calendars and let people know when you’re available. With the Google options that we have, every time we set up a shared calendar and anytime we set up a meeting, it automatically sets up a Hangout option.

 

Virtual Meetings and Video Conferencing

Nothing quite beats digital face-to-face time for replacing in-person meetings. Select a video conferencing system to host your meetings and add a personal touch to your communication while you’re working remotely. Current favorites are Zoom (limited free plan with subscription upgrades), Google Hangouts (free) and Bluejeans (subscription with a 30-day free trial). Create your account and set up login credentials for every member of your team.

We always encourage people to use the Google Hangout option for meetings so you can see people face to face — I think that’s huge when someone has got their laptop and they can actually see who they’re talking to and be able to work together in real-time in whatever document or worksheet they’re working on.

 

Real Estate Lead Generation

Make Sure all Real Estate Agents Have the Right Tools

We often take internet access for granted, but take an audit of what people have in their homes, and make sure they have a plan with enough data to support video conferencing and heavier use.

Note from our IT expert: In order to make sure you protect your company data and information, discourage your team from using public internet unless they use a password-protected private internet provider or a VPN.

Each agent needs their computer, headphones, and a camera (usually laptops are equipped with this functionality) for their home office. It may be worth investing in some good headsets that block out surrounding noise and are comfortable to wear for long periods of time when working remotely.

Lead Generation Plan

Test your Tools and Develop a Company Support System

 

During BoomTown’s “Project Remote” transition, we created a dedicated channel for tech support. Whatever communication platform you choose to use, designate a support specialist to manage any issues that may arise.

 

Once your team is setup appropriately in their homes to work remotely, test out your conference capabilities with the team. Schedule an all-hands meeting and iron out any issues before leveraging your tools for client-facing tasks.

 

Real Estate Lead Generation

Create a Productive Environment at Home for Working Remotely

Part of the advice I give to managers is, if you go back and think about before we thought about remote [workspaces] as a large concept, you had people who’d talk about being flexible employees and some of those would work from home. But, you need to know what’s expected of every employee. [You need to explain] what are you expecting from them and not be afraid to communicate that. You have to provide the technology and invest in collaborative tools.

Help agents design a space that they feel good in.

Many people are facing big obstacles to creating a quiet, dedicated workspace at home. Kids are home, space, quiet, and time are commodities. Remember to be patient with yourself and your team! Do what you can with what you have.

 

Create a schedule to signal when you’re capable of being online and dedicated to work-related tasks.

If you’re a leader who has multiple people working remotely, schedule some check-ins where people are getting into the [remote] system and know there are points throughout the day and the week where we’re going to be meeting up, just like we’d do in an office situation. Encourage people to do more than just instant message. If there’s an issue that needs clarification, if there’s a misunderstanding, pick up the phone. And that could be using your cell phone or calling through Slack or calling through Google.

 

Develop clear expectations and set goals for the day or week with timelines.

Goals (especially SMART Goals!) are crucial for keeping everyone on the same page and moving forward. This will help team members stay in front of what needs to be done and accomplish tasks when they can.

Do not be hesitant to manage people and set clear expectations of, ‘This is what I’m going to need you to do,’ and ‘We may need to work through obstacles that you see because you are remote.

Real Estate Lead Generation

Remember that We’re in this Together

 

Times are uncertain and emotions are high. Help your team members and remember that we’re all new to this unprecedented environment. At BoomTown we’re used to having some all-remote teams, so we wanted to share our learnings and takeaways to help you fast-track a transition. Stay tuned for more ideas and check out how we can work together to keep your business moving forward and your employees engaged.

 

independent real estate business or franchise

 

 

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How to Stop Competing with iBuying & Start Capitalizing

iBuyer… the biggest buzzword of the year! The power (and potential) of iBuyers in the real estate industry is undeniable. Fortunately, a lot of smart agents have already figured out how to adapt and leverage iBuying to their advantage. Scott Kooiman discusses everything you need to know about the landscape of iBuying in 2020 and how you can stay competitive by offering the right services and guidance to your clients.

The How-Tos We’ll Cover:

  • How to stay on top of the iBuyer landscape
  • How to implement iBuying as an added arm of your business
  • How to educate the costs and benefits of iBuying
  • How to tailor your lead nurture to get leads when they’re ready

The post How to Stop Competing with iBuying & Start Capitalizing appeared first on BoomTown!.

How to Stop Competing with iBuying & Start Capitalizing

iBuyer… the biggest buzzword of the year! The power (and potential) of iBuyers in the real estate industry is undeniable. Fortunately, a lot of smart agents have already figured out how to adapt and leverage iBuying to their advantage. Scott Kooiman discusses everything you need to know about the landscape of iBuying in 2020 and how you can stay competitive by offering the right services and guidance to your clients.

The How-Tos We’ll Cover:

  • How to stay on top of the iBuyer landscape
  • How to implement iBuying as an added arm of your business
  • How to educate the costs and benefits of iBuying
  • How to tailor your lead nurture to get leads when they’re ready

The post How to Stop Competing with iBuying & Start Capitalizing appeared first on BoomTown!.