Communication is one of the most important skills for any real estate agent to develop, and there are more ways to communicate digitally today than there have ever been. Effective communication can make all the difference in landing a new client, building trust, and helping your current clients achieve their real estate goals. With young, tech-savvy buyers and sellers making up an ever-growing slice of the real estate market, mastering digital communication is critical. Here's how to communicate with confidence and what tools you'll need for the job.
Before we get into digital communication tactics, it's worth remembering some of the tried and true communication tips that apply to any situation. No matter how you're communicating, it's crucial to put the focus on the person you're communicating with, listen carefully, ask questions, and be responsive to their needs. Always aim to be courteous, punctual, reliable, and considerate of the client's time.
While body language doesn't matter in most forms of digital communication, tone does — especially for text-based conversations. Before you send a message, make sure that you're saying exactly what you're trying to say, and that your tone is appropriate for the situation. By remembering the basics for good communication, you'll be better prepared to master the many channels available for communicating digitally.
Mastering the Many Digital Communication Tools in Your Toolkit
With the basics out of the way, let's dig into some of the key tools that you'll be using to communicate digitally. Remember that it's helpful to make communication as seamless as possible and be available through a variety of digital platforms to suit the varying needs of your clients.
Simplify Communication By Leveraging Real Estate Tech
With so many different ways to communicate digitally, it can be easy to fill a bit overwhelmed with the possibilities. That's why it's so important to have the right real estate tech on your side, to streamline communication and ensure that you have the tools you need to build great relationships with clients. DeltaNET®6 is a real estate all-in-one solution that puts all of the latest tools at your fingertips, making it easier than ever to master digital communication.
Your sphere of influence should be one of your greatest assets for generating leads as a real estate agent, but only if you make the effort to maintain and utilize it. Thanks to online marketing and social media, your sphere of influence can now expand much further than it would have in the past. That's in addition to your more traditional sphere of influence, which of course includes friends, family, and everyone that you connect with in your community. By utilizing your sphere of influence and taking advantage of the tools available to make your life easier, you can generate a steady, sustainable supply of fresh, highly qualified leads as a real estate agent.
How to Define Your Sphere of Influence
Your sphere of influence starts with the people you know best but should also expand far beyond that group. Think about all of the people who you interact within your community: small business owners, community organizations, volunteer groups, sports leagues, places of worship, service providers, former colleagues, other parents from your children's school, and any other group that you connect with on a regular basis.
Now, add in your online sphere of influence, which reaches beyond the communities where you work and live. There are people you connect with through your social media, real estate website, the content that you create, and the leads generated by your online marketing. When you add it all up, your sphere of influence likely extends much further than you'd guess at first glance.
Consistency Counts with Your Sphere of Influence
It's a mistake to think of your sphere of influence as a "set it and forget it" source of leads. Instead, think of it as something that you consistently have to maintain and nurture in order to generate the best results. The more effort that you put into building and maintaining relationships with the people in your sphere, the more business you can expect to generate. That means reaching out at the right times, being a trusted source of advice, connecting on a personal level, and being as consistent as possible with maintaining relationships.
Use Your Real Estate CRM to Segment Leads and Plan Your Outreach
Utilizing your sphere of influence is much easier when you have the right tools for the job, and your real estate CRM is at the top of that list. Use your CRM to organize your contacts, keep track of vital information about each connection, segment your leads, and ensure that you're reaching out to the right people at the right time. Take advantage of tools like drip email campaigns and AI-driven newsletters to stay in touch while lightening your workload, thanks to automation.
Stay Active and Engaged on Social Media
Naturally, your social media presence is one of your best tools for growing and nurturing your sphere of influence online. Social media marketing can help you build new connections, and engaging with your social connections is key to generating leads from your sphere of influence. When you share content, get involved with the conversation that it generates. Join social media groups where you can share your real estate expertise, and build connections with your community. Be mindful of how you interact with people, show genuine interest in their needs, answer questions, and be helpful.
Use Real Estate Content to Share Your Expertise
Your real estate content is a great way to grow your sphere of influence, provide valuable advice, demonstrate your expertise, build trust, and help convert leads that come from your sphere of influence. Whether you create real estate blog posts, video content, or a mix of both, make sure that you're sharing your content where your sphere of influence can see it.
Showcase Your Social Proof
Even people you already know may need a little extra push to trust you with their real estate needs, and integration of social proof is the perfect way to provide it. Make sure that you're asking clients for online reviews and testimonials after they've used your real estate services. Showcase those testimonials on your real estate website and your social media pages.
Do Some Good, Old Fashioned Networking in Your Community
Near the beginning, we mentioned some of the many groups within your local community that may be part of your sphere of influence. Getting out and networking in person is a dependable way to maintain your connection with those groups while bringing new people into your sphere of influence.
Your Sphere of Influence Is Always a Work in Progress
If there's one thing to remember, it's that utilizing your sphere of influence is a constant process. Investing consistent effort and utilizing the right tools to make your life easier will allow you to maximize the lead generation potential of your sphere of influence.
With vaccination rates flagging and an ambiguous timeline for the end of the pandemic, the answer to this question is a resounding "Yes!"
Of all industries transformed by the pandemic, real estate moved the fastest — because it was essential to protect agents, brokers, and their clients. Giving up with the finish line in sight doesn't make sense.
But there is a flip side. Research shows many supervisors are nervous about this new work-from-home world. If they can't see people doing their work, they worry nothing is getting done. It's affecting teams in all kinds of industries.
Luckily, real estate is a little bit different.
An independent streak has always been a big part of success in real estate. Even with perks offered by the largest agencies and brokerages, individual real estate professionals know they need to be true self-starters if they're going to reach the heights of their profession.
A lot of that energy comes from having personal goals. Nothing can replace it.
On the whole, it's not unreasonable to think real estate is near the top when it comes to industries that are well-prepared for working from home. A greater number of agents' daily tasks are done with digital technology than ever before, clients have come to grips with Zoom, and virtual tours are available.
But there is a flip side. Agencies and brokerages also need to be able to deal with the risks.
Not the risk their teams will be sleeping in until noon and checking out at three — rather, the very real ambiguities, complexities, and issues that come with moving to an all-digital workflow in a matter of weeks. Everyone needs to be sure they are taking the right precautions to succeed.
There are really two aspects to that:
Let's look at best practices that should be communicated to everyone.
All Agents and Brokers Should Make Sure At-Home Technology Is Safe and Secure
Let's face it — although we all know not to give our bank details away to the Nigerian prince in our spam folder, not everybody knows the ins and outs of cybersecurity. In an office environment, all it takes is a little common sense. In today's remote work, though, things can be a lot more nuanced.
These tips will help you close the door on common home office vulnerabilities:
Remote Work Productivity Strategies for Real Estate
Working from home demands a whole new set of skills not everyone has. However, it can be easier than it looks if you get off on the right foot. That means holding yourself to the same professional standards you would at the office, and a few important cues can get you there:
Contact us today to find out more about today's digital productivity best practices.
Stubborn listings are no fun for sellers — or for their real estate agents!
It's well-known that as a listing sits on the market, it becomes less likely to capture an attractive offer. The ideal is to move a listing within 30 days. The longer it waits, the more likely buyers will assume something is wrong with it. At the dreaded 90 days, relisting is nearly inevitable.
There are two situations where agents need to be especially wary about idle listings:
Before a listing even goes on the market, pricing it to sell is one of the most valuable services an agent can offer. Sellers can easily overestimate the value of a home for sentimental reasons or just because the market seems to offer them a big payday. Agents need to step in, look at recent sales, and make the facts clear.
But sometimes, even when price is aligned with market conditions, a home simply won't sell.
This is highly frustrating for sellers, and it's also one of the situations most likely to lead to a bad review – never a fun prospect. Sometimes, there may be many factors outside your control making the road ahead difficult for your listing. The key is to seize on what's in your area of influence and course correct as soon as you can.
Let's look at some of the most effective ways to do it:
Contact us to learn more about digital real estate marketing.
First impressions are critical to success in a relationship-based industry like real estate because they open the door to all of the possibilities that follow. The stakes are high because you only get one chance to make that all-important first impression, which is why it's so important to practice and invest effort in developing the skill of making a positive first impression. Preparation, both in terms of learning about the person you're meeting in advance and practicing the necessary skills, is ultimately the key to making the best possible first impression.
Learn as Much as You Can in Advance
Sometimes a first impression happens with no opportunity to prepare, but in many cases, you will already have learned useful information about a potential client before you meet them in person. That information may come from a phone conversation, email exchange, online chat, or contact form. These initial conversations, which come before you meet for the first time, are excellent opportunities to learn more about what real estate goals the client wants to accomplish, find out what motivates them, and discover more about them as a person.
All of that information will help you prepare some talking points that will make that first impression go more smoothly. By remembering what the client wants, understanding why they're buying/selling a home, and having a plan in place to help them accomplish their goals, you can build trust and establish your expertise right away.
Find Common Ground for Conversation
In addition to learning about their real estate needs, it's helpful to learn as much as you can about a potential client on a human level. Finding any small connection between you and the client can make the conversation flow much more easily. Perhaps you went to the same school, grew up in a similar area, have children of a similar age, or share a common hobby. Any of those commonalities (and many more) can help you break the ice, build a real connection more quickly, and make it easier to transition into talking business as the conversation progresses.
Practice First Impressions with People You Trust
Even if you love making connections and look forward to meeting new people, there are always some nerves when it's time to make a first impression. But like with most things, practicing your first impressions can make it much easier to accomplish your goals when it's time for the real thing. Whether it's with someone in the office, your significant other, or a friend, role-playing first impressions with someone who will provide honest feedback is a reliable way to build confidence and find new ways to connect with potential clients.
Be Aware of Your Body Language
Saying the right thing is important, but sometimes body language can send a different message than your words. That's why it's so important to be aware of body language, dress for success, and practice projecting confidence. Make sure your posture is strong, that you make eye contact, and that your facial expressions are in line with the confidence that you're projecting. It can be helpful to practice in a mirror or to rehearse with someone you trust to provide feedback on body language.
Be Prepared to Focus and Listen
Practicing and preparing for first impressions is important in part because it makes it easier to focus on the person you're meeting. And focus is crucial because every detail matters when you're trying to make a positive first impression. One of the most dependable ways to stay focused is to make sure that you're actively listening to what the person you're meeting has to say and making mental note of important details along the way. Being a good listener makes it easier to be responsive to their needs and ultimately earn their business.
Know Your Strengths and Showcase Them
Confidence is key with first impressions, and your experience as a real estate agent should provide a healthy dose of confidence when you're meeting someone for the first time. Rely on your real estate expertise to show the person you're meeting exactly how you can help them build a plan that will allow them to achieve their goals and address their concerns. Ask the right questions to find out what they hope to accomplish, then explain how your skills, knowledge, and experience can help them achieve a positive outcome.
Making a great first impression starts with preparation and practice. It's all about understanding the unique needs of the person you're meeting and showing why you can be a trusted partner in helping them achieve their real estate goals. The more practice you have in making first impressions, the easier it will become to project confidence and earn new business.
Most homeowners would be glad to work with their real estate agent again — but they never do.
It's true. The average homeowner will own three or four properties in a lifetime, with most purchases spaced out between three and seven years. But even when they are thrilled with the service their real estate agent offered, they often end up using a different one for every transaction.
How can this be?
Some of the reasons are purely logistical. If someone is moving across the country, odds are they connect with a real estate agent in their desired area as one of their first steps. But there is a bigger reason: traditional real estate marketing is focused on customer acquisition, not retention.
Customer acquisition can be an all-consuming part of any real estate agent's first year on the job.
After that, it's important to start building referral business. This means you can spend less time going after that next client and more time building the long-term assets you need for the kind of firm you really want. In the long run, retention is easier than acquisition, which can cost 25x more.
Long-term engagement is the key. And it can start with the clients you have right now.
Long-Term Engagement Turns Customers into Allies for the Life of Your Business
According to research from 2018, real estate agents are among the least trusted professions in America.
In fact, only 11% of respondents consider real estate agents trustworthy, placing them above only politicians and car salespeople. Responses varied by region, with those out west feeling most suspicion of the profession.
That's bad news, of course. But it means that when someone finds a real estate agent they trust, they don't really want to start over again from scratch. By recognizing and working with that reality, you can create lasting loyalty. That, in turn, has the potential to multiply the value of every customer relationship you hold.
Getting more transactions from a single customer is an obvious example. You could double or triple lifetime value from your customers if they keep coming back to you every time they're ready to buy a new property. But that's not all: you can also get dozens of referrals from each customer over the lifetime of your practice. From that perspective, having even a handful of strong relationships could drive your revenue goals for years.
After all, long before you have the opportunity to meet a client-in-waiting, that same person is expressing their desire to buy a home. . . to their family, their friends, and to just about everyone they know other than you.
Referral business is a hot ticket, letting you be the very first real estate agent to talk to any buyer or seller. That positions you to build trust and continue the cycle, helping more people while growing your business.
Set the Stage for Long-Term Engagement with Digital Marketing and Smart Follow-Up
Real estate digital marketing becomes easier than ever when you adopt the right technology. Good technology doesn't get in the way of relationships; it makes them easier — allowing you to check in with people in helpful, meaningful ways without wasting lots of time on data entry.
Here's how you can strengthen client relationships into real bonds of trust:
Contact us to learn more about how digital marketing fuels better relationships.
It's no exaggeration to say that client communication is the key to success as a real estate agent. Every client has their own needs and approaches real estate from their own unique perspective. No matter how much you know about local real estate markets or how much experience you have helping clients with real estate needs, your ability to share your expertise in an accessible, relatable way is crucial to building trust and developing productive, long-term business relationships with clients. We've got some tips to help you improve client communication, save time, and earn more referrals.
Listen, Ask Questions, and Understand Client Needs
While there are always commonalities, every client is ultimately coming from their own unique place and has their own communication needs. A first-time homebuyer will naturally have different needs and questions than a client who has been through the process of buying a home multiple times in their life. That's why it's so important to listen intently, ask the right questions to find out where the client is coming from, and develop a deep understanding of what each client needs. The more you learn and the more you listen, the easier it will be to communicate effectively.
Make Yourself Available on a Variety of Communication Platforms
Availability is almost as important as honesty for effective communication, so make yourself available! Some clients prefer to communicate through traditional means, some through technology, and some with a mix of both. Whether a client wants to communicate by phone, video call, text, email, or social media, it's important to make yourself available seamlessly on the communication platforms that your clients prefer to use.
Lean on Your Real Estate Expertise to Make Key Concepts Relatable
Your real estate expertise and all of the experiences you've accumulated throughout your career should be major assets when communicating with clients. You can use that experience to help explain challenging concepts to clients and show them that you understand their needs. Sharing stories is a reliable way to build rapport while helping clients understand what to expect when buying or selling a home.
Keep Track of What You Learn About Clients
Your real estate CRM should be one of your biggest assets for improving communication with clients. It's the place to store all of the information that you learn about each client, which will help you to better understand their needs and ensure that you always have key information available when you're communicating with a client. With a powerful all-in-one solution like DeltaNET™6, you can easily store, organize, and access all of the data that you need to better serve each client.
Know When, Why, and How to Automate Your Outreach
When a client is deep into the process of buying or selling a home, most of your communication is likely to be direct and personalized. But when you're communicating with a client who's still in the exploratory stages of buying or selling a home, automation can help you save time while effectively managing relationships. The right real estate CRM will provide a variety of options for automation, like drip email campaigns, newsletters, market reports, and targeted content to help clients understand their real estate options.
Learn to Get Key Information Across Quickly, Concisely, and Accurately
Your clients are busy and so are you, so it's helpful to learn how to get information across as concisely and accurately as possible. This is especially important when you're communicating via email or text. When sending a message in any text-based format, try to cut out unnecessary words, keep information as specific as possible, and explain concepts in a concise, accessible way. You don't want to leave anything important out, but clients will appreciate it when you make it easy for them to digest key information quickly.
Remember That Communication Doesn't End When the Deal Is Closed
It's so easy to turn your attention to the next client once one deal is closed, but your satisfied clients should be among your best sources of referrals. That can only happen if you keep the lines of communication open after the deal is closed. In the beginning, that communication may take the form of handling any leftover details, and asking clients for reviews/testimonials. In the long term, a mix of automation and personal outreach can help you maintain productive relationships with past clients.
The Process of Improving Communication Never Really Ends
The most successful real estate agents know that the process of self-improvement never really ends, and that's certainly true when it comes to improving communication skills. Make communication a priority by keeping up with the latest tools, tips, and tactics for effective communication. Better communication builds stronger relationships and ultimately makes your job easier as a real estate agent.
After a year that seemed like it would never end, 2021 is already steaming ahead. Before we know it, the holiday season will be just around the corner once again. But is your year off to a strong start? It's a question all real estate agents must ask themselves. There are dozens of proactive measures real estate agents can take to ensure that they're moving in the right direction — but there are also a few pitfalls that should be avoided.
4 Do's & Don'ts of 2021
Even though we're into January, it's not too late to start the year off on the right foot. There are plenty of realistic and attainable goals that you can achieve if you start working on them now. Here are a few tips for making sure 2021 starts off strong.
No one knows what the real estate market will look like this year, but one thing is for sure: there will always be a need for a real estate agent. People from all walks of life will continue to buy and sell houses. The best way to increase your likelihood of having a successful year is to start putting in the time and effort in January. By acknowledging your agency's strengths, identifying its areas for improvement, and being receptive to new ways of pursuing your goals, your brokerage can begin laying the groundwork for a successful year.
Are you searching for a fun, convenient way to learn more about the real estate industry, and pick up tips from a wide range of experts? Real estate podcasts make it easy to learn from the best in the business, keep up with current trends, and discover new ideas to help grow your brand. As an added bonus, you can listen to podcasts at your desk, on the road, or while you're taking care of tasks around the house, so there's never a bad time to discover new real estate ideas. Start your search for the perfect podcast with our guide to the ten best real estate podcasts.
It's the end of real estate as we know it—and we feel fine! For years, many people have predicted new technology would transform the real estate market, displacing many REALTORS® from the profession. Although technology has provided terrific tools for comparing home listings and making transactions easier, agents remain a key part of success for buyers and sellers. The profession is growing and people are continuing to discover the value of expert advice. But one thing is true—the way people relate to their listings (and agents) is changing.