“Communication is the essence of life” - Janice Light
And it’s true, without communication - whether in your personal life or in business - nothing can be achieved.
Come to real estate, good communication is crucial. It is a skill that a realtor uses to understand the client’s needs, to negotiate a deal, and close it! A skill that separates the great from the good.
Good communication is also key to a great customer buying experience.
Yet, the complete opposite is happening online today.
Most real estate companies and professionals offer a cold and impersonal online experience. Old websites, static contact forms and slow response times are plaguing the real estate industry.
Our team actually tested the response times of the top 50 real estate brokerages in the U.S. They found that 40% of brokerages never respond to a buyer or seller lead online.
Given that +90% of people start their home buying or selling experience online, it is time for a change.
And this change has everything to do with Conversational Marketing.
What is conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing is the process of having real-time, one-to-one conversations. It is a process that will allow you to better capture, qualify and connect with your real estate leads, online.
How is it happening?
With the help of messaging!
Millennials and Generation Z are texting machines.
That’s how they want to communicate with each other and with businesses.
In fact, the top 4 messaging apps have surpassed the top 4 social networks.
Conversations today are happening through messaging. And that’s where you need to be.
“If people are spending most of their time in messaging apps, we have to think about how to meet them where they are. People always gravitate to what is easiest. ” — Baron Concors, Chief Digital Officer @PizzaHut
What are the characteristics of conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing works best if it's scalable, focused on engagement, and done in real-time.
When is the best time to convert real estate leads?
It’s when they are the most engaged. When they are on your website.
Getting an engaged lead to fill out a form and wait for hours or days to receive some sort of reply, is not good business.
We live in a world of instant gratification.
The consumer wants whatever information he is looking for right away. If you can’t provide them that, they are going to your competitor.
Actually according to a Harvard Business Review and InsideSales study, the chances of converting a lead after the first 5 minutes of initial contact decreases by 400%!
If you are wondering how you can maintain such a demanding form of marketing, it’s simple.
With artificial intelligence and the emergence of intelligent chatbots, it is now possible to instantly respond and engage your real estate leads 24/7, 365.
It is important to mention that chatbots are not replacing human interactions.
Chatbots will help you become responsive. So, use them to ensure that you are attending to your customers' needs and answering their questions.
Having a one-to-one conversation is possible. Yet it is not humanly scalable.
Scaling one-to-one conversations is costly. It requires a lot of manpower. Yes, you can outsource it to companies that are human powered, but this is not the solution. Why? Because it doesn’t give the customer what they need.
Many live-chat companies use unlicensed agents to gather a lead's contact information, without offering any value in return.
For example, if you have a buyer on your website, the operator might be able to get the buyer’s search criteria and his contact information. Yet, they won’t be able to provide them with matching listings.
Brokerages and agents can now use chatbots to automatically:
- Greet all their website visitors
- Ask them qualifying questions
- Search MLS data and send leads matching listings
- Answer questions about specific properties
- And schedule showings for the agent.
3. Focused on Engagement
The key to conversion is engagement.
Consumers today are not willing to easily hand out their contact information. Promising to get back to them sometime in the future (through a contact form) doesn’t cut it anymore.
It’s time to start using the right tools to engage with your audience, right when they are on your website.
It’s at that time, when they are the most engaged, that you can convert them into potential clients, using conversational marketing.
Keeping a lead engaged means replying to their inquiry and providing them with what need, instantly.
With Roof AI, we have seen lead engagement rates up to 90% when users interact with the chatbot.
How does conversational marketing work?
Implementing conversational marketing into your strategy is easy.
Your marketing right now might be all about driving traffic to your website or to your listings.
As a marketer, I know very well that this is not an easy thing to do. It takes a lot of time and money to drive traffic to your website. Whether it's from SEO, social media or other lead vendors, it will all depend on the tools you use to capture and convert that traffic.
So how do you capture online real estate leads?
By being instantly available to greet them and respond to them 24/7, 365.
This is only possible with the help of a "virtual assistant" that is present on your website ready to engage with leads at anytime, through a chat widget.
I mentioned previously that after testing the response time of the top 50 real estate brokerages in the U.S, we found out that:
- 40% of them never reply to leads.
- 44% took between 1 hr and 4 days to reply
But it’s not their fault. It’s the outdated communication tools they are using on their websites.
Only 7 brokerages were able to respond within 5 minutes.
And they all had one thing in common, a chat widget on their website.
With Roof AI, you will have a chatbot that will respond to your leads and do the legwork for you within 5 minutes, 24/7, 365. Even when you are sleeping.
The way you are qualifying your leads right now might be through marketing automation.
Meaning that you might be capturing a lead through a contact form on your website and then start sending them a series of email drip campaigns.
You can now replace marketing automation with a simple conversation that happens on your website right when the lead is on it. The chatbot can ask the lead a series of qualifying questions and measure how serious that lead is.
In addition to doing most of the legwork when it comes to capturing and qualifying leads, chatbots can go one step further.
Within seconds, Roof AI's chatbot can query an MLS database and match buyer leads with matching listing.
That’s where artificial intelligence has an advantage over 100% human powered services. Humans, simply, cannot do that.
You can also think of seller leads that want to see how their house compares to other houses. The chatbot, with access to the right data, can send the seller the average price of similar houses sold in the specified area.
My point here is that, providing value to that lead is crucial in converting him. You will, 99 out of 100, fail at converting a lead if you do not provide any value upfront. That is what consumers today demand, providing value upfront.
By doing that, they will trust you and allow you to take them further down your sales funnel, a step closer to closing!
Scheduling showings is another feature that the chatbot can help you with. Making your sales reps much more efficient and productive in handling leads at scale anytime, anyday.
Benefits of Implementing Conversational Marketing
Make your presence and experience online more human.
Greeting and responding to a lead that lands on your website is human. No store tells you to fill out a contact form when you are out shopping, and it shouldn’t be that way online.
Again chatbots are not here to replace any human interaction you will have with your leads. They are here to make conversational marketing possible at scale. They are here to help you talk to leads whenever they are ready to talk to you.
It may sound paradoxical to say that chatbots are helping agents deliver a more human experience online. But friendly conversations, whether from a human or a chatbot, will always win over outdated static forms.
Increase your sales reps and agent’s productivity & differentiate your brokerage.
This technology helps your sales reps or you as an agent handle a lot more leads than previously possible. You don’t have to manually follow up with every single lead that contacts you anymore.
Let your chatbot engage and qualify your leads at anytime, while you focus on what you do best, close deals.
Let the machine do the legwork.
Become a tech-driven brokerage and differentiate yourself from your competitors to attract today's consumers and real estate's top talent.
New real estate lead sources.
Because Roof AI works through messaging, you can now use different marketing channels on which you can set up your real estate chatbot.
Roof AI’s chatbot works on your website, Messenger and by SMS. Leverage these channels into new lead sources.
SMS is a great option too, since you can use “Text this SMS number” call-to-action on a flyer or a sign and turn a traditional channel into a measurable one.
By giving it the word "leads", we have come to think of potential clients - actual human beings - as a commodity that we buy or sell. But leads are people who prefer having simple conversations instead of filling out forms and going through obstacles in order to be served or responded to.
Your online presence has to reflect the experience potential clients are going to have with you or your brand.
It’s time to grow your real estate business by elevating your online game and making it simple and more human.
If you are interested in learning more, check out how The Keyes Company and other brokerages are using conversational marketing with Roof AI..