By Andrew Eberting
Fact: The average person is exposed to as many as 5,000 ads per day (Source: Media Dynamics, Inc.). The ability to cut through the noise and compete for people’s attention is growing more precious with each passing minute.
Blanket, unimaginative marketing efforts like sending out a yearly calendar isn’t enough nowadays and likely isn’t moving the needle or making your brand standout as a real estate agent. Alternatively, to put it another way: marketing like this today is the equivalent of the old Publishers Clearing House mailers or getting yet another invite to Play Candy Crush – people tune it out.
If you are still marketing like this today, then you are losing potential clients and money with each calendar you send out. Utilize these three techniques to revamp your marketing and start branding yourself as someone potential prospects will want to work with vs. wanting to avoid.
Personalizing your marketing is the new Marketing 101, or, as it is more commonly referred to, one-to-one marketing. Simply speaking, each marketing touch you put out to the market should have a personal or targeted element to it.
With more than 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the standard for where many of us go to catch up with news, friends, and share moments of our lives. Placing online advertisements on Facebook then only makes sense, as this is where all the eyeballs are.
Let’s say you won a new listing (yay!) and you want to promote this to people in your area. By creating a new listing advertisement for your client via Facebook, you can promote your new listing to people using criteria like:
- Geographic radius
- Age range
Why this is important: 93% of buying decisions are now influenced by Social Media.
(Source: Erik Qualman, Socialnomics)
These things can help to optimize your Facebook ad and get it in front of the types of individuals who are most likely to be interested in your new listing. This helps you spend your marketing dollars more effectively while making your client happy. Moxi Works now offers a native Facebook tool to help you jumpstart your marketing efforts; you can check it out here.
Direct Mail That Actually Works
Remember that calendar of yours I mentioned earlier? Well, it isn’t personable. However, as we head towards the holiday season, this is the perfect opportunity to share something personable from you to your past clients. Run down to Kinkos and put your favorite cookie, pie or other holiday dessert recipe onto a set of postcards along with a small description of why it is your favorite. It is okay to pull the curtain back a little bit, sincerity and authenticity go a long way. Mailing something like this out to clients is more memorable and thoughtful than a calendar ever will be.
Bonus tip: If you really want to make a lasting impression, measure out some of the dry ingredients in the recipe, put them in mailable bags or packaging, and also include that with the recipe card.
Confession: I am grossly addicted to Nextdoor, a social media network specific to the neighborhood you live. I have been able to network with people in my immediate and surrounding neighborhoods to find folks that are great gardeners, woodworkers, mechanics, and the list goes on. I cannot begin to quantify the number of posts from my neighbors asking for recommendations on a landscaper, painter, real estate agent, or someone else that can help them with something monetarily associated with the upkeep or value of their home. Whether it is the office or the neighborhood, every group needs a go-to person that specializes in something – why can’t the real estate pro in your neighborhood be you?
When it comes to one-to-one marketing, these tips, and techniques only scratch the surface, there is so much more out there that you can do.
Want to know how you can take your one-to-one marketing efforts even further? Check out this article from our August edition of Mile 62 magazine for more personalized marketing strategies that you can implement in your own market.
By Maddie Jostol
You need to determine where chatbots fit within your business. That’s right, not “if” but “where.” Eighty percent of businesses already use or plan to use chatbots by 2020, according to a survey by Oracle. Some are even predicting that chatbots will be the new way for companies to monetize the mobile experience, where smartphone apps are losing steam. It may sound intimidating, but like it or not, chatbots are the new must-have thing for businesses in all industries to keep up with changing technology. Is this the case for the real estate world as well? We dug a little deeper and here’s what we found.
First things first: What is a chatbot?
“A chatbot is a computer program that maintains a conversation with a user in natural language, understands the intent of the user, and sends a response based on business rules and data of the organization,” as defined by Chatbots Magazine. It’s exactly what it sounds like – a chat function backed by AI (artificial intelligence). Typically, a person would interact with a chatbot through an online messenger such as Facebook Messenger, Skype, text messaging, or a website, and AI is embedded in the messenger to hold the conversation. Currently, customer service and online shopping are common applications for chatbots.
The rise of artificial intelligence
One example of the rising popularity of AI for the everyday American is AI through voice enablement, which has become common and readily available through devices such as the Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Google Home. In 2017, 35.6 million Americans will use a voice-activated assistant device at least once a month, as reported by eMarketer. This trend goes beyond home automation, as companies across industries from banking to consumer products have AI solutions in the works. Americans have gained familiarity with the task-oriented format of voice enablement devices such as Amazon’s Echo. What chatbots accomplish is creating a more conversational transaction leveraging AI.
We’re claiming 2018 as the year of the bot for several reasons, including the changing expectations of consumers, investment in AI, and consumer familiarity with online messaging. Consumers are now comfortable using messaging services – texting for daily communications, Facebook Messanger for social purposes, and Slack at work, to name a few. On the other hand, AI is becoming more accessible and familiar for the average person. When you marry the two, you get chatbots.
Look out, real estate
51% of people expect a business to be available 24/7, according to Venture Beat. You better believe a process as stressful as buying or selling a home is no exception. Chatbots are breaking communication barriers between companies and consumers. There are countless applications for chatbots in the real estate world. Think about having a chatbot answering all of the basic introductory questions from a new lead, then handing the lead off to the agent when they’re ready. Imagine a chatbot that takes over the frustrating back-and-forth that inevitably happens when agents attempt to schedule a meeting. Communication is a dominant piece to the home sale process and chatbots are making their way in to deliver on consumer expectations, save agents time, and smooth brokerage business process.
In addition, the platform is already there. Facebook is the core of digital marketing in the real estate world, and Facebook happens to be one of the key players in the chatbot space. Industry players will be attentive to what path Facebook is paving and likely follow suit.
The future of brokerage technology
As companies continue to implement chatbots over the next year, they’ll become even more commonplace. Their powerfulness to brokerages, agents, and consumers is highly relevant to the current needs of the industry. For example, chatbots are particularly relevant for mobile users as messaging is key to mobile device use. Agents are always on-the-go, which means chatbots could fit into their existing workflow well. As we make our way into 2018, we’ll see a growing divide in productivity, agent retention, and profitability between the brokerages that have embraced chatbots and those that have not.
So, how can brokerages prepare for the rise of chatbots? The key is remaining agile. If you put technology in place that has the potential to integrate with innovations such as chatbots, you’re in a much better position to remain competitive. It all stems from data. Artificial intelligence, and, more specifically, chatbots, run on data. When you own your data and partner with companies that help you manage your data, you gain the opportunity to shift with the industry, adopting new technologies such as chatbots.
Chatbots become even more powerful when they’re integrated with an organization’s other systems. When technologies share data across a company, that brokerage benefits from high efficiency and data accuracy. This is familiar territory for us at Moxi Works as our Moxi Cloud open platform is designed to integrate technologies across an entire brokerage – it’s the ecosystem where all of your tech tools live and share data.
Moxi Works is in talks with chatbot providers regarding their application in the real estate industry. Why? Because we want to stay ahead of the game so we can serve not only as a technology provider, but also as a consultant to our brokerage partners. At the end of the day, we want to make our client brokerages be more profitable, which means taking part in technology movements such as chatbots.
At Moxi Works, we pride ourselves on providing the only true open platform the real estate industry has seen thus far, and having an impeccable platform integration system to go with it. We do this by providing these five key factors in our open platform, the Moxi Cloud:
All of these pieces of data and platform integrations work together, effortlessly, in one place. Our open API is the reason we’ve grown to include over 30 integrated tools and services this year and had seamless platform integration for each. Among these 30 partners are companies like DocuSign, Imprev Marketing, Loop & Tie, Offrs, Move Easy, Spacio, and many more. As an open platform provider, we strive to partner with leading companies to offer our clients a suite of best-in-class tools and services. Platform integrations range from single-sign-on (SSO) to data sharing and everything in-between. Brokerages and their agents benefit from a consistent, robust technology ecosystem and a streamlined, efficient workflow.
Spacio Launches to Major Broker in Two Days with Our Platform Integration
Curious about what it’s like to work with our team or what it would look like for your company? Spacio, for instance, was able to effortlessly and quickly take advantage of our platform integration with the Moxi Cloud, and deliver swiftly to their large brokerage client. What used to take many, many days, only took a short time and didn’t require any extra software development. We asked Melissa Kwan over at Spacio what her experience has been like working with Moxi Works – check out the video below to see what she had to say.
The Moxi Cloud is able to perform smooth platform integrations by having the data available in the cloud. This is what makes it all possible. We don’t pretend to be amazing at everything. We let our brokerages choose the best tools and services out there for their brokerage and integrate them into our platform. We want the power to stay in the brokerages hands, allowing them to curate the tools and services they think are best for their own agents. Every brokerage is unique and because of it, each needs a unique solution.