Post-lockdown, many estate agents were bracing themselves for a property crash, but spending so much time in their homes clearly made UK residents keen to improve their lot, with demand driving average property prices up 9.9% YOY from March 2020-2021, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Why is mobile marketing important in real estate?
Competition in the real estate sector has grown exponentially, with hybrid and online-only estate agents fuelling the fire. The sector is behind the curve in technological take-up, however, and is notably slow to take advantage of data-driven sales strategies.
It’s a common misconception that your business needs a certain scale to take advantage of smarter, data-driven strategies, but the reality is that whether you’re a vast chain or a sole trader, you can benefit from using technology – and do so cost-effectively.
As the single largest purchase of most people’s lives, property-buyers are slow to convert – as, to a lesser extent are renters – so the ability to hold their hand at every stage of the funnel gives you a massive competitive advantage over less savvy competitors.
Ensuring you have a strong mobile presence is essential given that buyers will be using their mobile phones for research at every step of the journey. Forcing them to switch from mobile to desktop during that process interrupts the research process and makes it more likely potential customers will go elsewhere.
Ultimately the common goal for all real estate companies is to be able to convert quickly and effectively in order to maximise revenue. Put simply, the more staff hours you’re putting into converting a lead to a sale, the less profitable it becomes. And there’s a lot of repetitive work involved in moving a sale to conversion; the sort of work that’s ideally suited to automation.
Automate early, automate often
Automating the early stages of the customer journey is a sensible strategy to allow your team to work further down the purchase funnel. Each one of your properties will have a data sheet that covers the kinds of info potential buyers or renters need to know. You’ll spend a chunk of time responding to interested clients who are invariably asking similar questions. If you could digitise that data and automate the question answering process, you’ll free up your team to concentrate their efforts further down the funnel, building relationships and driving customers towards conversion. A much better use of their time.
CM.com has multiple chatbot solutions, including both scripted and AI chatbots. Our scripted chatbot solution has a simple, drag-and-drop build interface to make creating your own customer service chatbot simple. You don’t need any coding experience whatsoever.
Similarly, time-consuming processes like data filtering and customer segmentation can be automated to create clean, thorough data sets and segments in seconds. Creating segments for families, young couples, downsizers, and renters, for example, will allow you to push engaging, personalised campaigns to each group.
Setting up automated emails that include a personalised message for particular stages in the customer journey – such as registering on your website – will help to engage new customers. Equally, when they visit specific pages on your site, you can target them with nurture emails to keep them engaged.
Effective data manipulation
Once you’ve freed your team from the day-to-day grind of answering repetitive questions, you’ll want to consider ways to increase the efficacy of your lead-generation activities. With so many platforms storing data along the customer journey, you might find your data is stored in multiple places, making it tricky to use it to target customers effectively.
You may be aware of CRM solutions, and perhaps operate one right now. The drawback of a CRM is that it often creates a limited view of your customers preferences as it focuses on first-hand interactions and doesn’t integrate data from different touchpoints.
A Customer Data Platform stores all your customer data, from multiple first-, second-, and third-party data sources in one place. It can then segment that data quickly and effectively to create personalised messaging that’s more likely to pique potential customers’ interest than a blanket, one-size-fits-all message.
Part of Mobile Marketing Cloud, CM.com’s CDP is an end-to-end data solution that quickly and simply allows you to segment your data from all of your platforms, find out what your customers are searching for, and create effective marketing strategies from a simple, easy-to-use dashboard.
Find out more about the differences between CDPs and other solutions.
Conversation to conversion
Given you’ve already automated the binary parts of the conversation, once you’ve got a qualified lead for a property, you can really start to build the conversation. Let your customers contact you on WhatsApp or whichever channel they prefer, to build towards conversion. Being available whenever they need you may sound time-consuming, but with the right messaging aggregation platform, you can manage all your channels in one place. CM.com’s Mobile Service Cloud offers the ability to seamlessly manage all of your conversations – on multiple channels –from one dashboard. Outside office hours, you can use your chatbot to engage with your customers until you’re next available. For example, our AI chatbot solutions can discern the intent from enquiries and search your site for the correct answer.
We’ve already mentioned personalised messaging, but the importance of speaking directly to your customers about the things they care about can’t be overstated.
Many estate agents will indiscriminately send new sign-ups with their latest listings, regardless of their budgets or preferences, but you don’t just have to send potential customers listings each week. Think about the content they might find useful. For example, if they’re looking for flats in the area, send them space-saving furnishing tips. Perhaps they’re a young professional couple looking for an easy commute into the city. Send them an article that breaks down the costs of commuting, or talks about alternative modes of transport they might not have considered.
If you’re looking for effective platforms to deliver your messages, consider SMS. While SMS marketing isn’t usually content-rich – i.e. It can’t include virtual tours, floor plans, videos and the like – with SMS pages and RCS it’s possible to send multimedia content. SMS messaging has an open-rate of around 95%, so it’s by far the most effective way to reach your customers.
Creating mobile-specific SMS pages to drive traffic to your site is a great way to engage your audience. You can link directly to your website from an SMS page’s call to action button and avoid coding new pages for your website for SMS-specific traffic. What’s more, you can amend SMS pages quickly on the fly without needing a developer.
Ensuring you’re sending useful content to potential customers throughout the buying journey and building a relationship with them will put you in pole position when they’re ready to convert.
Speak to our team to find out how we can help you build lasting customer relationships and drive more conversions more profitably.