Gone are the days when putting a “for sale” sign on the front lawn and holding a few open houses would be enough to sell a house. Information technology is changing how real estate is marketed. Here’s a look at the current trends.
We knew this already, but it’s more true now than ever: social networks have become indispensable tools for selling a property. Not only are you able to rely on your network of contacts to share real estate ads, but the seller or the broker keeps them updated on the progress of the sale. As the weeks go by, those posts will become a saga of a story…one we hope will have a happy ending!
In 2017, an active online presence is an essential for brokers - not only to publish advertisements for the properties they’re looking to sell but also to facilitate interaction with their clients and their peers.
Sharing and commenting on articles about neighbourhoods in which you are particularly active, highlighting your sale with a young couple when they take possession of their first home or organizing contests are great ways to use social networks to build solid client-realtor relationships.
Sellers: is getting the house ready every time you have someone coming to see the property exhausting? Brokers: would you like to show a series of properties without having to coordinate schedules between buyers and sellers? Then bring on virtual visits! This way of viewing a property is becoming more and more popular compared to visiting a house in person.
Thanks to companies like Immoviewer and Matterport, visitors can explore every nook and cranny of a property without having to be there in person. Instead, they use their computer keyboard or a virtual reality headset to explore – it’s almost as if they were looking around on Google StreetView. The visitor can’t, say, open the cupboards, but it’s pretty close to the real thing! These tools are especially helpful for buyers who are looking to purchase property in a city other than where they currently reside.
For the time being, this trend is mostly popular with luxury properties but it won’t be long before it’s democratized.
While virtual reality devices are still marginal, is there something better than simply taking pictures of every room in the house? How about a video… they’re all the rage on social media. In fact, last year Facebook announced that they calculated that people watch over 100 million hours of videos on their website, and their CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, predicted that by 2020, the majority of content published on Facebook will be video content.
In addition to giving a tour of each room in the house, you can use video to show off the landscape or the neighbourhood and include the services and amenities found in the area (schools, cafés, bike paths, etc.). In short, the viewer gets an idea of what their daily life would be like if they chose that property.
Brokers are making the most of these trendy technologies by using the live video tools on Facebook and Twitter to share information about the property for sale or to hold an information session where they answer client’s questions in real time.
This trend largely affects real estate professionals. Automated marketing involves assigning certain repetitive tasks such as posting information on a blog or social media programming, sending personalized newsletters and emails based on customer preferences obtained using relationship management software (CRM). One could, for example, send targeted messages depending on the type of property sought or the neighbourhood the client hopes to move to.
According to a study conducted by an American research firm, Aberdeen Group, companies that use marketing automation tools see their conversion rate increase by 53%.
And you don’t have to be a programmer to use automated marketing. Tools like Mailchimp that manage your newsletters or Hootsuite for helping neophytes with their social media presence guide customers through the process.
As of 2017, the real estate sector can no longer turn a blind eye to new technologies!
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