Three Ways Technology Can Help Revolutionize Your Business
July 5, 2018
Creative Strategist, Ninety-Nine Hats
Big data is big news everywhere and it totally revolutionizes real estate. When the information captured through things like website visits, demographics, and sales stats are analyzed digitally, trends and patterns are revealed. The resulting insights are unprecedented.
For example, more detail leads to better appraisals. Now you can price more competitively, showing the comps to your clients to promote trust. You can also uncover the unique traits of individual neighborhoods, thereby fulfilling more wish lists and identifying clients more meaningfully. The same intel then works just as hard on the back end, enabling better — and potentially faster — client decision-making.
“We are powered by tech, which makes us more efficient and provides a better experience.” – Phil Sexton, VP of Operations and Partner of the Sibbach Team
Phil Sexton, VP of operations and partner at the Sibbach Team, named 2018’s Residential Real Estate Team of the Year by this magazine, agrees. “We are powered by tech, which makes us more efficient and provides a better experience,” he says.
Sibbach’s Patented Property Procurement Process targets the best houses for their customers through a combination of big data, proprietary knowledge, and time-tested strategies, like industry connections. “If we’re not aware of the best properties out there before other people go online, we’re not doing the best job for our clients,” Sexton says.
BECOME A CLIENT WHISPERER
When a client comes to your website via mobile, the experience must be absolutely perfect. There’s no understating the importance of this fact, since mobile is increasingly the preferred choice of Generation Y and the ultra-valuable tech-native millennials.
To achieve this state of mobile nirvana, your site must work across all devices, shifting and redisplaying information so it’s perfect for that particular experience. This is what’s called a “responsive” site. Non-responsive sites typically display on mobile with teeny type, truncated navigation links, and entire sections of content missing. Not good.
Plenty of responsive website templates already exist, so if you’re managing your own website through WordPress, for example, it’s essential to make sure your template does it right. You’ll want to actually test it out on different mobile devices in addition to checking the template description.
Some of the best practices for responsive sites include:
- Easy and intuitive navigation
- Fillable forms
- Chat boxes that enable clients to get immediate answers from a live person without making a phone call
- A registration option, so searches can be saved for later
- Automated replies for routine queries, so no potential client is “lost” in your daily rush
HELP THE HOME SELL ITSELF
For people who do most of their house searching via mobile, images are king. Your audience expects your listings to tell a story. If you do it well, the home practically sells itself.
“We now have to win the promotion of properties on a screen that’s three inches wide by five inches long,” Sexton says. “If you don’t have a good picture, you can’t help the consumer have an emotional connection with the house. That image has to be great to get them in, and it has to be accurate.”
One way the digital revolution has changed real estate photography is through the advent of relatively inexpensive aerial drones. Overhead shots can showcase a neighborhood’s personality, as well as unique landscape or roofline features. Drones can also be used inside, for unique virtual tours, depending on the layout of the house.
And when it comes to those all-important images, think carefully about whether you want to shoot them yourself. A pro with an experienced eye and advanced equipment can do much more than you can with your phone, not to mention the fact that operating a drone is more problematic than one might expect. While professional photographers cost money, you could stand to profit much more from the excellent images that result.