As consumers ramp up home buying activities, a variety of publications are pushing forth how-to articles and guides about choosing the right agent. Many of them advise would-be buyers and sellers to be more discerning than ever, as worries about COVID-19 make the type of vetting that usually comes from in-person interaction and rapport building difficult.
More specifically, these articles are advising consumers to find agents who are well-versed in technology and online marketing, as these types of forward-thinking agents are more likely to adapt to a mercurial real estate market and provide better services to their clients.
Here’s an excerpt from News-Press, a USA Today subsidiary:
“Sellers should seek out a real estate agent who is well versed in digital options, such as virtual open houses and showings, 3D walk-through videos, electronic document signing and online marketing.”
Another from Consumer Reports:
“Your agent is your advocate, and your link to the seller. Make sure to find an agent whom you connect with, and who really takes the time to understand you. Particularly in an uncertain market, you need an agent who goes above and beyond to work within the limitations of a quarantine order.”
And here’s one from Bankrate:
“More than ever before, hiring a competent real estate agent is key…Sellers should ask questions and be vigilant about getting the newest, most accurate and complete information at all times. There are many uncertainties in the world today, but a real estate transaction is one that can be less so by continuous and accurate exchange of information.”
And for good measure, here’s one from Lifehacker:
“Any seller currently listed on the market for sale should make sure their agent is tech savvy…An agent with a solid [online] marketing strategy can help you make the best of an unusual moment, said Kristina Morales, a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services and Surterre Properties.”
How to be the agent buyers and sellers want
Above all else, you should ensure you are conveying a sense of digital savviness and credibility. You need to show consumers that in uncertain times, you can be trusted to do your job well. To that end, we recommend:
Taking advantage of virtual home tours, like Homesnap Stories
You’ve no doubt heard about virtual tours, walkthroughs, and open houses. If you’re curious about the benefits of them, you can read this blog post, which details the growing volume of sight-unseen sales.
But for our purposes, consider another angle, especially if you’re skeptical of the effectiveness of virtual tours in generating transactions. Putting these virtual tours on your listings, even if they don’t lead to a one-for-one sale, signals you’re an informed, savvy, and adaptable agent to both buyers and sellers. You’re demonstrating professionalism, awareness, and compassion towards the situation, which can pay dividends down the road.
For a step-by-step guide on how to add virtual tours to your listings, click here.
Updating your website
Don’t make the common mistake of assuming owning any old website is enough to convey tech know-how. In fact, having an outdated website can lead consumers to draw the exact opposite conclusion. Make sure your website is modern one. That means:
- A simplified and clean design
- Branded to you
- Optimized to both desktop and mobile
- Built-in real estate search functions
- Lead-generation tools
Curious for inspiration? Learn more about Homesnap Pro+ Real Estate Websites.
Demonstrating your online marketing expertise
A byproduct of online marketing campaigns, analytic reports can be used to demonstrate your marketing experience and knowledge of your sphere to prospective buyers and sellers. You can use the reports from previous campaigns to show consumers key metrics—such as leads generated, platforms used, impressions generated, etc.—that help showcase digital savviness and win more business. As real estate moves more and more online, being able to tangibly show you’re ahead of the curve is a huge boon.
If you haven’t run an online campaign with Homesnap, find out more about Homesnap Pro Ads. If you have, this video shows how to share your reports with clients within the Homesnap app:
Solidifying your presence on Google
As you’re aware, Google isn’t just the world’s most used search engine—it’s the world’s most used home search engine. Consumers flock to it during every stage of the homebuying journey, especially when it comes to researching agents. Therefore, having a presence on the world’s foremost digital platform is paramount for agents, and perhaps more important than ever in the coming weeks and months.
This blog post provides a comprehensive overview of how to solidify your presence on Google. We highly recommend you read it, but in short:
Create, verify, and update your Google business profile. In doing so, you’ll boost your appearance in organic search rankings for when consumers search for broad terms like “agents near me,” have all your information (contact info, website, address, reviews) readily available when people search for you, and increase your chances of appearing in Google Local Packs, which have a momentous positive impact in generating clicks to your profile.
Get reviews from past clients, colleagues, family and friends to boost your reputation and demonstrate, via testimonial, the type of agent you are. Agents who have at least one review appear in double the searches than those with none, but the more reviews, the better you will fare.
Even if the market comes back to normal in terms of activity levels in the coming weeks, consumer sentiment has likely changed, maybe for good. Buyers and sellers are looking for agents that are digitally savvy and adaptable to a very fluid, very uncharted situation. Agents would be wise to represent themselves in such a way. Homesnap is here to help.
If you’re a Homesnap member courtesy of your MLS, Homesnap Stories are available to you right now.
If you want to learn more about how Homesnap can help you launch a modern website and/or solidify your presence on Google, check out Homesnap Pro+ for Google my business and Homesnap Pro Websites for real estate websites.
If you want to run ads on major networks like Facebook, Google, Instagram and Waze and use your analytics reports to show clients, check out Homesnap Pro Ads.