WAV Group has long advised brokers and agents on the enormous benefits of keeping in touch with past clients. NAR’s Annual Homebuyer and Seller Trend Report shows that 88% of consumers indicate that they would use the same agent in a future transaction, but only 12% actually do. The #1 reason why consumers do not use their agent again is that the agent failed to stay in touch.
Real Estate Marketing Demands Consistency
This is not just a real estate thing. Insurance agents and other professionals like lawyers have the same challenges. The answer to this problem is pretty simple. Agents should stay in touch with their clients. This can take the form of a variety of tactics – social media connections, periodic client events, email newsletter, etc. Remember, 80% of an agent’s business comes from repeat and referral customers. Failure to stay connected to clients could result in a major drop in business building, not to mention the horrible feeling of bumping into a past client only to learn that they transacted without you!
There is some interesting consumer data published by Yes Marketing regarding communications from financial brands (I am including real estate, not sure if they included it in their assumptions).
- 42% of consumers say they rarely receive relevant content
- 1 in 3 say that they switch agents because of negative feedback from family and friends
- 57% say that agents fail to provide a comprehensive list of service offerings
Staying in touch with your clients is the first level of success in real estate.
The second level is staying in touch with great content.
Great content creation is happening in many ways throughout the entire real estate industry. There are some sticky solutions already in the market like CoreLogic’s ePropertyWatch or HomeBot.ai— Zillow emails a home report, and Buyside sends a report too. They provide a property report to consumers that show what a home is worth along with recent sales and active listings.
Homebeat was created by W+R Studios, makers of Cloud CMA and the Cloud Suite of products which includes Cloud Streams (listing alerts), Cloud MLX (MLS lite), Cloud Attract (What’s My Home Worth). Homebeat is CMA (competitive market analysis) that is created using data integrated from the MLS and sent out automatically to customers on behalf of the agent. Agents set up the CMA and forget it.
Initial Homebeat Product Overview Notes
I am mindful that W+R Studios is an agile development company. What I am looking at here is pre-production. That means that it is not fully launched yet as a product. Here are the questions that I would ask:
Is there an opportunity for better branding/cobranding broker-agent? The agent’s name and contact information display at the right-hand side of the comps list. My preference would be for more prominent display in case consumers (like me) do not scroll to the end of the comps list. I am sure that W+R Studios will monitor that and collect user feedback. It’s easy to move.
One benefit of Homebeat is that it normally is offered though the MLS, and it is a VOW system – so competitors are not displayed as they would be if the system were a traditional IDX application.
Another key component of any email marketing tool I would ask about is reporting and CANSPAM compliance. From a dashboard, the agent can see the number of times their client viewed a page, the last time the client viewed the page, and if the client requested a full Cloud CMA. The system also supports Unsubscribe via the email. I would not be surprised to see a double opt-in process activated in the product very soon.
I would like to know if a CRM company like Inside Real Estate, Real Estate Webmasters, Moxi Works, Tribus, Reliance, Contactually, BoomTown, CINC, or any of the other web platforms/CRM systems can call this service via an API. This would allow agents to subscribe their clients to Homebeat in their CRM vs. duplicating clients and manually logging the touch point event in the customer record. Many of the companies listed herein are already integrated with Cloud CMA using their API.
Only companies or agents who are existing clients of W+R Studios and subscribers to Cloud Agent Suite will have access Homebeat though a free 30-day trial.
Homebeat is a nice first step forward along a journey to deliver a property report. I am sure that many new features will be added at a fast and furious pace.
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