I have always admired the Better Homes and Gardens brand developed at Realogy under the leadership of Sherry Chris. She is a delightful person who always brightens your day when you spend time with her. In many ways, BHGRE feels welcoming and sincere despite the long brand name.
On Facebook recently, Sherry posted a recipe on pairing quesadillas and wine published by Food & Wine Magazine, another Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP; www.meredith.com) publication. Being Friday afternoon, there was half a chance that I’d find a glass of wine in front of me at some time later that day or the next. I clicked right over. The article is crafted with clever prose and a passionate revere for the subject matter—a satisfying read. Skillful writers always draw you in and inspire you to read their content a little more carefully.
Then I hit the pop up:
Notice how this popup does not ask you to register or sign up or enroll? People do not want to be in a registry, on a sign, or entered into a roll.
The website prompt starts by asking “Would I like?” Sounds like it’s up to me. They put me in control, not on defense.
On a real estate website, “Save this Article for Later” might sound more like “Save this place for later” or “Send me more places like this.” Users see these kinds of messages while viewing a property; the language should convey the voice of your brand. “Request a showing,” for example, would be more inviting if stated as “Visit this place.”
The superpower of the BHGRE brand is the relationship with their publishing partner. The tie in between the consumer publishing giant and the real estate company is all about the consumer. Meredith. Consumer data is a piece of that partnership. Meredith collects consumer data across all of their publications and creates new and interesting paths to connect the consumer to a BHGRE agent.
What I would like to see in the future of real estate tech is smarter contact mapping. Wouldn’t it be astounding if Meredith leveraged their consumer data to enrich the customer record in the BHGRE CRM? Perhaps an agent has a name and email (and possibly a web cookie) and Meredith fills in the address information and a bit about the person’s psychographics based on the magazines they read.
As brokers and franchises prepare their technology roadmap for 2021 – the eye needs to be on CRM enrichment. The more data and connections that can be harvested to deepen the relationship between the agent and the consumer – the better! Today’s lead management solutions lack intuition, and it is time to fix it. Heck – if you purchased a home from a brokerage, wouldn’t you expect the brokerage website to know that? Shouldn’t I already be part of the firms’ owners club? It is time for websites to be smarter when it comes to recognizing customers.
I chuckled when I learned that there is no connection between the art auction houses and their real estate cohorts. The only way to engage with a high net worth auction bidder is to go to the auction. But I think that Meredith and BHGRE are on the right track and they may arrive at the station before others. Enrichment of agent tools with consumer data is the type of heavy lifting that gives large organizations opportunities that small firms do not have. Here I see tremendous value if implemented effectively.
So as I appreciated how Meredith drives value into the relationship for agents and consumers, I learned a little bit about elegant lead generation, and a little bit about pairing wine with quesadillas.