10 Winning Online Response Tips For Agents

Based on responses from over 14,000 polled home buyers and sellers, HomeGain has compiled a list of ways for how consumers want to be communicated with online, whether it’s email, chat, web or text messages. Let’s face it, there is a lot of competition amongst real estate agents out there, and with 84% of consumers starting their search for an agent on the Internet, your communication skills needs to be top notch.

Consumers today may find you online in any number of ways, but no matter how, if a consumer contacts you with a question, you need to put your best foot forward in order to show them that you should be their agent.

How quickly do I need to respond to consumers? What do I need to remember to include in my response? Below are 10 pieces of advice that HomeGain is sharing in order to help agents better meet the needs of online consumers.

10 Tips for Responding to Buyers and Sellers Online

1.    Personalize Your Responses

Most of the consumers who worked with a HomeGain agent chose that agent because of their personal response. For years personalization has consistently been the most important reason consumers select HomeGain agents. Consumers know when agents send a canned response. And since consumers have indicated that agents don’t have to be the first to respond in order to be chosen, you can use this extra time to respond to the consumer’s specific situation. Listen to what the consumers are saying or asking -– taking the time to personalize your response will make you more likely to be chosen as their agent.

2.    Respond Quickly – But Not Too Quickly

Our more recent surveys show that most consumers expect to receive a response within 1 to 3 days, which allows agents more time to write a personalized response than a few years ago. Consumers would rather wait a little extra time in order to get the personalization they’re looking for. If you can respond with a personalized response within 24 hours, you’ll be more likely to have a leg up on the competition.

3.    Tout Your Positive Feedback

Positive reviews about your performance as an agent is one of the top things consumers say they look for before selecting an agent. Solicit feedback from your past and current clients and use it as a powerful marketing tool. Place reviews on your website, in your HomeGain materials (e.g. AgentEvaluator® proposals), on your blog, and anywhere else where you think consumers will read it.

4.    Explain the Most Important Features of Your Service

Consumers will find you in any number of ways on the Internet, and they may or may not have done thorough research about you. Give consumers a brief summary of the individual services that you can offer them. Highlight any unique services or approaches you use so that you stand apart from the competition and leave a lasting impression. Ask yourself, “Does the seller or buyer know what these services are and why they are important?”

5.    Be Local

Buyers are only going to want to hear about the area where they are looking to buy a home. Focus on what is local – schools, parks and recreational activities, libraries – and become their neighborhood expert so they’ll refer to you in the future.

6.    Answer But Also Ask

A consumer may have a specific question for you, but this is an opportunity for you to ask some questions in return. This shows them you are interested in their situation and creates a back and forth dialogue. In three questions or less, find out what is most important to you to know about them so that you can anticipate future questions and needs, and provide better guidance.

7.    Be Positive

The main reason consumers indicated that they did not decide to work with a HomeGain agent was they didn’t like the responses they received. Using a friendly and helpful tone while establishing an online personality will make you seem more likable to the consumer. Write your proposal as if you know you will win. Use phrases such as “When I list your home I will….” Comment on the features, location, or situation detailed in their property profile to give the consumer the sense that you are anticipating their needs and are already working on their behalf.

8.    Keep It Short and Direct

Explain things clearly and remove additional chatter not directly relevant to their needs. A well-written, concise response will be remembered, whereas important points will be lost if too much information is presented.

9.    Eliminate Jargon

Many consumers aren’t familiar with as many real estate terms as Realtors. The purpose of your proposal is to show how you will help them, and to explain things, not confuse them.

10.    Check Your Spelling!

Consumers may interpret an email that is filled with misspellings as a sign that the agent is as sloppy and unprofessional as the services they would provide. Pay attention to grammar. Stay away from words you aren’t familiar with, or look them up in a dictionary. Have a second set of eyes read it over before you send it to the consumer to ensure your work is as perfect as possible.

© 2010 HomeGain.com, Inc.


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