Things to Say to Consumers Online
- Decision Enabling Content. Consumers buy homes for personal reasons. Families get bigger or smaller, jobs are gained or lost, the desire for a better neighborhood are still major drivers of real estate sales. So offer ideas that speak to the personal reasons for moving. Post links to articles or news about life in town, the economy, unusual weather, entertainment or public services. Focus on what’s important to the prospect. First time buyers want to know about jobs, sports, music and nightlife. Retirement prospects are interested in financial planning and healthy living. Think about what’s in it for them, and you’ll think of lots of topics to post online.
- Analysis, not Data. Don’t tweet mortgage rates to your sphere. Tweet about mortgage trends that impact their decisions. Trends – in pricing, finance, costs of living, public services, weather, and so on – let agents apply knowledge and experience to help consumers understand data, not just receive an update on it. The current price of a home or mortgage is less useful than discussing the meaning of the 3-month trend. Post a chart or graph to make the point, then add a few thoughts on “why” the trends are happening.
- Congratulations. People work with people they trust. Sales is about relationships. With online social networking, building trust and reinforcing relationships is easier than ever. Your prospects are constantly posting about their lives on their profiles, which presents a huge opportunity to literally “see into the minds” of prospects. The easiest thing to do with that information is to congratulate. Did they get a new car, win a big game or have a birthday? Post a congratulations comment. Offering praise, encouragement, sympathy or just “liking” your customers’ lives is a powerful way to connect with people.
- Ask a Question. A question is worth a thousand statements. If you want to know what concerns your customers, ask them! You don’t need create a formal poll. Just pose a “Question to my friends” and watch them tell you what’s on their minds. As Sam Walton used to say, find out what the people want and then give it to them. Social media presents a constant opportunity to at least find out what they want.
- Make them Laugh. Imagine you are going to a cocktail party to catch up with friends. Part of the conversation would inevitably include humor. A good joke, a funny story, a weird observation all put people at ease and start conversations. There is an endless supply of funny videos, curious images and silly stories online that will make your sphere of influence smile. And while they’re chuckling, they’ll be thinking of you.
(Matthew Ferrara is CEO of Matthew Ferrara & Company, a technology organization that delivers training, consulting and technical support to real estate companies worldwide, including their new "Support on Demand" REALTOR help desk service available at 866-316-4209.)
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