Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine. She can be reached at email@example.com.
The Technological Side to Building Relationships
Try these high-tech methods of identifying your most-engaged online visitors and connecting with them at the most-opportune time.
March 4, 2014
Here are ways some real estate professionals are using technology to improve their relationships with their Internet leads:
Use Metrics as Your Guide
Track how engaged your customers are with your website. Many CRMs and e-mail systems have built-in analytics to give you a deeper picture of who your Web visitors are, what pages they’re spending the most time on at your site, and who opened your e-mails.
For example, a CRM program called BoomTown ROI offers a real-time peak into consumer behavior on your real estate site. Its “Opportunity Details” dashboard allows you to track your visitors’ behavior online. Depending on their actions, leads will be labeled as “high interest” if they show a recent interest in one or more listings or as “renewed interest” if they were inactive on the site but later returned. This can indicate who you need to follow up with.
In This Guide:
Here are some other tools for using metrics to help give you a more in-depth picture of your website’s visitors:
- Google Analytics provides a free solution to let you know who’s visiting your website, the online avenues by which they’re reaching your site, and, specifically, how they’re interacting with your pages.
- Facebook Insights offers information about how people are discovering your Facebook posts, as well as how engaged they are based on your most popular posts, likes, comments, and shares.
- Mouseflow.com allows you to record the actions of your website’s visitors and generate instant heat maps showing where they clicked and scrolled and what they’re paying closest attention to on your site.
Respond at the Right Time
The most effective follow-ups are relevant to what the lead is looking for and come at the perfect time. If a visitor comes to your website and searches for properties 82 times in a specified price range, you could automatically send them an e-mail with more properties in that price range without them having to inquire first, Smith says.
Data tools are getting more sophisticated at helping you to send the right message at the right time. Lead management software Follow Up Boss, for example, will make your phone ring or instantly send you a text message to connect with a lead while they’re still on your site, putting you in touch in the middle of their search.
Inbound marketing provider Curaytor offers support and implementation of several behavior-based technology solutions for real estate brokerages that want to capture more Internet leads. The programs it uses offer clients a “hot sheet” that is e-mailed daily and shows the most engaged people across their leads, past clients, and sphere of influence. Engaged clients are individuals who have either opened or clicked on an e-mail in the last 24 hours.
“We coach our clients to actively follow up via phone or e-mail with those listed on the hot sheet,” Mackin says. “The key to conversion is follow-up. In our industry, there’s a great deal of focus on new leads, and we believe that you should shift that focus toward the most engaged leads — regardless of if they’re old.”
Curaytor also plans to soon introduce a deeper integration with Mixpanel, a leading provider in Web analytics, that will allow for tracking of additional events, such as which blog posts people read, which pages users visited, what searches they performed, and which properties they reviewed, as well as the ones they saved.
“Those events will log into the contacts profile in their CRM and be included in the hot sheet as well,” Mackin explains. The idea is that if a consumer performs an event, such as saving three properties, an e-mail will be sent to the agent to set up an appointment to preview those homes.
Conduct Your Own Test to Find Your Most-Engaged Customers
Some e-mail systems, such as Mailchimp, notify you when someone has opened an e-mail you sent. You can also use add-ons to your e-mail, such as Bananatag for Microsoft Outlook, to find out if an e-mail was opened. With such a tracking system in place, you can try to identify your most-engaged clients. Send out a few e-mails to clients, Smith suggests. (For example, “Just checking in to see how you’re doing and if there is anything you need.”) The next day, follow up with a phone call to those who opened your e-mail.
“It’s a much more effective way of finding those who are already engaged than just cold-calling a list of prospects down a list,” Smith says. “This is an easy way to test out the waters of behavior-based marketing follow-up and find those who are most engaged with your marketing.”