How to become more efficient – online and offline!

In this age of instant transactions and having almost everything available to us at the click of a button, more and more people are working longer hours and simply don’t have the time to complete real estate transactions the way they used to.  People are increasingly expecting to be able to speak to someone straight away or, at the very least, be contacted within a few hours of making an inquiry.

For this reason, it is essential for you, as a real estate agent, to make yourself available to your target market as much as you possibly can.  This will often mean that you need to be available to meet with clients after normal work hours and on weekends but this is not the only way you can be more accessible.

Here are just a few ideas on how you can make yourself more accessible to your clientele, even when you’re not available!

  • Use your website to its maximum potential.  Make sure you include up-to-date information about all of your listings and that they are as detailed as possible.  If you can narrow down the options for potential buyers they will have a much better idea of what they are looking for when they actually get to speak with you.  If you are an individual salesperson you might consider spending the money to build your own website so that customers can come directly to you and view all of your listings in the one place.
  • Use social networking sites to interact with your customer base.  Update your Twitter account with new listings and open house times and encourage your clients to “follow” you.
  • Use your mobile when you are mobile!  Take the time to update your voicemail message with a direct message on days when you know you won’t be available. By putting in the effort to record a message that includes the date and advising callers that you will be in meetings/unavailable that day, you are showing your customer base that you care that they are calling you and will take the time to call them back when you actually are available.  Make sure you keep it up to date though as an out of date message of this kind will have the opposite effect!
  • Use your “Out of Office Assistant” when you are going to be away from your desk for long periods of time so people who email you know why you haven’t replied to them.
  • Consider getting a BlackBerry or similar mobile device, if you haven’t already got one, so that you can check and respond to emails while you are away from your desk.
  • Use SMS as a way for clients to contact you.  You can set-up direct SMS functionality on your website so that potential clients can send you an SMS direct from your website to request a call back. Similarly, it is a good (and simple!) idea to have your office Receptionist or Administrator send you messages for call-backs via SMS rather than send you an email as you will get it immediately, as opposed to getting the message the next time you check your email; which could be up to 24 hours later.
  • Start your own Blog – this is an easy way for you to make yourself more accessible and approachable to clients on a virtual level.  Use your Blog to post your ideas on current market news and talk about situations you have been in that are relevant and useful for both vendors and buyers.

These are all simple and extremely effective ideas that you can use to make yourself available and accessible to potential clients when you are on the run.  In the fast-paced age of technology that we live in, it is imperative to stay ahead of the pack when it comes to communication and utilizing one or more of these suggestions in your day-to-day dealings will help you to do just that.

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