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Customer Service? Give Them What They Want

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What They Want

Give the customer what they want, and BE NICE about it. As I stood in line at the local coffee shop and heard the rude comments of the gal behind the counter – because she got the order wrong – I watched the customer feeling awkward like they did something wrong. Got me thinking – what is true customer service for us in real estate? It is giving the customer what they want because they are the boss. The key to true success in this business is knowing what the customer wants and giving it to them. According to NAR’s 2007 Profile of Homebuyers and Homesellers, 34% of consumers found the ACTUAL home they purchased online. That means they researched online and filtered through many homes, neighborhoods, got down to the home they were interested in and by looking at photos, comments on the listing and the multimedia fell in love with the house. They then called or emailed a REALTOR(r) and BOUGHT IT!

Ways to Deliver

So three easy ways to deliver extreme customer service – give them what they want. Start with photos, LOTS of them. make sure they flow the way you would walk through the home, from the exterior to the inside. Include a floor plan if you have one. If the consumer likes the neighborhood, and is satisfied with the size of the home, they are more likely to want to see the inside. A floor plan can help accomplish that. Once they get inside it is up to the seller to make sure there is no clutter, it is clean and smells good. Maybe even staged a little?

Point2 Technology and my friend Roger Noujeim sends me statistics time to time form their website. They found that the number of clicks on properties and amount of leads increased in proportion to the number of photos. “A new study by Point2 Technologies Inc.,… tested how the inclusion of photos with online listings affects real estate sales. By tracking consumer views, interest and leads, the study concludes that more photos generate increased consumer interest. Listings that feature no photos generate 0.02 percent of the page views that listings featuring 21 to 36 photos attract.

Listings with 21 or more photos generate more than 55 times the number of page views, 27 times the amount of interest and 898 times the number of leads compared to listings featuring no photos.”



Ad Copy?

Many of were traumatized by being only able to write 14 words to advertise our properties in the local newspaper. I am thankful those days are over . . . forever. SO, change your ad copy from 3br, 2 ba with fr and eik.  Add some information about what makes living there special. Then there is multimedia. Virtual tours that tell specific features about the house are helpful because they can be send form the website virally. I like to add voice to a virtual tour. For me that is where the selling really starts. Here is a link to an article called Video is mainstream, is it on your website? Enjoy

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. monika

    October 25, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    How very true Amy. Today we went on a CMA appointment and I think we took about 60 photos and 2 short videos. I won’t use them all BUT I have enough for a few virtual tours and then different pics for mls. The more the better in my opinion.

  2. Paula Henry

    October 25, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Amy – First of all, a belated welcome to AG. This can not be said enough. I have seen agents put itty bitty pictures on the MLS and only one. I guess the misconception is, it will entice buyers to want to go see the home. Time is a huge factor for us all and buyers want the oppotunity to see the home online. I have sat with many buyers who pass by homes with no pictures. If only the seller knew!

    I explain that to sellers when a buyer does make an appointment to see their home, they are truly interested and not just lookers, because if they have seen one of my homes online, they know it matches their criteria.

    Then there is the issue of really bad pictures – anoher post 🙂

  3. Ben Goheen

    October 26, 2008 at 12:49 am

    I laughed after seeing the photo and reading the first 2 sentences. My wife (and fellow Realtor) is a vegetarian and went through the Wendy’s drive-thru today. They said, “Welcome to Wendy’s, what can we make fresh for you today?” She replied, “How about a caesar salad with no bacon.” (pause, pause) “No.”

    Almost every time I see a listing with 1 photo I click on the ‘next’ button with lightning speed. It amazes me to see the number of dinosaurs in this industry who don’t realize the importance of good photos and virtual tours. A recent full-page ad in my local paper had 30+ listings, 1/2 of which were either missing the price and/or address. Really?? A buyer that has a ton of time might try to track a couple of those listings down to get more information. But more than likely they’ll just click ‘next.’

    We all have a responsibility to our sellers, it’s obviously to me that some take it more seriously than others.

  4. Teresa Boardman

    October 26, 2008 at 5:05 am

    Our MLS only allows for ten photos. With that said it amazes me how one listing can have 10 really bad photos and some only have one photo. This has been a well duh! for years. consumers want photos.

  5. Missy Caulk

    October 26, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Our MLS only allows 10 photos too, but that is an improvement from 6 then 8. On my outside web-sites I put in multiple ones. Seems like the MLS’s just don’t get it yet. Well, maybe there are some that do, if anyone knows any that allow that many let me know. We are interviewing new MLS vendors.

  6. Jim Duncan

    October 26, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    @Teresa and Missy – Our MLS had a limitation of something like 20, then I and another Board member asked in one of our meetings “why?” The answer was “because.” So we fixed it. Now it’s something like 50 or something silly like that.

  7. Lisa Sanderson

    October 27, 2008 at 9:29 am

    We use FBS’s Flex MLS and do not have a limit on photos for listings.

    Using lots of photos doesn’t only give the house hunters what they want. It gives you and your seller what you want – the right kind of traffic through the listing. Having lots of photos helps to thoroughly qualify the house to the prospect and the likelihood that they may buy is greatly increased.

    And this goes for your compelling ad copy too. Tell it like it is and notice the quality of the prospects that inquire or look at the house. This goes for the negatives about the place as well as the positives. Paint a true picture and you’ll seem more credible, you’ll get constructive feedback and the house just might sell quicker!

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Social Media

*New* TikTok Insights launch: Content creators finally get audience analytics

(SOCIAL MEDIA) The popular short-form app, TikTok, finally launches the anticipated Insights feature, where content creators can view target audience data.

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Two girls filming on TikTok.

Marketers searching for the zeitgeist which means TikTok scrollers pause to watch their content and then click through to buy a product have a new tool to help make that happen.

  • TikTok Insights offers marketers bite-size bits of user demographic information that will help build content that leads to sales.
  • With TikTok Insights you can learn more about your audience’s behavior, their interests, and their general sentiment toward brands.
  • TikTok Insights is free to use. Marketers can find TikTok user demographics by using filters to determine what they’re looking for.

The demographic info can be age-focused, focused on specific types of marketing, or even as specific as holiday or event marketing.

This is a step in the direction marketers have been asking for as they create content for the TikTok platform; however, creators looking for detailed analytics like they get from meta need to wait. Insights doesn’t offer that for now.

Like TikTok says in its own analytic information,

“While analytics are helpful in understanding the performance of your videos, you don’t need to create future videos based primarily around them. It’s best to consider the bigger picture, lean lightly on analytics, and use them as a source for insight rather than strategy.”

Marketers trying to key into reaching TikTok’s billion users worldwide are left, right now, searching for the magic that leads to consumers making the jump from the platform to using their purchasing power.

For marketers that means keeping things creative and collaborative, two key factors in TikTok’s success. And that success is huge. Users spend an average of 52 minutes on the platform when they log in and a staggering 90% of users say they log on every day.

TikTok Insights will help marketers find ways to connect, but the content TikTok is looking for is authentic.

And while entrepreneurs can bid for advertising like other social media platforms, they need to remember when planning that spend, that most TikTok marketing success stories are more accidental than planned. Have fun with that knowledge. Instead of pressure to create the perfect plan, TikTok Insights allows marketers to keep it creative and to find a way to tie it into what they enjoy about the platform.

Like all other social media marketing, focus on creating content that stops the consumer from their continual scroll. Make it a challenge and keep it real.

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Social Media

Grindr got busted for selling users’ data locations to advertisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) User data has been a hot topic in the tech world. It’s often shared haphazardly or not protected, and the app Grindr, follows suit.

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Grindr on phone in man's hands

If you’re like me, you probably get spam calls a lot. Information is no longer private in this day and age; companies will buy and sell whatever information they can get their hands on for a quick buck. Which is annoying, but not necessarily outright dangerous, right?

Wrong.

Grindr has admitted to selling their user’s data, however, they are specifically selling the location of their users without regard for liability concerns. Grindr, a gay hook-up app, is an app where a marginalized community is revealing their location to find a person to connect to. Sure, Grindr claims they have been doing this less and less since 2020, but the issue still remains: they have been selling the location of people who are in a marginalized community – a community that has faced a huge amount of oppression in the past and is still facing it to this day.

Who in their right mind thought this was okay? Grindr initially did so to create “real-time ad exchanges” for their users, to find places super close to their location. Which makes sense, sort of. The root of the issue is that the LGBTQAI+ community is a community at risk. How does Grindr know if all of their users are out? Do they know exactly who they’re selling this information to? How do they know that those who bought the information are going to use it properly?

They don’t have any way of knowing this and they put all of their users at risk by selling their location data. And the data is still commercially available! Historical data could still be obtained and the information was able to be purchased in 2017. Even if somebody stopped using Grindr in, say, 2019, the fact they used Grindr is still out there. And yeah, the data that’s been released has anonymized, Grindr claims, but it’s really easy to reverse that and pin a specific person to a specific location and time.

This is such a huge violation of privacy and it puts people in real, actual danger. It would be so easy for bigots to get that information and use it for something other than ads. It would be so easy for people to out others who aren’t ready to come out. It’s ridiculous and, yeah, Grindr claims they’re doing it less, but the knowledge of what they have done is still out there. There’s still that question of “what if they do it again” and, with how the world is right now, it’s really messed up and problematic.

If somebody is attacked because of the data that Grindr sold, is Grindr complicit in that hate crime, legally or otherwise?

So, moral of the story?

Yeah, selling data can get you a quick buck, but don’t do it.

You have no idea who you’re putting at risk by selling that data and, if people find out you’ve done it, chances are your customers (and employees) will lose trust in you and could potentially leave you to find something else. Don’t risk it!

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Social Media

BeReal: Youngsters are flocking in droves to this Instagram competitor app

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As Instagram loses steam due to its standards of “perfection posting,” users are drawn to a similar app with a different approach, BeReal.

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social media - bereal app

BeReal is one of several “Real” apps exploding in growth with young users who crave real connections with people they know in real life.

According to data.ai, BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK, and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

BeReal flies in the face of what social media has become. Instead of curated looks that focus on the beautiful parts of life, BeReal users showcase what they’re doing at the moment and share those real photos with their friends. Their real friends.

It’s real. And real is different for a generation of social media users who have been raised on influencers and filters.

As the app says when you go to its page:

Be Real.

Your Friends

for Real.

Every day at a different time, BeReal users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes.

A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.

BeReal app

The app has seen monthly users increase by more than 315% according to Apptopia, which tracks and analyzes app performance.

“Push notifications are sent around the world simultaneously at different times each day,” the company said in a statement. “It’s a secret on how the time is chosen every day, it’s not random.”

The app allows no edits and no filters. They want users to show a “slice of their lives.”

Today’s social media users have seen their lives online inundated with ultra-curated social media. The pandemic led to more time spent online than ever. Social media became a way to escape. Reality was ugly. Social media was funny, pretty, and exciting.

And fake.

Enter BeReal where users are asked to share two moments of real life on a surprise schedule. New apps are fun often because they’re new. However, the huge growth in the use of BeReal by college-aged users points to something more than the new factor.

For the past several years, experts have warned that social media was dangerous to our mental health. The dopamine hits of likes and shares are based on photos and videos filled with second and third takes, lens changes, lighting improvements, and filters. Constant comparisons are the norm. And even though we know the world we present on our social pages isn’t exactly an honest portrayal of life, we can’t help but experience FOMO when we see our friends and followers and those we follow having the times of their lives, buying their new it thing, trying the new perfect product, playing in their Pinterest-worthy decorated spaces we wish we could have.

None of what we see is actually real on our apps. We delete our media that isn’t what we want to portray and try again from a different angle and shoot second and third and forth takes that make us look just a little better.

We spend hours flipping through videos on our For You walls and Instagram stories picked by algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves.

BeReal is the opposite of that. It’s simple, fast, and real. It’s community and fun, but it’s a moment instead of turning into the time-sink of our usual social media that, while fun, is also meant to ultimately sell stuff, including all our data.

It will be interesting to watch BeReal and see if it continues down its promised path and whether the growth continues. People are looking for something. Maybe reality is that answer.

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