Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Overheard on RESAAS: How to Use Social Media for Customer Support






Every once in a while, a question comes along that makes you think.

I mean, really think.

One that leaves you absolutely speechless because you're thinking so hard about how your world just got shattered.

Then, there are those other questions.

You know, the ones that make you blurt out the answer right away, before your brain even knows what's going on. And the person next to you blurts out a completely different answer. Then the two of you look at each other, and suddenly someone else blurts out their own answer. Before you know it, answers are being blurted out left, right and center!

It's a question so open-ended that everyone brings something new to the table.

This is precisely what Rohn's reblast did.














He asked:

"I am looking for ideas of how to use social media for customer service. Not for lead generation or advertising but real customer service."

And boy, did he get ideas.

So to help you out - in case you don't have the time to go through all the 60+ comments - we went ahead and pulled out the top ideas.

1. Share Interesting Content


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"I suggest consitency in timing posts so people look forward to seeing what you offer next... Like seasonal reminders, or event/holiday type things." - Katie Parker, Florida


"I try to make my blogs timely and information packed, providing answers to clients questions. This week I wrote about the planning and zoning requirements for having chickens in your backyard. So far I've had over 6x the readership that I normally have and I've provided information to my readers that isn't me asking for information." - June Piper Brandon, Maryland


"People say they love checking in with my FB page just to keep informed." - Janet Korzan, Arizona



2. Be Proactive with Negative Feedback

"One way in which you can use social media for customer service (not leads, advertisements) is for feedback. Gone are the days when people would call up a company and complain. Now, people are more likely to head to their smartphones or computers to tell the world how terrible/good a product or service is. That's why customer service is becoming increasingly important on social media platforms. - Claudia Wright, Ontario

3. Don't Promote Listings!


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"I find people hate Estate Agents advertising their properties etc on FB. I have had many telling me so, my reason for not doing it." - Charmaine van Antwerpen, South Africa


4. Don't Ask for Referrals!


"Find what works for you and be SINCERE (Don't ask for referrals)." - Sherry Stapf-Tolisano, Louisiana

"I have had the most luck with posting updates on my fb page relating to home improvements, home decorating and unusual or glamorous kitchens and baths. I get the most interaction on those, as people freely give their opinions." - Debbie Waitley, North Carolina



"To use Social Media requires the same time and involvement all other relationships do, and they must be genuine. If you can learn to be a 'conversation starter', you can use Social Media to great success." - John Hicks, Virginia

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Well done, well done.

Many great points were made, and it was awesome to see everyone on RESAAS provide their experience and knowledge.

Social media is still a new domain for customer service, and what works for one real estate agent may not necessarily work for another.

So what about you - any words of wisdom to share?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Once Upon a Referral (A Story Told Through GIFs)








"I'm moving to Rio!" 

This is what Suzie Realtor's most loyal clients told her one day - and she was devastated.

Rio?? 

She didn't know a single person in Rio! 

How was she supposed to help her clients find a home there?

Even though she was happy for them, it kind of felt like they were saying this to her:

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Ouch.

But Suzie wasn't one to sit by and lose some loyal clients without a fight.

She needed to take action. 

And quick.

But first she had to roll through the 5 Stages of Grief, and get them out of the way.

1. Denial and isolation


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2. Anger
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3. Bargaining

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4. Depression


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5. Acceptance

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Suzie felt hopeless.

She had no answers, and desperately wanted to help her clients find a home in a new country.

But how?

And then, just when she was about to give up...

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She remembered that she was a Referral Pro user on RESAAS!

Oh, hallelujah!

Why hadn't she thought of this earlier?

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So she quickly hopped on RESAAS.com, and posted an Open Referral, letting every agent in Rio know that she had a client looking for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in a child-friendly neighbourhood.

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Then she waited...

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And waited...

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It was the longest five minutes of her entire life!

Where are all the Rio agents?

Then she saw the yellow notification in the top right corner.

A response!

...from him?
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Phew!

Another response.

But this one didn't look much more promising.

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Not good enough.

She wouldn't accept anything less than the perfect match for her clients.


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Finally!

A third offer came in, one that looked too good to be true.

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This agent actually offered a referral commission that was higher than what she requested!

Things were looking better and better...

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Quick!

Let's get this deal complete before anything can go wrong.

She couldn't wait to tell her clients!

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Offer accepted!!

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Her clients were thrilled!

They couldn't believe they found a match so quickly - and they hadn't even stepped foot in Rio yet!

But Suzie played it coy.

She wasn't surprised in the slightest.

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Now it came time to wish them good luck in their new adventure.

Rather than feeling anxious and doubtful, Suzie's clients now left their old home feeling confident and excited.

"From now on," they said, "We're going to recommend you to every one of our friends!"

Their new relationship was even closer than before.


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And that's the story of a referral.

From then on out, Suzie no longer feared the dreaded moving-out-of-town client like she did before.

It was all so much easier than she expected.


Want to become a Referral Pro? 

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Day in the Life of a REALTOR: Always Knock First



This is the twentieth episode of A Day in the Life of a REALTOR® - a weekly article series published on RESAAS Blog and written by Kay Conageski

So sit back, relax, and enjoy. Kay has a story to tell...

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After making appointments and getting the clear to “go and show”, I always make it a point to knock on the door of any home I am showing, whether it’s occupied or not, just to be on the safe side of not surprising anyone – including myself, or my buyers or sellers. Of course what people do in their own homes is their business, but you have to know how to adapt to the situation when it becomes your business.

Chelsea Handler, former late night talk show host, once said that “Florida is the epicenter of all things crazy” and on most days, I tend to agree with her. While I could never picture myself living anywhere else, it is hard to believe some of the stories that come from our tri county area. But “seeing is believing” and I guess that’s why things that I see or hear from my clients nowadays don’t really ‘shock’ me anymore.  

However a few from the past have left lasting impressions I just can’t shake. 

Florida is one of only a few states that permits housing in certain locations based on age. In a very popular 55+ community, all the neighbors remind you of your parents, grandparents and even favorite aunts and uncles who are enjoying all the things they planned to do when they had the time. I was taking a listing from a referral of a woman who bought her home from me a year earlier in the community. She joined her neighbors as I sat and did the listing presentation, and when we had the deal signed, I went from room to room photographing the property. Upon returning to the kitchen, I found my former client, and new clients, along with three other friends, smoking all sorts of “plant paraphilia”, laughing and drinking and inviting me to join them later that day at their “swingers club”. Smiling, I excused myself and left, but that visual of them enjoying their libations to this day remains.

I’ve walked into homes (after knocking) where the seller was fast asleep on the couch and we couldn’t wake them up. I’ve had sellers come to the door in their pajamas and underwear, and one owner met us in his birthday suit after we entered and even yelled “Realtor coming through”, but he didn’t hear us as he came walking down the hallway from the bathroom, totally un-phased by the whole situation.  

Still other sellers were skinny dipping in their pool as buyers walked through their homes, again unscathed by the visit but happy to answer all the questions the buyers had. I’ve walked in on arguments, mealtimes, and even parties, with all of the hosts being gracious enough to invite me and my buyers to join in on dinner or the celebrations.   

But my favorite of all was when I was meeting my buyers at a brand new home that I knew was vacant.   

We had seen it a week earlier and they wanted a second look before discussing an offer. I was running a bit late, so I texted them to say I would see them soon. When I arrived their car was in the driveway, but no sign of them, except I noticed the gate to the backyard was opened so I assumed they were checking it out again. I proceeded to open the front door. Upon entering, I noticed that the slider was open and I yelled out their names but no answer. I walked down the hall to the master bedroom and opened the double doors. To my amazement there they were “christening” the room. I cleared my throat as they looked up and proudly said without any delay or embarrassment, “we’ll take the house”.    

We closed three weeks later.


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Kay Conageski is a REALTOR® with The Keyes Company, based in Plantation, Florida. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Common Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make









Life ain't always easy for the newbie.

This is especially true for the real estate industry, where it can take years to establish a reputation and a reliable client list. (We wrote on this topic back in September 2013 - read it here.)

Today's Know It Now is written by our Guest Contributor, Heather Roberts, a former REALTOR and current blogger who writes on behalf of Bayswater House and Flat Clearance. She is here to provide some useful tips for those just starting out.

Check it out!

Common Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make

There are quite a few things most real estate agents will need to cover, but the inexperience of new agents usually makes things infinitely harder. The following tips in this article will give you an idea of the possible things you can do to make working as a real estate agent easier and less prone to mistakes:

Business Plan

If you have no business plan to speak of, then this is the first mistake you have already made. A lot of new agents tend to make that mistake, since they have a completely different idea about how the business works. Most new agents have never really worked alone for the beginning of their career, so they still maintain that mentality and they tend to fail to understand the need to be independent. Keeping that in mind is one of the most important things of the real estate business if you want to stand your ground on the market. A good business plan is a must if you want to set clear goals and a future for your efforts. You need to avoid becoming a jack of all trades on the market, as this will only waste your potential. Focusing on a clear part of the business will give you a better edge in the field you specialize in, as well as the much needed experience to make it happen.


Budgeting

You need to figure a good budget out, since every expense you make as an agent will need to be kept in mind. You will need to keep these things tight and controlled, since you’re running a business and you won’t be able to avoid proper budgeting to keep them rolling. Make sure you have the right amount of funding to handle the first few months without trouble, since they will be the most important you will need to deal with in the long run.

Closing team

You need to keep in mind that working in real estate is a job that is rarely done completely alone. It will take some social contacts, research and more to get all things working together toward the successful outcome of a sale. The business itself is just as much about people as it is about the actual properties, so you will need to be versed on both paths to make it all happen. You can refer the clients you have to pretty much anyone, so you will need to make sure you are a good judge of character to connect the right people.

Tools of the trade

Make sure you have the right tools ready if you want to make sure you have things figured out. The license itself will likely set you back quite a bit and it happens that it is just a part of the preparations you will need to do to make it all happen.


Friday, November 7, 2014

A Day in the Life of a REALTOR: How Do You Rate?












This is the nineteenth episode of A Day in the Life of a REALTOR® - a weekly article series published on RESAAS Blog and written by Kay Conageski

So sit back, relax, and enjoy. Kay has a story to tell...

*     *     * 

We live in a society where we rely heavily on the recommendations of others.

Whether it’s picking the right restaurant because of the comments posted to YELP, getting a referral on a handyman who did a great job for a friend, or locating the best salon because your sister’s hair looks amazing, our world revolves around the advice that we receive from those who have tried it first.

So how do you, as an agent, stack up against all the other agents around you?

Would someone who worked with you “first” recommend you to others? Where are those comments that you received from your past clients after a successful closing? It’s great to get a thank you note or email and file it away in your WOW file – but that doesn’t help build your reputation to show future clients.  So where do you start to develop your online ranking for all the world to see?

The best place to begin – Google yourself. With Google being the largest search engine, it now processes over 40,000 search queries every second or 3.5 billion searches per day – so you better find out what others are seeing if they Google you. And make sure to set up Google Alerts for yourself to receive a notification anytime someone mentions you in a post, blog or article.

The “Big Three” – Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia make it easier than ever to get reviews posted for member agents. They even have email templates that you can use to send out to clients that allow the client to simply clicks on the link and write the review. You can then take those reviews and spread them across the social media platforms by the simple “cut, copy and paste” method and voila!  Your Kudos for a job well done is now part of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
 
But what happens if you receive a bad review? The agent is normally notified when something is ready to post and you can choose to have it flagged and reviewed by the website.  The best advice is not to get flustered over negative feedback – if the situation allows, reach out to the client who wasn’t pleased and work to resolve the issues that were present. Use these tarnished comments as training tools to better yourself for the next person.

If your agency is like mine, they send out surveys from a third party, to all buyers and sellers once the transaction is closed. It’s automatically done and the agent gets the comments back to post on their websites along with having their broker review them. This again allows for a training discussion to be had should deficiencies be prevalent, allowing for a better rapport with everyone.

The October Florida Realtor’s magazine mentioned sites such as Online Reputation Management, Trackur, and TestimonialTree.com as tools that will help you not only manage your online status, but also help get the word out when someone does want to virtually pat you on the back.

I recently had clients from Alaska moving to Florida who found me online, saw my comments and ratings from various websites, and chose me as their agent. This was the “first” time that I was aware a client chose me this way, but now that I make it a point to monitor my online presence, I hope it won’t be the last.

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Kay Conageski is a REALTOR® with The Keyes Company, based in Plantation, Florida. 

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