Derek and I have known each other for a number of years, but just recently started working together. I’ve always known he had his finger on the pulse of technology, but didn’t see the full extent of it until I spent the day at his office with him and his team. Here are a couple of items we touched on throughout the day.
Seth Kaplan: You recently redesigned your firm’s For Sale sign panel to include a text-for-info option. What led to this change?
Derek Beatrice: In today’s real estate market, buyers want the information now. With the new sign panels, we can deliver what the buyer wants: video, colorful photos, detailed listing information, price, and more, while they’re sitting in their car in front of the property. Furthermore, the agent—or an inside sales agent—can call the buyer immediately to set up an appointment. It’s a win-win; The buyer gets the information they want, and the agent captures their information at the same time.
SK: Do you see a global shift in communication away from phone calls and toward other technologies like text with buyers, sellers and your agents?
DB: We use several lead-generation systems between the two EXIT Realty offices I own, and the preferred communication style among potential buyers is text messaging. When a new lead comes into the CRM, we automatically call, email and text. Nine times out of 10, the buyer will text back before they email or call. We have many theories on why text messaging works, the first being that people constantly get too much junk email. The second reason is that buyers and sellers want to communicate on their timeline; Employers monitor email and Web activity, but not their personal cellphones. In the beginning, we thought it would be a millennial deal, but we’re finding it holds true with most buyers today.
SK: Besides text, what other technology medium do you find most effective from a marketing standpoint?
DB: Besides the For Sale sign, the most effective marketing we do is on social media. Through Facebook advertising, we can get the cost-per-click to be $0.10 – $0.15, and the cost-per-impression down to well under $0.01 (in most cases we see $0.005). Compare that to what you’re paying on Zillow, Trulia, realtor.com®, etc., and there’s no comparison. The second tool we use is direct mail. Direct mail works when you include a call to action, whether it’s an SMS, website, etc. When we combine a direct mail campaign with social media, we make a true local impact.
Final Thought: What struck me most about seeing Derek and his team in action is how they coordinate all the various marketing programs they’re running into a clearly communicated plan. They aren’t doing everything for everyone, but what they do works together for the market segment they’re targeting.
Derek Beatrice is the CEO of Growth & Development for EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates and has been active in the real estate community for 10 years.
Seth Kaplan is president of MRE – Win Local®.
For more information, visit www.mobilerealestateid.com.