We’ve all seen (or have) those kids who can’t seem to be torn away from their electronics. They text, tweet, and post non-stop. While those of home-buying age aren’t generally that attached to their smart phones, they nevertheless play an important role in their everyday lives. Smart phones are increasingly used to monitor news, check email, and perform research on homes. Knowing how to market to this generation of home buyers is the key to success in the real estate field.
Generic vs. Custom
Having grown up around technology and the internet, Gen-Yers will often use a website as a rough estimate of credibility. A missing website is often taken as evidence that this person or business isn’t serious and should be approached cautiously. However, having a website isn’t a sure measure of credibility either. Having grown up around internet scams (ever been asked to financially help a Nigerian prince?), Gen-Yers are quick to assess how much time and energy has gone into a website, and assume that this is in an indicator of the time and energy that will go into the business relationship. Having your name, photo, and a short bio isn’t going to impress these viewers.
The Cost of Doing Business
It’s pretty unlikely that you would charge leads to visit your site or even browse your listings, but there are other costs that many visitors will be unwilling to pay but you may unwittingly ask. The most common one is contact information. Gen-Yers recognize that their name and email address is a form of currency. While it’s important to give visitors the opportunity to provide their contact info, requiring it can turn many potential leads off. Often, website visitors are simply seeking information and aren’t ready to be contacted yet. If they can find the information elsewhere without providing their info, they’ll skip over your site completely.
One of the most difficult aspects of modern technology is the creation of the expectation that things happen instantly. This means emails are answered, calls are returned, and posts are responded to immediately. In social media, the expectation is even higher. If you don’t return a Tweet or post within 10 minutes, you’ve likely waited too long. Develop strategies to optimize your time management. Remember that a fast response is often more valuable than a complete one. Tell your lead what you know and let them know when to expect your reply with the complete answer. That initial response is often enough to sate their appetite before you completely answer them.
Information as Power
Today’s buyers are more informed than ever before. The number one thing you can provide your leads is information. Offer free advice, market information, and property listing. Establish yourself as a valuable resource so when the time is right to buy, you’ll be at the forefront of the lead’s mind. Additionally, make sure that information is concise and easy to both find and understand. You don’t want to sound as if you’re making a sales pitch rather than providing value, value, value.