We need to talk. The four words that nobody ever wants to hear. How can I help? The four words that most, if not all, people would love to hear. Why? Well for one, because they’re the start of a conversation.

One of the hottest trends in digital marketing is conversational marketing. Conversational marketing isn’t new – it’s been around since 2019 – and its popularity has grown significantly due to the shifts in consumer behavior that started before and were accelerated by the pandemic.

What is Conversational Marketing?

Conversational marketing is when you engage with your potential, current, and past customers in real time and in as personalized a way as possible. You create fast, authentic connections through conversations and as a result, increase conversions.

Conversational marketing can and should occur across channels, and when done well it involves multiple tools. Read on to learn more about what conversational marketing entails and why your real estate digital marketing strategy should include it. 

How Does Conversational Marketing Work?

To implement a conversational marketing strategy, you first need tools that allow you to deliver personalized communication at scale in near real time. These include:

  1. Chatbots – chatbots are a highly effective and scalable way to engage potential customers, as well as to provide 24/7 customer service if and when it makes sense for your real estate business. According to a Gartner study, by 2022, “70% of white-collar workers will interact with conversational platforms on a daily basis.” Chatbots use artificial intelligence (AI) to mimic human conversations and have become both increasingly realistic and widely accepted. Chatbots use conditional programming to ask potential customers a series of questions and depending on their answers, tailor how they respond and where they direct people. Different companies provide different levels of support and customization (we love Commversion’s white glove service). They are easy to set up on your website and relatively inexpensive, as pricing is usually based on leads generated (either as a cost per lead or by lead volume).
  2. Live chat – live chat is software you can add to your website that’s different from automated chat software or chatbots because it lets users send a message directly to you or a team member in real time, as opposed to using conditional programming and pre-written scripts. Live chat can be highly effective, especially when used in conjunction with automated chatbots.
  3. Live streaming video – live streaming video and video services have become increasingly popular, and for good reason. Live product demos and real time Q&As can be particularly effective. These can be as simple as a Facebook Live video where you also actively ask for and answer questions, or you can use software like eWebinar to conduct multiple semi-live sessions simultaneously. With eWebinar, you can host multiple webinars where you deliver educational content via pre-recorded video, such as new homebuyer seminars, market updates, and agent training, and get alerted when somebody has a question so you can pop-in and answer it. Whether you’re fully live or using a partially recorded, partially live format, the conversational aspects of video are one of the reasons people remember videos they watched far longer than they remember something they read and certainly a one-way action like requesting a home valuation.

There are other channels through which conversational marketing can and should occur, such as email marketing, voice applications (and voice-driven SEO), and SMS/text messaging. Marketing automation tools exist to streamline and scale your customer interaction across these channels as well, and there are abundant options for content you can leverage, from surveys and polls to a simple question or emoji. Many CRMs offer conversational features too, like Follow Up Boss’ automated, customized texting feature and LionDesk’s AI-driven lead follow up. Usually all that’s required to leverage these features is some extra set up work and thinking through your different customers’ needs. 

We would love to share more about our favorite conversational marketing strategies for real estate. Interested? Let’s start a conversation!