Reel ’em in! Engaging your clients with your website’s search tools
We get so used to our real estate websites and the system and tools that power them, that sometimes we forget that our clients might not know all of the ins and outs of their own sites. So, we’re taking to the blog to get the word out about the gold mine of tools that all of our clients are sitting on. Now, for all of our clients out there, we know that you’re busy with a wide variety of responsibilities, and we never want to add to your already long to-do lists, but we do have some handy tips for how you can harness the engagement tools on your website to save time and keep your clients up to date with branded, automatic MLS updates. What do we mean by engagement tools? On the whole, your real estate website is built to provide immediate access to MLS data. That’s a no-brainer. But, we take it even further so that when a user signs up on the site, she can sign up for automatic emails so that she’s immediately alerted as relevant listings come on the market. Not only will those automatic emails keep her engaged throughout her search process, they’ll also help you keep tabs on what she’s looking at. In addition, if you’re showing her listings and realize that what she’s looking for has changed, you can just update her search so she gets more fitting results. But, it’s all pretty abstract until you actually test these tools out. So, when you have ten minutes, I urge you to follow the below steps so that you’re an effective advocate of your own website’s tools. Testing the water:
- First, save a search and a favorite for yourself! Just go to your website, register or log in using the register tools and perform a search. Next, click on the “save search” button at the very top. Note: if you have more than 200 search results, you’ll need to narrow your search further to save it.
- Then, check your email. You’ll have a confirmation email from the site and will start getting daily updates about your property search. While you’re always going to be up on the market as a REALTOR, this is even a tool that you can use to stay up on trends and new listings.
- While you’re trying out your own tools, go back to the site and choose a few favorite properties. Save those listings as favorites so you can refer back to them later. While less applicable for you as a REALTOR, saving favorites for your clients is a great idea, since it’s essentially a bookmarked gallery of favorite properties, so it’s a good idea to know how the tool works.
- Now that you have searches and favorites saved, you can always log in and edit any of your search details.
Becoming your clients’ search guide Once you’ve tried out the tools on your end, you should have some familiarity with how the system works. Now it’s time to translate those benefits to your clients. We’ve always encouraged you to sign your buyers up on the front end of your website, but we’ve recently updated the admin system to allow you to do everything in the back end. So, you now have a few ways to sign up a user on your site. From the front end: If you’re in a meeting with a client, bring up your website, click on the “join now” button anywhere on your site and enter her email address, name and desired password. She’ll automatically get a confirmation email in her inbox with all of her account information at this point so she can return to the site later. You’ll now be logged in as her on the site. Note: for office sites, just remember to assign the correct agent (you!) to a client as you set her up with an account. Then, start searching with your client on the site. Is she looking for a 3 bedroom Cape in a specific neighborhood? Once you’ve landed on the right search for your client, just hit the “save search” button. Your client will now get daily updates from the site (and completely branded to you) when new listings hit the market and when listings are updated. As you narrow down her search to some key properties, make sure to click on the “save favorite” button on the listing page. As an alternative, you can share listings to her Facebook, twitter, pinterest or google plus accounts, as well as through good old fashioned email. Any of these options will help to remind your client that you know what she’s looking for and are there to help. From your admin interface: Until recently, you could only manage users’ registration, searches and favorites through the above steps. But, we’ve updated admin.unionstmedia.com to allow you to update everything about your user accounts from the “clients” page.
This isn’t just useful for a user you’ve signed up yourself. You can now add searches and favorites for any of the leads that have come in to your website. The more you know about what your clients are seeing, the better you’ll be able to explain your services and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Some of your clients may not be interested in these tools, but no matter what, you can also use these tools to keep track of what your buyers are looking for. If you have questions about any of these steps, or are looking for ways to improve your lead conversion and engagement, especially with the launch of our Compass tools, just give me or Megan a ring.