5 Pieces of Wisdom Real Estate Must Learn from Uber

Every two years the Property Council of Australia and EY publishes a study on women in real estate. These studies take the pulse on women’s status in real estate and are an opportunity for women’s voices to be heard.

Is there an Uber of real estate coming to disrupt the entire industry?

The answer is yes, but disruption in real estate is going to start at the grassroots level with agents who embrace change.

Uber disrupts because they listen to customers, adopt the right technology and adapt with genius long-term strategies. Read on to find out how you can disrupt like Uber for long-term success in real estate.

How to Create Seamless Customer Experiences with Technology

The cab companies had a massive efficiency problem and Uber knew they could disrupt their industry with technology.

By focusing on software, Uber saved on overheads to gain an advantage over cab companies which had to pay for vehicle repairs, employee benefits and wages, and call centre staff.

Agents can use technology to disrupt in the same way.

Think about it like this: you can spend 15 minutes setting up a personalised email to go out to your database of 500 contacts. The leads you generate from that email give you an idea of who is in the market right now and lets you know who to speak to.

Best of all, it saves you hours cold calling. If you had to spend 5 minutes cold call everyone in your database, contacting the 500 contacts would take over 40 hours.

That’s a full week!  

Technology allows you to work smarter, not harder. The tricky part is knowing what the right technology for real estate is.

Why you Need to Embrace the Right Technology

The trick to being disruptive is choosing the right technology for your customer base and business case.

For Uber, this meant the smartphone because the technology is popular, it lets people connect to the internet and people always have them on hand. Unlike cabs, an Uber customer never has to hold the line, like they might if they called a cab company at a busy time.

Uber used the right technology to make it easier for people to become customers.

The right technology for agents is tablets and email.

Email, for example, allows agents to show properties to large groups of people. Everyone has email, so you are casting a wide net that will catch more customers.

Tablets are easier than laptops for a busy agent to use on the go. They are also perfect for gathering data at open homes because they are easy to pass around to multiple prospective buyers

How to Listen to Your Customers

One of the things that made it so easy for Uber to steal business was that people hated taxis. Consumer frustration is a powerful force for disruption and brand loyalty is a powerful thing.

The internet provides the best agents with a powerful opportunity to disrupt agents who are being slack on customer service.

AI makes it possible to automate communications and stay front of mind with buyers and vendors. Online services like ratemyagent.com.au make it possible to develop a good reputation and find new contacts outside your database.

You might be wondering how you can stay ahead of other disruptors who use this technology. Uber has a lesson for expert disruptors here too.

How to Adapt and be Original

Uber isn’t a taxi company any more. They deliver food. You can rent an Uber bicycle. In 2020 Uber will deliver UberAIR, which will offer short flights.

When Uber launched they were the rideshare company, which gave them a head start over everyone who came after them. When other competitors like Lyft, DiDi and Ola came along, they didn’t just stand still. They diversified.

There are a lot of agents in the world, so it’s crucial for you to stand out to your contacts. After all, only one agent can sell a person’s house so you need to make sure it’s you.

Originality in real estate used to be video blogs, or gifts at an OFI.

What’s original in 2019? Well, if we told you that it wouldn’t be original anymore (you’ll have to come up with the idea yourself!).

When you come up with your million-dollar idea for marketing your properties remember that you can’t depend on a gimmick.

What’s Important about Thinking Long-term

Uber is trying to build self-driving cars. Why? Because they don’t want someone else to invent it first and disrupt them like they disrupted the taxi companies.

To think about long-term technological prospects is to prepare for and guarantee long-term success.

If the taxi companies had invested more resources into an app before Uber, they might not have lost so much business to them. As it stands, they failed to understand what their customers wanted and had a lack of imagination about what kind of disruption technology could bring.

Like the Uber of real estate, the best agent in the future is the agent who listens to their customers and adapts to disruption by implementing the right technology.  

Want to Disrupt Like Uber?

Make sure you’re a disruptive agent. Get in touch to embrace the best email marketing tech and make sure you remain the ahead of the competition.


LEARN HOW

     

 

Agility in the Workplace: How to Adapt to Technology So That You Can Get Ahead

As the business of real estate moves ever forward, there’s an inevitable push towards automating processes and incorporating more technology into the roles and expectations of agents.

Change can be scary, and for established employees, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is an understandable gripe. The work day is already packed to the rafters, so finding the time to learn an unfamiliar system is a non-priority task that ends up at the bottom of the to-do list.

Over the years, I’ve seen many employees shine through the uncertainty of the ‘new’ and leverage themselves as invaluable upskillers, reaping the benefits of their increased productivity. I’ve also witnessed many succumb to the short-term anxiety of unfamiliarity and fail to capitalise on the opportunities within the challenge.

You can guess which group strode ahead, time and time again.

Real estate will always rely on exceptional human interactions, but the ability to react quickly to the changing tech landscape is imperative for survival.

Here are my tips on how to stay tech agile so that you can get ahead in real estate and make yourself indispensable to your employer.

Show Enthusiasm

Change is inevitable, so don’t bother dragging your feet in the mud, you’ll only appear stagnant. Even if you’re a full-blown skeptic, fake it til you make it. Have a positive attitude and step up as the early-adopter who helps others in the office get excited too. It won’t go unnoticed.

Use It as a Selling Tool

Savvy ActivePipe agents showcase the platform in their listing presentations to demonstrate how easy it is to find premium buyers for the client’s property. This is often enough to get them over the line and secure their business.

You can use this strategy for any new technology. Think about what the client gets out of it. Can you work that into your pitch and turn it into a selling tool? It might be the push you need to get around the product yourself.

Don’t Let Initial Failures Bog You Down

Just log in. The first time you poke around a new system, it’s normal to feel like a bit of a failure because you don’t completely understand what you’re doing. Don’t let this stop you. The more you log in and try, the more familiar it will become.

Compare it to the first time you started working in sales. I’m sure we can all look back and cringe on mistakes we made in the early days of our career, but if we had let that failure consume us, we wouldn’t have learnt how to do things differently. To do things better.

The Lowdown

We don’t have much control over the new technology that enters our lives, or the direction that a company takes when implementing it across the business.

What we do have control over is our attitude when we are faced with new opportunities. The best agents I know have one incredible trait in common. Their ability to adapt and make the best of the situation in front of them allows them to thrive, no matter what. They are always looking for the next challenge.

Technology like ActivePipe is there to make your life easier. It only takes a little effort to give it a go and ensure that you’ll stay relevant within the industry for years to come.

We’ve got plenty of content to help you get ahead. Join the thousands of agents who follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

How Thought-leaders Maintain Relationships to Improve Long-term Portfolio Strength

On average, any property will be bought and sold every ten years. ActivePipe SmartFeeds helps agents become thought-leaders to stay front-of-mind until contacts are re-active in the market. Find out how it works and how we’re making it better!

Imagine you’ve just sold someone a house.

We know that a property will exchange hands every ten years on average, but your customers might sell more frequently. This makes it difficult to know exactly when contact interest in the market will peak.

One solution is thought-leadership, which many agents use to engage active and inactive contacts.

That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to show you how you can save time building your thought-leadership platform, and make customers for life.

How to Stay Front of Mind, Long Term

A property owner never stops caring about their property, so you can always guarantee they will have a level of interest in the market.

Most people aren’t real estate experts (as you know, all too well) and can often feel intimidated or inundated without access to reliable information channels.

For this reason, people look to thought-leaders.

Thought-leaders can remain front of mind with contacts even when those contacts aren’t actively looking at property.

It comes down to a value exchange.

Make it easy for people to get the information they want, so they don’t have to look for it. People who aren’t interested in your weekly listings can be engaged with broader updates and information that is relevant to real estate.

Content Ideas for New Thought-leaders

Becoming a thought-leader isn’t as simple as it looks. The most successful thought-leaders in any industry can sometimes spend years trying to develop a following.

The first thing you need is an idea. New technology is great for sharing, but old technology (pen and paper) is sometimes best for coming up with ideas.

In the brainstorming process, think about your target audience (property owners), and what they need or want to know.

For agents, good topics to cover are:

  • Local community news and events
  • General commentary on the property market
  • Trends in interior design and renovation

These are just some basic ideas to get you started. Use these to inspire your own creativity. In this day and age, it’s easier than ever to start your own blog.

If blogging isn’t for you, there are heaps of websites online with sharable content that you can tap into.  Even if you aren’t necessarily creating all your own content, people will still come to you as a source of information if you’re sharing the best content from around the web.

Again, developing a following takes time. Don’t let yourself get discouraged if you don’t immediately see the results you dream of.

Now that you’ve got the content, only one question remains:

How do you share it?

The Easiest Way to Reach Your Audience

SmartFeeds is the digital tool that makes thought-leadership easy.

Email marketing has high engagement in all industries, so it makes sense to use a tool that taps into email and is the reason we’ve developed the ActivePipe SmartFeeds feature.

When you use SmartFeeds in an email, the ActivePipe Feed Engine:

  1. Goes to a website of your choice, such as a blog
  2. Fetches information about that content
  3. Automatically loads that information into an email

From there, it’s easy to send emails to your database that help to improve contact engagement with your emails.

Follow these steps and you become the obvious first point of contact for any client when they re-enter the market, whether that’s in 2 years time, or twenty.

Be the thought-leader that people follow.

 

Simple Email Tips for Realtors

Email is well and truly established as the premium marketing tool for top realtors across the country.

It boasts a 66% lead conversion rate, is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter at acquiring new customers and is considered the preferred method of communication by 61% of American consumers.

These are impressive figures, which aren’t all that surprising when you consider that 95% of us have an email account we check multiple times per day.

So, if you’ve been thinking about taking your marketing efforts to the next level but don’t know where to begin, we’ve put together some simple tips to help you get started.

Begin with a Strong Subject Line

There’s no point sending an email if it’s not going to be opened. That’s why it’s important that you capture attention with the right subject line. Short and sweet (5-9 words is optimal) is the name of the game and personalizing with neighborhood information such as local listings or attractions will set you apart from your competitors. Research tells us that subject line personalization leads to a 26% higher chance of your email being engaged with!

Finish with a Call to Action that inspires… Action!

Just as there’s no point sending an email that won’t be opened, there’s no point sending one that doesn’t drive the reader to take action.

As the realtor, it’s your job to direct your audience with a clear and concise CTA so they know exactly what to do.

Include action verbs that persuade:

“Get more information on this home now”, “Call me to discuss your next home” and “View listings in [your community] now!” are a great place to start.

Engage and Send

Keep emails relevant and engaging. Rather than spraying your contacts with content that may or may not apply to them, keep your advertised listings local and neighborhood news recent. Look to Google for inspiration. There are plenty of examples of great real estate emails you can draw inspiration from. Just make sure you add your own personal touch to convey authenticity.

Once you’re happy with the body of your email, think about the timing and volume of your sends. Once to twice a week is desirable but everyone is different and it may take a bit of trial and error to find what works best for you. Whatever you decide, consistency is key to staying front of mind.

Don’t Stop Learning

This is just the basics to start you on your journey. Explore the ActivePipe blog to discover more in-depth and expert advice on creating a successful email marketing strategy or speak to one of our client success specialists today.

Ebany’s Top 5 Tips for Getting Started with ActivePipe

“You’ve just got to jump in and have a swim around.”

That was the advice from one of our happy clients, Reece Prewett, when asked what he’d tell other agents and principals thinking about giving ActivePipe a go.

I completely agree with Reece, but I also believe that to make the best of your time in the water you need a few lane ropes around to help keep you on track.

No matter what, if you’re willing to try something new, ActivePipe will revolutionise your business; start your journey right  and you’ll ensure that your results are supercharged and that you see them quick stat.

Here are my top five tips for getting off on the right foot as you begin your new life landing infinite leads, saving hours in your week and creating customers that will come back to you time and time again.

Gotta Start Somewhere

Login! This is where Reece’s advice really rings true. ActivePipe is designed to be easy and fun, so the first thing you should do is have a poke around. Try building an email. You can drag and drop images, text, and even content from other people’s websites. Practice your skills without the worry of breaking anything. If you build something fun, send it to yourself or a friend to see the finished result!

Get Your CRM in Check

This is a great excuse to consolidate. Do you have a notebook somewhere with a list of contacts you never got round to entering into your database? Or perhaps your phone is full of names you’ve collected out in the field that never made it to the desktop? Well, this is the time to sort it out. Get every name you can into the system so that ActivePipe can start discovering their buying and selling intentions.

Play the Name Game

Don’t settle for Mr and Mrs. As much as possible, try and get hold of first names too. This is important for the open rate of your emails. It’s accepted across the board that people will notice and respond best to emails that are personalised with their first name. The beauty of ActivePipe is that as long as that name is entered, the platform will do the hard work and personalise your emails for you.

Assign(ment)

Clean up your data by making sure all your contacts have been assigned. You know that amazing feeling you get after a big spring tidy up? That’s how good you’re going to feel once you’ve organised your database. Make sure duplicates are deleted for that extra squeaky clean goodness.

Get Creative

If a contact is receiving emails from you, chances are they’re receiving material from other agents too. When you think about how many emails, messages and newsfeeds pass in front of our eyes each day, it’s no surprise that even the most well-intentioned send can slip through the cracks, never to be seen again. Give yourself the best chance of standing out from the crowd by getting your head into ‘creative mode’. Start thinking of interesting and original ways to get your message to your audience. Google trending topics, .gifs, upcoming entertainment in your area and anything else you can think of that might catch and hold attention. Have fun with it!

What Next?

Now that you’re getting comfortable and have sent a few campaigns out, why not log into our training centre and watch our short tips and tricks videos which will help you become an ActivePipe pro with a pile of listings you’re colleagues will be envious of.

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Seventeen Appraisal Requests in 24 Hours: The Story of Ray White Sandringham

Implementing new technology in an office, group or brand level is never an easy feat for the poor tech officer in charge of facilitating its rollout. Once they’ve convinced those up top that the product will return a solid ROI, they then face the mammoth task of persuading a bunch of notoriously time-poor agents to not only spend precious hours learning the system but to maintain momentum once the initial push has subsided.

Sammie Johnson, the Systems & Technology Trainer for City Realty in New Zealand, is all too aware of the difficulties.

Being in the Tech Team, we sometimes find it hard to push technology that I know will improve their business. You have to pitch it to them in dollar format, and generally most won’t get onboard…until they see someone else making money or progress from it.”

After seeing the results ActivePipe was generating for other Ray White agents, Sammie insisted that her group of offices sign up too. Expecting inevitable pushback, she couldn’t believe what happened next.

When her Sandringham office tentatively switched on the platform one Wednesday afternoon, something magical occurred. By the next day, they’d secured a whopping 17 appraisal requests and excitement was in the air as the team realised that this was just the beginning.

“It’s just a huge game changer for us. These are crazy numbers! Plus, it’s really simple and user friendly,” says Sammie.

No one in the office was more excited than Susan Woods-Markwick. In the first 30 minutes of ActivePipe she’d landed 7 appraisal requests. The multi award-winning agent is already known as a powerhouse in Auckland but now she had access to a system that was only going to skyrocket her business further.

“It’s exciting and liberating! Keep it coming!” she says.

Susan’s principal, Phil Horrobin, knew that it was going to change the way he ran and trained the staff in his office.

“It’s going to be a significant part of our business, you know. I mean data is so readily available now that we see agents growing their databases like it’s a kind of obsession. Actually being able to manage and communicate with them though is a whole other level. So, now with ActivePipe you could have an agent with a database of 10,000 people but they’ll actually be speaking to the right people, at the right time, as opposed to sitting down and making ten cold calls from that 10,000. So it’s going to be a big change for us”.

Do you remember Sammie’s initial concern about getting agents onboard with the platform? Well, after seeing the results in Sandringham, the other offices under her technological gaze couldn’t be more eager to follow suit.

“It’s a big step forward and a big game changer for our growth. It’s great, we’re very happy about it. We love ActivePipe!”

So, success all round for Sammie Johnson and the team at Ray White Sandringham.

Congratulations!

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Personal vs Personalised: Why the Difference Matters for Agents

The word “personalised” gets thrown around a lot these days. Saying that something is personalised isn’t just a fancy way to say personal. It has its own meaning. Read on to find out what those meanings are and why the difference between what’s personal and the personalised is relevant to agents.

What’s the Difference, Technically?

As an agent, you’ve probably used a “personal touch” and “personalisation” in your customer journeys, even if you haven’t realised it.

“Personal” is a describing word. It means that something is private or unique to a particular person.

“Personalised” is a doing word. It’s all about action and means that something has been made for a particular person.

These may just be words, but the ideas behind them carry weight.

What matters is how you understand the relationship between these two ideas and how you can use that understanding to improve your customer relationships.

Why Agents Should Care

As an agent, for example, you might sometimes add a personal touch. This could mean giving out pens with your name on it, or property profiles with your face on it. Some of the big-figure agents even take it as far as rolling out champagne for an open house!

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to add a personal touch. A personal touch just means doing something to make people recognise and remember the agent they’re dealing with.

This tactic is as old as the real estate game itself.

Making something personalised, on the other hand, is more new-school.

To personalise something is to make it unique to the customer.

More and more businesses are starting to do this. It’s easier than ever to order a t-shirt with a personal message or photo on it. Facebook creates personal videos about peoples’ online friendships and lets their users share them on their wall.

Technology has dawned a revolution in personalisation.

These companies are only making one product, but they change them so that each item is completely unique to the customer.

This takes the guesswork out of marketing and product creation.

In the past, companies had to try and create one product or marketing campaign that worked for the majority of their target market. The genius of modern personalisation is that it lets the customer create the product that’s perfect for themselves!

For the Last Time: How Does this Help Agents!?

To be fair, personalisation isn’t completely new to real estate.

Think of the classic: the agent Christmas card campaign, where an agent handwrites personal messages to everyone in their database. Some of the top agents even do this for all their contacts’ birthdays as well.

At least, it used to be just the top agents.

These days any agent can easily personalise in two steps.

First, you need to know about your contacts to be able to cater to their unique personalities. The obvious details to find out are name, phone, address. On top of that, go the extra mile.

What are your contact’s interests? Do you know what food they like? Do they have a pet?

This level of detail might seem like overkill, but people are doing it. It’s how you get ahead. Knowing these things about a person helps you build stronger relationships with your database.

Getting this information can be easy, if you’re a good listener. You’ll be surprised what kinds of information people reveal about themselves in casual conversations.

To keep track of all your contacts’ details, add an extra column in your database. The great thing about digital contact lists is that you can add heaps of custom fields without your data getting completely out of control.

Once you’ve got an idea about who your contacts are as people, the second step is easy.

There are heaps of digital platforms that let you integrate with you database and send personalised messages to your contacts.

Google Calendar is great example. Just plug your contacts’ birthdays into your calendar and send people a text when you get a notification. If you’re really clever, you can even use a third party app to send the texts for you automatically.

Technology has improved personalisation so that, like Facebook, any agent can deliver digital messaging that is unique to individuals.

What is the difference in something that is personal versus personalisation?

Something that is personalised (made for a particular person) lets you have a personal conversation (unique to an individual).

The ideas don’t compete with each other, rather the personal and personalisation compliment each other.

Things that are personal and personalised aren’t the same thing, but when your sales pitch contains both, it helps you have the better conversations that make customers for life.

 

To learn more about how ActivePipe can help you automate personalised comms, speak to one of our automation experts.


HAVE A CHAT

How Many Emails are Too Many Emails?

I love training new ActivePipe users.

I get a real kick out of how excited they get as we work through the platform together. It’s like skipping straight to the tearjerker at the end of the movie, when the lead character realises that after all these years and all these hardships, their life is about to make a drastic change for the better.

It might sound extreme, but in my experience, that’s the power of this platform.

As I’ve finessed my skills as a trainer, I’ve found that the number of questions I’m asked during a session is diminishing. There is one regular though that consistently rears its head and is deserving of some explanation.

How Many Emails are Too Many Emails?

I hear this all the time.

No one wants to be a ‘spray and pray’ marketer and BSOs are rightfully wary of the term ‘automation’. They know that how often you send affects engagement rates and as a result, how many listings you land.

So how many are too many? How many are not enough? Should an agent put on the brakes or step on the throttle?

At the end of the day, there is no ‘magic email number.’ You’re better off focusing on a few simple rules which will guarantee that your emails are well-received and bursting with value.

Here’s what I recommend.

Content, Content, Content

Before you send anything out, you need to ask yourself, “What value will my audience gain from receiving this message?”

Many email automation providers simply send the same email to everyone on a list. Naturally, this means that for many receivers, the emails are going to be ‘low-value’ and you’ll notice open and click-through rates drop whilst unsubscribes soar.

This is where intuitive software like ActivePipe can help. Because the content of your emails tailors to the requirements of each individual in your database, you know that they’re only receiving information relative to their needs. Voila! High-value information equals high-value engagement.

An Out of Control Database

The cleaner your database, the better your emails will perform. It’s as simple as that. Database maintenance may feel like the last priority on your to-do list but the truth is, an agent is only as good as their contacts. If your list is clean and you’re only sending properties to interested parties, 9 times out of 10, they’ll be salivating for your next move.

U.G.L.Y

The presentation of your email is paramount. If it’s poorly arranged, the images aren’t crisp or your fonts are dated and tasteless you’re in big trouble. If an email is unpleasant to look at, it doesn’t matter how great your listings are, you’re going to look unprofessional and ultimately end up in the dreaded trash can.

No CTAs

Are your emails not producing many inquiries? Make sure that your CTAs are in check. By making it as simple as possible to get in touch, you’ll encourage anyone who’s sitting on the fence to get in contact with you regardless. Capitalise on people’s laziness.

So That’s the Secret!

At the end of the day, it all comes down to value. If your emails contain relevant information, are easy to read and include a clear call-to-action, the number of emails you send out isn’t that important. With a little trial and error, you’ll naturally find your own ‘magic email number’ and there’s no better number for you than that. 

If you’d like to speak to someone about how you can create and automate emails bursting with value, get in touch with Ebany and the team here.

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Buxton: Hyper Relationships through Boutique Singularity

In my journey to understand the inner workings of Australasia’s best real estate brands, I’ve been captivated by the concept of utilising technology to curate personalisation en masse. Successfully integrating automated systems into an industry that relies so heavily on interpersonal interaction isn’t easy and many brands have suffered through the teething process of trying to perfect the balance between efficiency and providing a service that maintains real estate’s integral personal touch.

One brand that has seamlessly mastered this domain is Buxton. Through smart database setups that allow each agent to build hyper relationships with their clients, Buxton is changing the way we think about email automation and its often misconceived perception as a vessel for impersonal spam.

I sat down with Buxton CEO, Nathan Jones and Operations Manager, Fiona White to find out how this boutique brand has positioned itself as one of Victoria’s most personal real estate groups.

At ActivePipe, we are driven to personalise the email communication experience for real estate customers whilst giving agents the ease of intuitive automation. You have taken it to the next level at Buxton. Can you tell me about how you’re achieving this?

Nathan: We’ve set up our database so that every contact in the system is only ever hearing from one agent. The difference between our database and other brands is they have all these siloed databases whilst we just have one. This means that no matter whether a contact has gone to different agent’s OFIs or bought property off someone else, they are still the client of that original agent.

We just wanted to make sure that we never had a scenario where two Buxton agents were sending eDMs to the one person with the same properties or even different types of properties. Relationship singularity is extremely important to us.

We’re trying to build the hyper relationship between the agent and the client through these eDMs and ultimately that came down to us making sure that we weren’t competing with ourselves.

How did ActivePipe help you achieve this?

Nathan: In terms of building out the customer journey, we had been running with a couple of ideas for a few years but the system we were using was a bit like a dumbwaiter. There was no feedback and no intuitive AI behind it to tell us to send out another communication after someone had engaged. It was just, ‘On Thursdays this email goes out’ or ‘On Fridays this email goes out’. We still had that one-on-one contact but there was nothing smart about it. So the ultimate leap for us was taking it to the next level with ActivePipe.

So in terms of your nurture program, imagine that I’m a dormant lead and haven’t spoken to someone from Buxton for a significant period of time. How do you trigger off a journey?

Fiona:  We send out ActivePipe’s Data Discovery Surveys once a quarter. That’s just if they haven’t interacted with any correspondence from us. They’ll also receive monthly ‘Sold’ reports for their desired area. So, regardless of whether you’re interacting or not, you’ll always get an email from us once a month and then quarterly with the Data Discovery Survey.

This leads perfectly into my next question which is around clean data. The Data Discovery Surveys are so effective at keeping a well-maintained database, which Buxton agents are great at. What are some of the benefits you are leveraging through this information?

Fiona: It’s so easy to forecast behaviour when you use the dashboard properly. You can see people’s home address, where they’ve been searching and you can see that they’ve been self-appraising among other things. You’ve got that next level of data rather than just, ‘Oh, I’ve got their address’ or ‘I know where they live’. Our agents are able to have a personalised conversation with their contacts.

Nathan: The piece of data that I’ve always found missing on real estate databases which I find slightly comical is a property address. We’re in the business of building relationships and transacting on properties, so it would be handy to know where people lived. If you know where someone lives, what you can do is pretty limitless in terms of the information that you serve them. Without it, you’re fighting with one arm tied behind your back. That is the importance of clean data, of quality data. If you don’t have it, you’re going to struggle.

I want to know more about how you’re helping create better experiences for your customers. How receptive are they being to the automated comms being sent to them? Are they receptive it or are you getting pushback?

Nathan: We’re not having pushback at all. People want customised marketing. They don’t want generic, impersonal communication coming through. If people shop at Country Road, it asks them to put in their size, height, shape and all of a sudden they start sending comms featuring appropriate clothes. It’s the same thing. People don’t have to time to sift through hundreds of messages to find the two that make sense. They just want the two that make sense. That’s the beauty of what I call the pre-framing process with ActivePipe.

I’m particularly interested around branding and how you maintain brand integrity. How can an agent maintain their individuality without jeopardising the Buxton brand?

Nathan: So for us, it’s all about freedom within boundaries. We create the boundaries of the email templates, and some are tighter than others. With ActivePipe we’ve been able to lock down as much as we feel we need to in terms of branding and logos. In terms of content, we create an absolute truckload of it on a daily basis that we encourage people to use. We don’t limit or cap how much or how little agents use but at least they don’t have to go out there and try and create it themselves. We have a range of blog posts, social posts, local business interviews, photography and trends. Anything you can think of, our social and media team create. Then it’s up to the agents to drag-and-drop what they want.

There’s so much to talk about in terms of technology and training your agents around this technology that we will talk about in our next catch up. Is there anything more you’d like to finish off with today in regards to personalisation and the methods you’re implementing to ensure it?

Nathan: Just that in all honesty the number of non-direct inquiries to our website has been significantly reduced post-ActivePipe, even though our traffic volume has drastically increased, thanks to clicks from the properties and content in our ActivePipe emails. The communication is so targeted that without knowing it, our agents are building a one-on-one relationship with clients and when these clients are clicking on emails they’re just going straight to the agent.

We deliver both automated and customised content, so irrespective of individual agent time constraints, we know at a minimum that we control a certain level of communication with our clients and contacts. Every single email comes from the individual; i.e. John Smith at Buxton, not an impersonal ‘no reply’ at Buxton. It’s as simple as that.

 

Keep an eye out in the next few weeks for part two of my interview with Nathan and Fiona.

If you’d like to speak to someone from ActivePipe about how you can personalise your communications and increase website traffic, get in touch here.

 

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Let’s Talk About Genuine Automation

Not very many agents or administrators, if any, are aware of the full potential in marketing automation available to them in the real estate space.

When the term “email automation” is mentioned in conversation, most administrators point out that they have access to software that enables them to send out an email next week that will repeat the week after.

“…We create the one email and that goes out week after week. It’s set and forget.”

That isn’t really automation though, is it? That’s repetition at best, and the sole cause of all the spam that we see in our industry. Whose clients are yearning to see the same email spammed to them week after week? Certainly not our clients.

Worldwide, email is still considered to be one of the best means of connection — if it’s done right. If though, you are sending the same benign list of “fresh stock” each week, do so at your own risk — and pay the price. You’ll end up with a diminishing email database full of buyers, sellers and investors who are disconnected from you and uninterested in your content.

Let’s Talk About Genuine Automation

Did you know that ActivePipe listens to your clients preferences and can subsequently refine the information being sent to them, based on their needs?

Each week, we are sending millions of emails that are completely tailored to the individual receiving them, based on price, configuration, location and property type: For Sale or Sold, based on the client’s intentions. This means the relevance score is up, and the likelihood of unsubscription is down.

We can also tag and re-tag clients based on their behaviours and needs, which can, in fact, pivot and continue to tailor the content and journey those clients are on. This means that they are getting the right information, based entirely on their genuine needs.

Genuine automation means intuitive, thoughtful and targeted communications. The polar opposite of spam.

When working with some of the worlds biggest brands and boutique agencies we have taken notes on what is available and what is missing and we developed ActivePipe ENTERPRISE as the solution.

Enterprise enables you to set and forget certain journeys, based on your client’s behaviours that align them with the journey that suits their needs. For instance, an investor could quite comfortably and happily be contacted ten or twelve times a year, as long as the information is relevant to their investment needs.

Likewise, first home buyers are absolutely busting for the right information that enables them to buy the property they’re looking for, as well as guidance around finance and the real estate market. All of which can be catered for automatically, as long as that’s the journey they’re on.

Many agents address the investor in this scenario with the first home buyer, in the same email. As this continues, week after week, it’s no wonder that the industry has ended up where it is. Week after week of repetition. Inboxes full of spam.

If you want to learn how genuine automation can transform the way you communicate with your customers, book in for a chat here.

 

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Is Home Still Where the House Is?

The 2018 Life at Home Report from Ikea shows that people all over the world don’t think about home the way they used to. Find out what’s changed for modern buyers and how you can use this knowledge to sell homes.

This year, for their fifth annual Life at Home report, Ikea looked at how and why peoples’ idea of home has changed and what effect these changes are having.

We reached out to Ikea and asked why they would invest in this kind of report. They said, plainly, “Creating a better life for people starts with a better life at home. That’s why it’s essential we know what life at home is really about.”

For an agent, who is an expert on what a home is, this information is invaluable, as it gives agents direct insight into how their database will feel.

From this report, you can learn how to empathise with prospective buyers so that they look to you as an expert, who will guide them to their next home.

Why People Care about the Home

Ikea has identified the five core emotional needs connected to a sense of home:

  • Comfort
  • Security
  • Ownership
  • Privacy
  • Belonging

These five emotions apply to pretty much everyone, although different people place different importance on each of them. How a person reflects on these needs will change through the course of their life.

As an agent, you need to understand that when someone is looking at a property, they are thinking about their life at home and making an effort to meet these emotional needs.

What happens when these needs aren’t met? Will a prospect be turned off a house that doesn’t offer optimal privacy? What if their ideal house or flat is out of their price range?

Ikea’s research has shown that home doesn’t end at the front door. If a person can’t get what they need at their “residential home” they won’t settle for unhappiness.

Instead, they turn to the “extended home”.

A Home Outside of Home

“Home doesn’t give me mental privacy, so I like to escape onto my balcony to be alone or go and sit in my car on ‘my street’ in winter,” said Alessandro, one of the respondents in the study.

This is reflective of broader Life at Home findings, which showed that 29 per cent of people feel more at home outside their residence.

This might sound astounding, and a little grim.

“[People] have shifted their behaviour towards living their lives both inside and beyond the four walls,” Maria Jonsson, an insights analyst from Ikea, told ActivePipe.

“They see the opportunities in the extended home, they don’t expect [the residential home] to cater to all emotional needs.”

Man eating dinner away from home

Ikea’s Life at Home report finds that 29% of people feel more at home outside home, Ikea 2018.

This means, for modern agents, it is more crucial than ever to be embedded in the local community. When people come to an OFI, they are probably inspecting the area as well as the house.

Know your area.

Local sporting clubs, entertainment districts, school catchments and the neighbours are as important to people as the house itself. The backyard might not be as big as your prospective buyer would like, but if you can sell them on the area, they might think it’s as big as they need.

Future of the Home

“The world’s population is becoming more urban … technology and climate change is fundamentally affecting our way of life,” says Katie McCrory, communications specialist at Ikea.

People understand that these changes are happening and are adjusting to new modes of living.

The data supports this.

Life at Home found that 64 per cent of people globally were prepared to build a home that was different to the one they grew up in. People are opting out of the traditional home ownership dream and are more likely to live in smaller spaces that are closer to central hubs.

In Australia, for example, 70 per cent of people favour, “a smaller residence with a great location over a larger home in a less ideal place.”

When we look at trends in technology and shifting cultural values, we can form an idea of what the future will look like.

This, combined with Ikea’s ongoing Life at Home research, helps people in the industry build a holistic understanding of what a home is.

This is about more than adding value to your sale.

By understanding the needs of home and how life at home is changing, you can reflect on your own home to ensure you’re building more fulfilling spaces and communities, which addresses your emotional needs and leads to a happier, healthier life. (more…)

Why Email is Still the King of Real Estate

There’s so much noise around social media and its lead generation capabilities that you’d be forgiven for thinking the medium has overtaken email as the ultimate online marketing channel for real estate agents.

From Facebook to LinkedIn and beyond, there’s an expectation to pimp your product across all platforms, at all times, leaving the more traditional efforts of email marketing billowing in the dust behind you like a rogue tumbleweed.

For those of us in the industry, following these trends and analysing the data is essential for our development, and my marketing team have spent hours trawling the numbers in an attempt to discover which marketing channel reigns supreme.

What we’ve discovered is that despite the hype around social media, when it comes to converting and nurturing leads, email comes out on top time and time again. This could really throw a spanner in the works for the agents who are progressively looking to social as the backbone of their marketing plans.

Do Your (Number) Crunches

The data coming out of leading technology market research firm Radicati speaks of the superior organic reach that email provides compared to social. They’ve discovered that an email is 5x more likely to be seen than an advertising message delivered via Facebook and that 98% of top rating agents in the US (earners over USD $100,000) tout email as the best real estate marketing channel for converting leads.

These are some mind-blowing figures which are backed up by research coming out of The Digital Marketing Association, who’ve found that email has a whopping 66% conversion rate – far higher than social and direct marketing.

In the Mix

One should never disregard social media as part of a holistic marketing mix. It’s an excellent and well documented way to showcase your personality and create an environment of trust with your contacts. What I’m saying is that it might be time to start refocusing your efforts back into email – a medium which transcends the mere realm of ROI and truly engages the more than 4.5 billion email accounts out there patiently waiting for your delivery.

Let’s Convert

So how can a pragmatic agent use this information to their advantage? It might sound like a corny analogy but you should think of email as the engine of your car, fuelling the rest of the mechanics along your road to success. Let email power the rest of your channels and not only will your lead conversion rates increase but you’ll be engaging the existing leads in your database who don’t necessarily have visibility of your social presence.

Use It or Lose It

Speak to a professional about how to make email work for you. Just because the data tells us that it’s is a winner doesn’t mean you can bang out any old thing and expect to be crowned Agent of the Year.

From punchy subject lines and CTAs to whether or not your emails are intuitively automated or audience segmented, there are plenty of variables that will affect the success of your campaign.

Get it right though and you’ll be left with no doubt that email is still the king of real estate. (more…)

The Social Channels Every Agent Needs to Leverage (and how)

The idea of an agent using social media to boost their profile is hardly groundbreaking.

I don’t need to tell you that it’s an essential element of modern business. That said, for a time-poor agent, working out which social networks to invest time and energy into can be an overwhelming experience.

To help navigate this wild west, I’ve enlisted the help of an expert. Talia Wachtel is the VP of Marketing at Tiger Pistol – a Facebook Marketing Partner specialising in helping brands generate meaningful local results via social.

We had so much to talk about that I’ll be releasing our interview in an exclusive, three-part series that will cover everything you need to know about building a superstar online persona.

To get started we’re getting back to basics as Talia tells me the channels every agent should be using and how on earth they can use them well.

Thanks for taking the time Talia! I want to start by asking you about Instagram. There’s so much hype around using this platform for business but many agents, especially the older generation, aren’t sure how to get started.

Selling real estate is a visual affair. We’ve all seen vendors happily spend thousands of dollars getting the perfect portfolio of images together, so it’s no surprise that Instagram is increasingly being touted as the perfect social media platform for agents.

The key to success is a clean, professional aesthetic that represents you as an agent. Every photo you post should be beautiful, clean, clear and natural. It may surprise you to know that overworked photos with heavy filters aren’t necessarily the key to success!

Posting short videos is another great way to add a personal touch and showcase a property’s best features. Don’t be afraid to be the star of the show! Videos that feature an agent talking about what’s happening in the market do well and will position you as a thought leader.

One of the most successful strategies that we are implementing for our clients is advertising through Instagram Stories. It’s no surprise that we’re seeing success with this – Stories are growing 15x faster than feeds. Even Facebook exec Chris Cox says “the Stories format is on a path to surpass feeds as the primary way people share things with their friends sometime next year”. Similar to advertising on Instagram Feed, prospective vendors can click on your story and land on your website without having to remember your name or look you up.

This leads into my question about Facebook. This has been the powerhouse platform for a while now and you’d be hard-pressed to find an agent who’s not using it to some extent. What advice do you have for those wanting to take it to the next level?

If you haven’t made yourself a Facebook Business Page yet, hop to it. It’s imperative to separate your private and business lives online, but more importantly, you need a Business Page in order to leverage Facebook’s robust advertising capabilities.

There are three key elements in driving success on Facebook: Posts, Ads and replying to your community. Posting regularly will keep your Page relevant. If you’re strapped for ideas on what to post, there’s not harm in getting inspiration from other agents you follow. Share local market updates, lifestyle articles, neighbourhood events that you find online, and of course, leverage your listings. While you may not be trying to do the hard sell, your listings can provide unique content and are a great way to get your Page Fans to click through to your website.

To really get the most out of Facebook, you need to be running ads. And I’m not talking about simply Boosting Posts. I’m talking about leveraging the plethora of Facebook ads that are purpose-built to drive meaningful business outcomes. Run a Lead Ad to generate leads directly on Facebook, or drive traffic and conversion on your website with a Conversion Ad. If you’re looking to be seen by as many people as possible in your local area, Reach Ads are perfect for you. Don’t shy away from using some of the more refined targeting options as well, such as uploading your client database for retargeting purposes, or creating a Lookalike Audience to ensure you’re being seen by people who are most like your existing clients. Add the Facebook Pixel to your website, and retarget people who have visited your listings online with specially targeted messages.

Lastly, with all the engagement you’ll be getting on your posts and ads, you’ll need to make sure that you’re checking any comments or messages sent via Messenger. It’s important to get back to leads in a timely manner, and Facebook makes it easy for you to do that.

I’ve been working on growing my LinkedIn profile and it’s been great for connecting with other marketers and players in the real estate space. How can it work for agents trying to connect with prospects?

Whilst Facebook is a bit more casual, LinkedIn should really be treated like your public CV. This is where you can really establish yourself as an expert in the space, and network with real estate’s biggest players.

Make sure you fill in the ‘bio’ section with plenty of information to let prospects and other agents know who you are and what you’re about. Add in your accomplishments and finish it off with a jazzy photo that will capture attention amongst the noise.

Now it’s time to optimise. You should update your profile with a proper URL that lets Google pull you up when someone searches your name. Begin to build your network by adding connections through your current email database.

Play around with LinkedIn’s “Advanced Search” feature. Here, you can type in specific keywords and locations to find the perfect connections to build your dream network.

I’ve noticed lately that a number of agents are using Twitter to advertise properties. What are your thoughts on this?

Twitter is all about the hashtag, so have a look around and see what other agents are using to get ideas. Staying up-to-date with the most popular hashtags in your farm area will help people find your posts.

Tweeting is like attending a networking event. It’s not necessarily about making rushed deals but putting in the groundwork for later business. Start by sharing a photo of a great listing in your local area and use strategic hashtags to get it in front of the right people.

If someone replies to your content, you must engage with them. These are your clients in the making, so treat every one of your followers like they are a prospect talking to you at an OFI.

Any final advice Talia?

No matter what social media strategy you decide to go with, you need to actively concentrate on growing your network. Real Estate truly is all about connections – so make sure to put some time aside each week to send friend requests to former and current clients, other agents and leaders in your community. The referrals you can generate from a solid network are exponential.

 

Want to reach out to the experts? Hit up Talia and the Tiger Pistol team here.

And don’t forget to keep an eye out for Part Two in the coming weeks! (more…)

Geo Updates: Locate Your Next Listing

Ring Ring

Who’s there?

It’s Andrew

Andrew who?

Andrew, I’m from Newtown Real Estate, I’m calling because I wanted to enquire and find out how long you’ve been in your current house and offer you my service as an agent.

Hello? Are you there … Hello?

 

Cold, Hard Calls

We can all sympathise with Andrew in this situation.

No one likes cold calling. Certainly not the person calling. Often, the person who is being called will switch off or hang up (or worse) before they take the time find out what the caller has to say.

Thankfully, technology in the the 21st Century offers new ways to reach the customers who need your services, while avoiding the customers who don’t.

 

The Geo Updates

We have just improved the popular ActivePipe Geo Updates tool to make it easier for you to see when an address has been added to a contact’s profile.

This adds oodles of value to your database by giving you:

  • Certainty that a contact is interested
  • Early insight into how your contact is going to act
  • A cleaner, healthier database
  • Easy access to updates

Geo Updates is the lightweight tool that makes it simple for you to reap all of these benefits with minimal effort.

 

Certified Interest

To avoid polluting your database with contacts who are not in the market, we employ a very simple technique.

Invite them in.

The trick is there are no tricks!

Geo Updates works with our Data Discovery, which is successful because it is upfront and updates the information of actual, high-value contacts.

The simple survey makes the process quick and simple for the person filling it out. They are encouraged to offer up their address in exchange for local property info that’s tailored to their interests.

 

Early Bird Insights

An address is what we call rich info.

Rich info is a tiny piece of data that can tell you a big story.

Rich info like an address doesn’t only let you know where a person is. It gives you an idea of where they want to go and how they want to get there.

We can plot your contact on a map and see when they’re looking at sold properties in their local area, which would mean they’re probably self-appraising. When a contact is looking at properties which are the magic distance from their house (about 7km) it means they’re thinking of buying in that area.

Even better, you don’t have to spend time looking at clusters of properties on a map (we have a feature that does that for you too). ActivePipe takes the guesswork out of your database and makes it easy to find the contacts you should be talking to right now.

 

Makes Your Job even Easier!

Any ActivePipe ENTERPRISE user can find out which contacts have recently updated their address by clicking the Geo Updates widget on their Dashboard.

ENTERPRISE users get to enjoy the spare time and stronger relationships that Geo Updates offers them. Use the rich info from Geo Updates to find the qualified leads and start meaningful conversations.

 

Ring Ring

Who’s there?

Hi Bill, it’s Andrew from Newtown.

You again!?

I know you’re busy Bill, but I thought it might interest you to know that two properties in your street sold for $1.2 million this month.

Really? I didn’t think they would be worth that much.

The market is strong at the moment. People in your area are very interested in valuation.

You know what Andrew, that is very interesting indeed …

 


 

This feature is a tool for users with the ActivePipe ENTERPRISE product. If you are unsure about which product you are using, please contact support and let us assist you.

 

Like this feature? See how the ActivePipe Contact Intent feature uses Geo Updates to help you build the database of the future!

The Digital Mind with Sean Birk

In my role as ActivePipe’s Creative/Design Director, I’ve always got my antennae finely tuned to the going-ons of the creative world. As mediums and technologies continue to evolve at lightning speed, it means there’s always something to talk about when my peers get together to bounce around ideas and muse on the future.

Through my work at ActivePipe, I’ve been lucky to cross paths with Sean Birk. Sean is the Creative Director: Digital and Integrated at award-winning creative agency, Fenton Stephens. His knack for producing innovative ideas that cut through the clutter have made him a much sought after leader in the industry and the recipient of many international awards including London International, New York Festival & Cannes. It’s this ability to see around corners that makes Sean the perfect brain to pick in my quest to find out what’s coming up in the world of creative technology.

We caught up to chat about how technology is changing the way we work and think.

Tech is everywhere

Unless you’re reading this in an isolated log cabin high in the mountains, you’re already aware of the importance of technology in your everyday life. Tech is now part of virtually every aspect of modern commerce, culture and communication. But it’s so ubiquitous that you may not have considered the radical ways in which it is changing the way you work, create and even think.

Your memory is getting better … and worse.

Since the advent of Google and the smartphone, you’ve had a flawless memory for information, video and more – right at your fingertips.  Which means a good short-term memory is something you’ve needed less and less. And what you don’t use, you lose.

This negative effect on the brain is a new and worrying trend. Young people who’ve been raised in the digital age are already showing signs of short-term memory dysfunction as a result of their addiction to technology.

It’s known as digital dementia, and as we become more and more tied to our devices, it has the potential to become a real challenge to the way we think interact and take care of ourselves.

Your voice is becoming your fingerprint

It has been predicted that, in the next two years, 82% of devices will have native voice recognition capability. Which basically means you’ll soon be controlling the majority of your digital interactions with your voice.

Your voice will also become your primary identifier for online security. Does this mean you’ll be locked out of your email, social and banking apps when you have a cold? Time will tell. But voice control will also mean efficiencies in ways we might not expect – from automated customer service calls to new ways to complete everyday tasks.

You’re turning into a cyborg

A further development of our ongoing connection to our digital devices and networked systems is high- bandwidth brain-machine interfaces. What? Basically, it’s a way to connect your brain directly to a computer.

Yes, this brain implant technology isn’t science-fiction. Neuralink, a company already working on a way to seamlessly combine your digital and biological self, says they will soon launch a product that will give us a shot at becoming “symbiotic” with artificial intelligence.

You’re becoming more creative

You may not become an artist overnight, but at the very least, you’re going to have more creative tools at your disposal.

Artificial Intelligence and deep machine learning have already resulted in computers that can edit films, write pop songs and create renaissance paintings autonomously. As we become more connected, we’ll be able to harness that power and augment it with our own problem-solving skills. How? Well, that’s yet to be fully understood.

But technology’s ability to proactively handle mundane daily tasks will certainly leave us more time and headspace to think, create and do business.

That should be a change we all welcome.

Security Flaws and Why You Can’t Fall Behind with Technology

Have you ever heard of “adversarial attacks”? A lot of people haven’t, even though this kind of attack could leave you, your business or your family vulnerable to criminals. Learn why you need to be mindful of how security flaws can affect modern tech.

Home assistant devices are becoming part of the family. These smart pieces of technology, a part of the “Internet of Things” (IoT), are changing our homes and changing the way we do business.

For real estate agents, these improvements open up exciting ways to sell houses to promising leads. In fact, IoT devices are becoming commonly used as cherry-on-top sales pitches to push interested buyers over the line.

People are excited about having a home that can unlock itself, order the groceries and book the kids into the dentist, but with so much sensitive info going into these devices, we need to ask:

Who else is listening?

 

What Makes You Vulnerable?

Imagine if criminals could hack your phone or home assistant with nothing other than a simple mp3 recording.

This sounds out there, but it might be possible.

In recent years, researchers from a German university, Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum (RUB), have been looking into security flaws in these devices, specifically, ways smart machines can be hijacked or tricked.

To test this idea, the researchers play two sound bites at the same time. One of them is just a normal voice recording that any person can understand. The other recording is disguised in a way that makes it impossible for people to hear, but which the machine can understand perfectly well.

When played together, the recordings – which could be anything from a pop song to the sound of birds chirping – don’t sound suspicious to a normal person’s ear. The device, however, hears a command that it has to obey:

“Pay for shopping …”

“Transfer money …”

“Unlock the front door …”

 

How Can this be Happening!

You are smart. Like, one of the smartest things to ever set foot on planet earth smart.

You might not be able as good as a computer at maths, but you can learn from experiences, think creatively and understand emotions. All of these ways of thinking are way too difficult for a machine and probably will be for many decades.

Because computers don’t have the power to think critically, they will just open a door when they’re asked to. They don’t have the common sense to consider if the person asking is a criminal or the imagination to recognise the possible consequences.

 

Should I Throw out My Devices?

Probably not yet.

These things can be scary, but don’t let them turn you into a technophobe (someone who’s afraid of technology).

In this instance, the researchers are publishing their findings so that the general public can be aware of the security flaws.

This forces the companies who design our software to take our security seriously. Public awareness of these issues holds large companies to account and forces them to look for solutions.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Software exploits create a tempting incentive for hackers who can make a lot of money when they discover weak links in a security system and sell that information to criminals.

 

Why are we Telling you this?

If the lock on your front door was easy to break into, you would want to know about it.

And that’s the thing.

Most digital technology is far more secure than the stuff that came before it. Although nothing can be 100 per cent resistant to attack, you can make sure you are safe by keeping yourself informed.

We are all very lucky to be alive in this day and age. Modern technology makes our lives efficient, convenient and exciting. By knowing what’s out there and what’s new, you can stay ahead of the curve. This gives you a massive advantage over the people around you.

Reject technology and you’ll be left behind.

Embrace technology and shoot ahead. (more…)

The Future of Proptech with Dr Mike Messig

I sat down with Dr Mike Messig, tech genius and ActivePipe CTO, to find out what trends we can look forward to (and what we should be wary of) in the era of proptech.

People have always tried to predict the future. In the past, predictions involved visions and crystal balls, while predictions in modern enterprise have a greater focus on modelling and forecasts.

This isn’t magic.

When we’re thinking about the future we’re actually looking at what is happening now and what has happened in the past. When a change happens in a general direction, we call that a trend, and when we notice a trend, we ask ourselves if we can trust that this trend will stay on that trajectory.

One person who thinks a lot about trends is Dr Mike Messig, our resident tech guru and industry oracle. In a recent trip abroad I caught up with Doc Mike. He told me about a few things he sees becoming big things in the next few years, and why he’d put money on them.

What is Proptech?

Proptech is technology for people in the property industry.

A smartphone isn’t proptech.

Proptech is the smartphone app that lets agents and brokers manage their properties on the move.

Every industry has exploded or been flipped on its head by changes to technology. Proptech is the wave that is washing over real estate and will make the market of the future almost unrecognisable to the market of today.

Why Marketing Automation is a Game-Changer

In the past, marketing campaigns required a lot of leg work. Brands put themselves in front of customers with expensive ads in local papers, or with time consuming letterbox drops.

“We’re seeing a lot more people explore marketing automation, and that number is only growing,” Doc Mike says. “People invest money on marketing automation because they can count on good returns.”

When marketing is automated it is much easier to personalise. It’s the modern equivalent of putting brochures into personalised envelopes but it’s about a billion times quicker and way cheaper.

With the way things are going brochures will be extinct pretty soon.

“Imagine trying to explain what a brochure is to a kid in the future,” Doc Mike laughs, “they’d think you’re nuts.”

Can Proptech Fix Problems with Proptech?

The funny thing about technology is that it often introduces a new problem in the process of solving another problem. What’s the solution?

“More technology!”

At least according to Mike.

A good example from real estate is the agent publicity dilemma. As email started to dominate as a way for people to communicate, agents had to choose between managing their digital presence and important time making deals out in the field.

There was no way to solve the problem by reverting back to the good ol’ days, so proptech introduced a clever solution.

Make your digital comms send themselves!

When email first arrived it made global communication lightning fast. Improvements let us do cool stuff like smart sends, where a digital campaign waits for a customer to do something before targeting them with a personalised message.

This is all possible thanks to things like machine learning which is going to make everyone’s life easier.

Can Someone Please Explain Machine Learning and Neural Networks in Plain English? 

Doc Mike says that machine learning and neural networks are ways of making computers train themselves and to perform better over time.

According to Mike the trend towards machine learning and neural networks is “through the roof”, especially with big guns like Google, Facebook and Amazon throwing billions of dollars into this kind of technology.

What does this mean in terms of proptech?

Machine learning and neural networks help build technology that addresses the needs of your database, such as software that can predict how contacts will act before a contact has even approached an agent for enquiry.

“Agents who use these technologies will uncover leads that they don’t know are there,” Mike says.

“With digital methods you find out how people will act before they know themselves. This gives anyone a clear advantage over competitors and helps grab commissions that can be worth tens of thousands.”

List Buying is on the Way Out

For a long time, list buying has been a normal practice for agents. It has often been seen as a way to get in touch with a lot of people quickly, but that practice of list buying will probably not be around much longer.

“We see list buying a lot in the US,” Mike says. “This is funny because in most other respects the US is way ahead but in terms of list buying, they often trail behind.”

Mike explains that bulk sending to bought lists is a quick way to get blacklisted. People think list buying can put you in front of a lot of people quickly, but the reality is that it can lock you out of conversations with people forever.

This is why people say that a trend away from list buying is a trend towards forming and nurturing relationships.

“I feel like I’m hearing the term ‘customer for life’ a lot more than I used to,” Mike realises. “There is definitely something to that.”

What does this mean for those lists you bought?

Don’t be frustrated that you’ve spent money on lists in the past. Just be grateful that, if you’re smart, you won’t be spending money on lists in the future.

What is the best approach to Technology?

When we think about trends, often we think about fads. We imagine that a trend is just something that comes and goes. This is not necessarily the case. A trend is a direction, that we assess by judging the past and the present to predict the future.

Often technology changes so quickly that it’s hard to determine the difference between trends and fads. Mike says that we should watch the people around us to figure out what’s coming next.

We also need to be bold.

The most successful people and brands in the future will be those who are open minded and prepare for challenges and opportunities that come out of nowhere.

That’s a trend you can bet on.

Jesse Duffield is No Lazy Git

My most important job as ActivePipe’s CTO is to nurture and support my developers.

As a company, we attract some of the best and brightest in the business and I feel so lucky to have such hard working talent around me each day. As such, it gives me great pleasure when I see my team pursuing innovation outside of their ActivePipe duties.

Jesse Duffield is a fine example of the huge impact ActivePipe developers are making in the competitive land of coding. He’s just been crowned the ‘Number One Trending Developer of the Week’ for his latest application LazyGit, which has quickly catapulted him to cult status amongst his peers.

I sat him down to talk about his new creation, sudden notoriety and the ways creativity and innovation collide to build the perfect product.

This is one impressive side project!

What is LazyGit and why did you create it?

Jesse: Pretty much every developer in the world uses a tool called Git. Without getting too technical, Git is a tool that helps a distributed team of developers all contribute to the same codebase simultaneously. Developers get frustrated because they have to type long commands directly into it and for the small amounts of work they have to do each day, they end up wasting too much time on a tool that was supposed to make their work easier.

LazyGit works by letting you do all these long commands in a click of a button and showing you at a glance what other developers have been up to in the code. This means you can spend less time struggling with the command-line and more time doing fun development stuff. It wraps everything up in a nice user experience. It’s very intuitive.

The app went viral almost instantly. How did this happen?

Jesse: I posted it to GitHub, which is a place where any open source project gets pushed to and anyone can come and look at the code and download or contribute to it. Then they can rate it with a little star at the top. I believe they determine what’s trending by how quickly the number of stars go up. I believe I was named top trending developer based on profile views and how many people are interacting with me and checking me and my projects out.

So how many people do you think are using it at the moment?

Jesse: Quite a few. There’s been over 6000 people who’ve starred it and I’ve had 64,000 views on my page.

What’s the process that you go through when designing a product?

Jesse: I start off really, really simply. LazyGit began with a very basic list of commands you could do. I started off small, just playing around with things on the weekend. I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, I just hated using Git and decided to start building this tool and typing out code bit by bit until I had an MVP product. When the app exploded, the game changed completely. All of a sudden I had to be responding to issues and reviewing features that other people wanted to add as well as changing things to make LazyGit more accessible cross-platform.

So, what happens next?

Jesse: I’m not worried about money right now, I think it’s better to focus on making it a good product that people want to use and then later on, I can look at the money side of things and maybe I can pad it out or someone will buy it, who knows. I’m more stoked that it’s given me an online audience, so anything else that I want to do in the future will gain traction more easily. So what happens now? I’m not sure. Because it’s an open sourced project, anyone can contribute and I have the final say over what goes into the product. I’ve hardly had any sleep these last weeks because I’ll have people I don’t even know sending me messages saying ‘hey, I’ve created a new feature for LazyGit that will help other people download it’. It’s crazy but very fun.

I’ve got other projects in the works but I think this is going to be the big guy, potentially for the rest of my life. I’ll probably never get another LazyGit, so I’m working very hard to set it up correctly from the beginning.

I just want LazyGit to be the best that it can be!

 

Contact Intent: Building the Database of the Future

Why do agents go through the effort of surveys, cold calls and chasing people down for face-to-face conversations?

It’s not for fun.

Back in the old pen and paper days this was the only way to grab essential information about your contacts. While these methods are still important, they need to be enhanced with something extra if you’re going to be Agent #1 in the modern market.

Our new and improved Contact Intent feature is the powerful solution that gives you up-to-date insight into what your contacts are going to do next.

Contact Intent predicts your contact’s behaviour and displays easy-to-read tags so that you know exactly what to do next.

The different Contact Intent tags are:

  • Upsizer
  • Downsizer
  • First Home Buyer
  • Investor
  • Loan Lead
  • Potential Seller

Easy to Use

The tags are super straightforward and easy to use.

For example, if a contact has an Investor tag, you know they are worth chasing for the property management side of your business, while the Potential Seller tag helps you beat other agents to new properties before they go on the market.

Eventually you’re going to wonder how you ever lived without this information. That’s why Intent tag summaries appear on the Dashboard as soon as you log in.

From there, you can view a list of contacts who belong to each category.

It’s simple: Just click on any tag.

From there, you can click on any Contact Intent tag to see which contacts belong in each group.

This gives you a foothold for the type of relevant and personal conversations that add value to your database.

How do we do it?

These tags are our secret herbs and spices, so we can’t exactly tell you the recipe.

What we can tell you is that ActivePipe has recorded over a billion contact interactions. By using machine learning to identify your contacts behaviour, we prioritise the leads that put you in touch with the right contacts at the right time. This way you have more room in your busy schedule to have quality conversations that are so important for developing your personal brand.

The information from Contact Intent updates every 12 hours, so that you know you can act in confidence when it comes to your buyers, sellers and investors.

You always have the final say and full control over how your database is labeled and used with ActivePipe. In the end of the day, you’re the expert, so our software listens to you above all else.

The Takeaway

Modern technology gives agents the ability to understand their database like never before. It’s an exciting time, where agents have access to all sorts of tools that people could never have dreamed of in the past.

Jobs that once took hours now take mere seconds.

It’s no wonder more and more modern agents are using the modern tools to turn contacts into customers for life.


“How can I make myself an influencer to my staff, my peers and my database?”

Learn how you can turn yourself into an industry voice who people listen to!

“Is this feels like a glimpse into how my grandkids will be connecting with customers …”

Find out what has forward thinking agents buzzing!

Gun Agents Know these Words

We all belong to clubs, and every club has a special set of words that they use to communicate. Being an agent makes you part of a club and, as a member of the agent club, you have a special language that helps you communicate effectively with other agents.

At ActivePipe, we sometimes use words that you aren’t familiar with. These might be technical terms or marketing terms that help us express ideas that are unique to our industry.

These words are essential tools, but they can be difficult for people from outside the club to understand. That’s why we’ve prepared this set of simple explanations to turn you from a pen and paper agent into a digital marketing machine.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is a broad term which refers to marketing campaigns that are enhanced with software. It’s about finding ways to save a salesperson time, without sacrificing the quality of the content they produce. In ActivePipe’s case this means an email campaign that can be scheduled and sent automatically.

In the past, a marketing campaign might have involved posting a brochure to every post box in a suburb.

Marketing automation is the same process, only supercharged.

Imagine your brochure is being delivered by a mail carrier who knows the name of every resident in the street. The carrier can personalise all mail, only send stuff to people who are interested and can deliver billions of brochures in a second.

This is the power of marketing automation.

Predictive Models and Intent

Predictive modelling is about using data to predict future events. In a number of industries, including marketing, predictive models are used to design effective campaigns.

Technology has made it possible to predict more accurately, so a lot of attention is now devoted to how data can determine customer intent. Automated tools, like the algorithms that generate ActivePipe’s intent data, give agents accurate and timely information about customer behaviour so that you can affect contacts with your digital marketing.

You don’t have to be Rain Man to decipher those numbers as these programs present easy-to-read pictures and graphs that show people how their past campaigns have performed.

Behaviour Triggered Communications

Spam is a common reason a contact will unsubscribe from your mail list.

Behaviour triggered marketing is a modern tool that lets agents serve a campaign to a portion of their contact list, and spare those who aren’t interested.

Using triggers is the best way for agents to prevent these unsubs.

Software companies use “machine learning” to target contacts who show interest in certain products or services. People who are targeted by automated marketing stay happy because they are only being served the things they want and need. Agents then save time on their marketing campaigns which will produce better leads.

Customer Lifecycle

Customer lifecycle is a term used to explain the motions a customer goes through on their path to purchase. It can be broken down into a number of stages: reach, acquisition, conversion, retention, and loyalty.

These stages are:

  1. Reach: make the contacts hear you
  2. Acquisition: make contacts interested in what you have to say
  3. Conversion: get contacts to invest by buying something
  4. Retention: upsell products to make contacts commit
  5. Loyalty: contacts are so confident with service that they will recommend you

Chances are, you’re already doing some of these things. You have your contacts at the acquisition stage when they subscribe to your mailing list. You have contact loyalty when they pass your card on to their friends.

Being able to define the steps allows agents like you to identify a contact’s needs and service those needs better.

What does it all mean!

These are all methods that will save you time and give you a supreme advantage over traditional pen and paper agents. Our users know that ActivePipe gives them the tools to generate real leads and turn contacts into customers for life.

By using predictive modelling, we can give you data about how your customers are likely to behave. This gives you the opportunity to target users with behaviour triggered communications that reach the right customers and prevent spam and unsubs.  This helps you nurture your contacts throughout the customer lifecycle and drive high sales and loyalty.

At ActivePipe, we do the hard work, so you don’t have to.

Simple Design Tips To Boost Email Engagement

When it comes to design, the old saying stands true. Less is more.

I’ve been a designer for close to 15 years now, and whilst the technology has changed, the basic principles are still the same.

At the core of everything I do, is a desire to improve a user’s experience (UX) and minimise visual clutter so the call-to-action is clear and audiences know exactly what their next step is.

We all know what a bad email looks like. It’s busy, content heavy and lacks cohesion, so it probably ends up in your trash folder before you get to the bottom. This can undermine your credibility and damage your reputation so here are some tips to save you from making rookie design mistakes.

What is UX?

UX refers to the emotions and attitudes a user feels when they are on your website or interacting with your email communications.

The words you choose, the colour scheme you implement and the images you upload all contribute to an overall vibe that subconsciously affects the person behind the screen’s impression of you and your company.

Why is this so important?

An understanding of UX can greatly improve the interaction between you and your clients, as a harmonious and visually pleasing layout makes them more likely to take you seriously and click through to your listings. We all know that the more clicks your property gets, the more likely it is to sell faster and for a higher price, so it’s worth making sure each property stands out and isn’t lost amongst the digital mess.

How do I improve my UX?

Keep your designs clear, clean and simple. Cull irrelevant information and only display what your contacts need to see. Give them just enough to pique their interest and they will be on the phone to you in no time. This gives you a chance to cement the relationship rather than just being another agent in their inbox. People lose interest quickly, so put the most critical and engaging information up top and always keep in mind that visual hierarchy is important.

How do I put this into practice?

  • Space is everything. In the world of email design, this means plenty of white space, minimal imagery and an overall reduction of content.

  • Try and stick to three colours or less and a maximum of two fonts. This isn’t a school project so stay off the Comic Sans and reign in the urge to distract your audience with flashing icons and over-the-top graphics.

  • Make sure your copy is succinct. The less words you use the better, as people tend to read emails on their phone whilst in transit. They scan communications looking for key words, so reel them in with a teaser and provide a link for more in-depth information.

  • In saying that, try to use some descriptive headings as they break up your content, making it easier to navigate and digest.

  • If all else fails, beautiful, high quality images are always a winner so jump on one of the many free image providers to be found on the internet  and find something eye-catching that visually represents your key message. As always, avoid overdoing it. Remember our mantra… Less is more.

  • Keep your call-to-action clear. Ask yourself what you want your contacts to do after reading your email. If you know ‘why’ you’re doing it, creating a CTA should be simple.

The Verdict?

Simplicity is a key principal of good design and the reason why some companies thrive whilst others fail. Get inside your user’s mind and try to imagine what experience you would like to have if you received this email yourself.  Would you want to be inundated with superfluous information? Or would you like clean lines, minimal copy and space for property listings to shine?

Go ahead; remove, organise and hide what isn’t needed. If you keep it simple, you’ll be on your way to being a top-notch email designer, no matter what your skill-set.

Unsubscribes Aren’t Always Bad News

“Awesome, I just got an unsubscribe!” said no one ever.

You spend years building up a database of contacts and weeks crafting a series of emails you think they will love. You activate the campaign and are wrapped with all the positive feedback you receive from your clients.

Then you check the reporting and realise someone unsubscribed. They no longer want to hear from you and that can feel like a real punch in the gut.

Instead of getting all worked up about it, I challenge you to see it as a natural part of the marketing process.

When ActivePipe starts communicating with your database after years of radio silence, it’s common to experience a few unsubscribes. This simply means that your contact has no current interest in the property market so don’t take it personally.

Here’s what to do when an unsub has you feeling down in the dumps:

Revisit Your Dash

Go back to your ActivePipe dashboard and remind yourself of how many people are interacting with your emails. They’re highly engaged with your content and are volunteering vital information about their property intentions. Who cares about a couple of unsubscribes when thousands of people are enjoying your content.

Call Your Unsubscribers

Call the people who unsubscribed and ask them for their feedback on the campaign. This conversation is a great opportunity to find out where they are positioned in their property journey so you can update their status in your database.

“Hi Madeleine, it’s Joe from so and so real estate, how are you?

I noticed you unsubscribed from my email list so I thought it would be a good time to catch up and see what you’ve been up to since we last spoke at 123 Random Street.”

Adopt a Quality over Quantity Mindset

Real estate agents often compare the size of their database, assuming the higher the number of contacts they have, the more leads they can generate. This is not true and having an interactive database is far more important than having a loaded one. Communicate with those who genuinely want to hear from you and deprioritise the rest.

Clean Your Database

Unsubscribes are a great way to clean up your database without doing any extra work. Having unengaged contacts can seriously affect your deliverability so see their unsubscribe as an opportunity to improve your customer data and reach those who want to hear from you.

Don’t Be Disheartened

Remember that most people have an interest in the property market, even if they are not ready to transact. Don’t let a few people stop you from keeping in contact with those who want to know about property trends in their area. It might be a year or two down the track but guess who they are going to call when they come to market? You!

At the end of the day, every sales person experiences the heartache of an unsubscribe from time to time. Be more productive by communicating to the people that want to hear from you and start cementing the foundations of a genuine relationship.

An unsub is a blessing in disguise.

How to Use ActivePipe to Enhance Your Marketing Mix

Twenty years ago, an agent would print out flyers, organise a mail drop and base their cold calls off surnames listed in the White Pages. The entire process relied on mass distribution and a little bit of luck meaning inbound leads were rarely qualified.

These days much of the guesswork has been eliminated from prospecting and every piece of advertising implemented can now be traced right down to a single ‘click’. This visibility is one of the great advantages of real estate’s digital revolution.

What hasn’t changed since the early days is the importance of understanding a customer’s journey down the path to purchase. What we see now is a growing trend for lead generation through digital channels and social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. These allow agents to get in front of contacts with targeted advertising. Once you’ve captured the attention of potential clients and these leads find their way into your database, ActivePipe kicks in.

As our platform is specifically designed for real estate, ActivePipe profiles new contacts and nurtures them with ongoing automated email communications relevant to their property intentions. This makes the platform just as important to an agent’s marketing mix as a ‘For Sale’ sign with their smiling face on it.

The listings in these email communications drive customers to click through to the agent’s website which can be tracked via a cookie, web hook or Facebook pixel.

So you’re probably wondering what a choc-chip cookie has to do with your marketing efforts?

I’m not saying you need to spend your Saturday mornings whipping up a batch of the sweet stuff to hand out at your open homes (although it probably wouldn’t hurt). What you need to do is get your office’s resident tech-head to install a digital cookie or pixel. This is a small file with an ID tag that tracks visitor movements on your website so you can serve them Facebook ads and Google adwords.

If this sounds too complicated it’s best to get a digital agency such as our friends at StewArt Media onboard who can take care of the technical stuff for you. It’s a worthwhile investment that I encourage you to make.

So, let’s talk about ActivePipe’s role in digital marketing mix

As I said earlier, the platform is designed to nurture your contacts. The detailed reporting of their interactions will give you a bigger picture of what your most popular properties are and who they interest. You can use this data to select the listings you should prioritise in your sales efforts.

Let’s say that 123 Smith St is barely getting any engagement. You look at the reporting and see that it’s quite run down and in an up-and-coming suburb that is about to take off. You instantly know that this is the ideal property for an investor.

It’s time to jump onto your ActivePipe account and look at the list of people who thanks to our behavioural driven algorithms are classified as ‘investors’. You can extract this list and upload it into Facebook Ads Manager and it will automatically create a Facebook audience based on the data you’ve input. You can also set targeting parameters such as age, distance and interests. Once you’ve done all this, activate the campaign with a simple click and your ad will go straight onto the screens of your intended audience.

You may have noticed this working on your own newsfeed. Remember that time you were dreaming about a holiday in Thailand? After having a quick google for cheap flights, you spend the next three weeks inundated with Jetstar and luxury accommodation promotions. That’s targeted remarketing advertising at work.

So, what can you take away from this article?

With the ability to target potential leads in minute detail, digital technologies have revolutionised the prospecting process for agents. Everything online is trackable and marketing strategies can be enhanced by the data intelligent platforms such as ours provide.

So stop just thinking of ActivePipe as an email builder and distribution tool and start using it to its full potential. Really dive into the data and use those insights to direct and develop a true multi-channel marketing strategy. While it might sound complex, the reality is It couldn’t be easier. The best thing is everything you need is right there on your dashboard, it’s up to you to make the most of it.

How to Use ActivePipe to Start Your Day on the Right Foot

Yawn…

Another day, another inconvenient meeting scheduled. You have a thousand things to do but you’re stuck in the office as your colleagues go around the table telling each other what they have on their to-do lists.

Your mind wanders as you question whether any of this will make a difference to your commission. Would you miss out on anything if you slipped out early and went down the road for a sneaky caffeine hit?  

I doubt it….

What if I told you that with no extra effort ActivePipe could shorten your sales meetings, provide relevant content and fatten your commission cheque at the end of each month?   

If you’ve been part of the ActivePipe family for a while now, you’ll know the platform works by communicating with your database on a regular basis. It sends automated property emails that invite interaction without an agent needing to lift a finger.

That’s great but do you ever pay close attention to what your customer’s interactions are saying about their real estate interests?

There is way more to ActivePipe then simple email automation. We’ve got data that will turn your meetings from drab time-wasters to seriously efficient motivators. All you have to do is follow these simple tips:

Pay Attention to Your Dash

Let’s start with your ActivePipe dashboard. Think of this as the Ferrari of property reports. At a glance you can see who’s been interacting with your listings the most, these are known as your ‘high value contacts’. You can also check out your ‘up and coming contacts’ and your ‘most popular properties’. Take note of these stats before you come into your staff meetings and you’ll know exactly who you should be calling and what properties you should pitch.

Discuss Reports at Every Meeting  

Now that you know who’s clicking on what, it’s time to check out your individual campaign reports. This will tell you exactly who’s opened your emails and what links they’ve been interacting with. This is a ready made piping hot call list! It’s been handed to you by the real estate gods, all you have to do is make the call.

Organise Follow Ups

When a new contact enters your database, they are sent a survey that asks them about their real estate intentions. You’d be a fool to let this opportunity slip by. They are taking time out of their day to answer personal questions which you can then use as a conversation starter. These are the easiest calls you are going to make. No more cold calling for you!

Preparation is a Dirty Word

The best part of all this is how simple and fast it is to access such game changing information. By adding a few ActivePipe dashboard clicks to your pre-meeting routine, you’ll not only save time but you’ll also set yourself up for a kick-ass, money making day!

 

Stop your Listings Emails from Landing in the Junk Pile

Logic says that when you spend time crafting the perfect email, it should fly through the cosmos and land straight into a subscriber’s inbox. The recipient will read the email, digest its carefully thought out call-to-action and jump on the phone to inquire about the fabulous listings advertised within.

In reality, it’s a lot more complicated than that.

Did you know that 21% of emails never land in a recipient’s mailbox? That’s one-fifth of the world’s communications that never see the light of day.

This is because email providers have decided to spare consumers from unwanted communications by scanning inbound emails and rejecting those they deem ‘spam’.

As a real estate agent who relies on emails for lead generation, I know this sounds off-putting, but don’t let it scare you.

Email marketing is one of the most cost efficient and effective ways to reach your contacts, as long as you follow these simple rules and/or implement a marketing automation platform that will deliver spam-proof emails on your behalf.

Stay Legitimate

Don’t fall into the trap of buying pre-filled subscriber lists because you think it’s an easy way to reach the masses. These are full of dead email addresses which will flag you as an untrustworthy sender. Don’t run the risk of jeopardising communications with your valued contacts because you wanted to fill your list with cheap imitations.

Track your Engagement

When deciding which emails deserve to land in an inbox, mail providers look at subscriber engagement. This means that if no-one is opening your emails, they’re less likely to be delivered in the future. The best way to overcome this hurdle is to keep your listings relevant. Checking your open and click rates will give you a good indication of how you’re going and if you need to make any adjustments. Strong subject lines will help immensely.

Keep your Subject Lines Relevant

We’ve all looked at an email’s subject line, instantly recognised it as spam and deleted it before giving it a chance. People judge CAPITAL LETTERS and EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!! as obvious characteristics, so avoid them at all costs. It’s a miracle these emails have made it past filters in the first place so do yourself a favour and keep your subject lines short, relevant and grammatically correct.

Choose your Words Wisely

Phrases such as “limited time”, “special offer” and “today only” sound great in theory but are a red flag for spam filters.

Even words like “free”, “cheap” and “guaranteed” can be discriminated against. Instead of going for a hard-sell, concentrate on writing subject lines that show the value of what’s inside without overselling. 

Keep your Lists Clean

Readers don’t like being trapped into receiving content and have every right to complain if they feel their privacy is breached.

It might sound counterintuitive but unsubscribes can actually be beneficial for you. They clean your list which increases your engagement, ensuring you maintain high open rates. Your deliverability rates will be greatly improved and your emails will actually end up in front of more eyes than if you had a big list, filled with useless contacts.

Segment you List

Not all your recipients have the same real estate interests, so why on earth would you send them the same generic listings? Categorise your contacts  into groups, so you can target them with tailored content that they are more likely to open. ActivePipe does this for you with incredible precision. It targets individuals and audiences within your database with properties that match their exact needs. Best of all, it automates the process, so you don’t have to lift a finger.

What can we Learn from All This?

When it comes to real estate marketing, email remains the undisputed king, so you simply can’t afford to be the agent sitting in the junk pile. You’ll be on the right track if you keep your lists lean, clean, segmented and relevant but to truly maximise the power of every send, it is imperative that you consider using a platform like ActivePipe. Not only will you be sending the right listings, to the right people, at the right time but you’ll sleep well knowing that your emails are working hard for you, in the background.