Samantha McLean talks to realestate.com.au’s Rachel Morley, General Manager for Leads, and Gina McCartney, Executive Manager of Marketing & Events, about what’s in the pipeline to help agents connect more meaningfully with both buyers and sellers on the platform, and how to get the most out of these new products.
If you’re a real estate professional, looking for more qualified buyers and sellers, it stands to reason that improving your presence on realestate.com.au, where there are millions of buyers and sellers every day, can help greatly.
Over the years, realestate.com.au have invested a great deal into researching consumer behaviour to understand the issues that can make or break a listing; for example, a listing without a price, or lack of floor plan, can cause some potential buyers to move swiftly on.
Now the research and data science has turned to figure out whether consumers are buyers or sellers, with a view to enabling better consumer experiences – and better lead sources for agents.
Both Gina McCartney and Rachel Morley say that it’s a combination of artificial intelligence and analysing specific consumer browsing behaviours on the site that suggests whether someone is ready to buy or sell. And they are using this data to help agents connect with more people looking for property services.
“We may think you’re a seller,” says Morley, “if you’ve claimed your property and you’re looking at agent profiles in your area or even other properties (at the same time).”
Earlier this year, realestate.com.au told us about a series of products called Agent Edge, including Elevate (boosted agent profiles) and Match (connecting qualified sellers to agents), to help agents build their personal brand. Coming soon are things like Agent Reviews (free), more features on Elevate and the third Edge product, ‘Reach’, which will allow agents to retarget consumers who have visited their profile across the web.
Differentiating agents in the eyes of consumers
“Our strategy, which we thought long and hard about,” says Morley, “was to make sure that we focused
on helping agents present themselves professionally and to differentiate themselves in the market.”
We just want to keep going until our customers are like, ‘This is just amazing’.
Agent profiles help tell an agent’s story by displaying experience, achievements, properties for sale/sold, videos and contact details. With an average of 32,000 visits to agent profiles every day, it’s those with a clarity of purpose and messaging who are standing out.
“It’s about your target audience; what drives them, what motivates them and what you bring to that audience,” says McCartney. “It should be your goal not to try to please everyone, but focus on what you mean to a certain group of people.”
Increasing frequency elevates brand recognition
“When we launched Elevate, one of the key tenets of that product was partly about classic, 101 marketing; increasing access and frequency to a relevant audience in my local patch,” says Morley.
And the results so far have been excellent, with agents who have signed up to Elevate receiving on average 32 per cent more views³ on their agent profile page and being seen by 33 per cent more consumers.
But there’s more happening for agents with ‘elevated profiles’: a brand presence in the Weekly Wrap emails, a presence in the search results carousel (similar to the current property carousel), and also in mobile push notifications.
“We have a weekly email that goes out to around 500,000 consumers called the Market Wrap. In that email, properties appear, but the agent name, their company brand and their faces don’t. Elevating the agent profile in there will give them that extra visibility,” says Morley.
Right now, the 13 million or so push notifications that occur every month off realestate.com.au’s mobile platform don’t have an agent presence, but that will also change for elevated profiles.
“At the moment,” says Morley, “the consumer will see so-and-so has an updated inspection time, messages like that. Right now those notifications don’t have an agent presence, so inserting an agent presence in there is pretty epic.”
Reaching for more
In addition to the ongoing work on the Elevate product, there is more happening to enhance the current Match product – particularly in understanding the right time to help a seller engage an agent.
“I think there’s a huge opportunity to allow people (searching for an agent) to have so much confidence they take that next logical step,” says McCartney.
“We’ve got some great tools, but let’s get the customers the right tools at the right time.”
Reach, the third product in the Edge series (yet to be released), will allow agents to retarget visitors to realestate.com.au with a relevant ad on other mainstream websites, including news and social media sites, encouraging them to visit that agent profile or agency’s profile again.
“Reach will be quite different from Audience Maximiser as a product,” says Morley.
“When we retarget a property, the ad creative in remarketing is more straightforward.
“But when we are talking about promoting both brands and individuals, the creative needs to be simple to use but really reflect the individual or company voice, too. For instance, to help an individual agent curate messages that gel with their personality and their local community.
“Our aim for Reach is to make it easy for users to amplify their brands across the web professionally and creatively.”
Another feature agents and consumers have been demanding is ratings and reviews, which are also coming soon to agent profiles.
Morley says this product will be available to all but, unlike Facebook and Google reviews, agents will have more control – especially when it comes to ‘fake’ reviews.
Says Morley, “I’ve heard a lot of agents say, ‘I can deal with a bad review; that’s life. What I can’t deal with is my competitor down the road just having a go, and being disrespectful to my business.’”
As for Elevate, the phrase the product team use regularly, Morley says, is to show ‘undeniable value to agents’ as they continue to build its functionality.
“The way we will do that is to add value in two ways; one, to keep adding placements that get the agent’s face out there and increase brand memorability, and two is to provide important data insights.
“Can you imagine a LinkedIn view of your agent reporting, where I can see who’s viewed my profile? Not down to the personal details, but let’s say two sellers from Richmond are looking at properties between one and 1.5 million dollars.
“This allows you to analyse your marketing and further hone in on that audience you want to attract.
“We just want to keep going until our customers are like, ‘This is just amazing’.”
TOP TIPS FROM RACHEL MORLEY TO ENSURE YOU DON’T MISS LEADS
- Complete all the fields on your profile; don’t overthink it. Get the basics done and revise it later if you need to.
- Review your data. As consumers can filter by property sales and median sales price, it’s essential the data flowing through to realestate.com.au is accurate. The number of sold listings determines your order in search results.
- Review your office processes for dealing with incoming leads. Two of the biggest reasons leads get missed, Morley says, is because they inadvertently end up in spam filters, or an incorrect judgment is made based on the email subject; for example, an old listing address might be a legitimate prospect.
- Bring your personality and things that make you unique to your profile – for example, your recent accomplishments.
- Follow up fast. Morley says, “According to a lead response study⁴, enquiry responses within five minutes are 100 times more likely to win the business. So it pays to be quick!”
For more information about Agent Edge visit agent.realestate.com.au/products/agent-edge/
To update your agent profile visit agent.realestate.com.au/products/brand-leads/agent-profiles/
1 Supplied by REA, Adobe Analytics: average daily visits to realestate.com.au agent profiles (1 Jan 2018 to 17 May 2018)
2 Meaningful Agent Study, REA 2018
3 Omniture and realestate.com.au analytics data: average increase in agent profile page views comparing at least 30 days pre- and post-activation of Agent Elevate (July 2018)