New research from marketing automation platform ActivePipe has revealed the extraordinary power that staying connected and building trust has in helping agents win new listings.
The Trust Report: What consumers want from real estate agents examined the factors that influence how people choose a real estate agent and what builds trust and drives loyalty, from deep-dive research with 124 property owners, buyers and sellers.
The research revealed the process people go through when researching the property market, and how they expect a real estate agent to fit into that process.
It further identified the specific actions that agents can take to accelerate the building of trust to convert contacts into loyal clients, and pinpointed the most frequent errors made by agents that make them appear untrustworthy in the eyes of potential clients, losing them business.
The Trust Report author, Kylie Davis said one of the most fascinating insights from the report was the revelation of the ‘permission promise’ that occurs when potential clients provide an agent with their email address.
“Buyers and sellers provide their email address and opt-in to receive updates from agents because they see it as a low-risk way to assess whether the agent will be valuable to them,” Ms Davis said.
“The permission promise is where agents live up to the expectations of the recipient by providing information that delivers ongoing value. When this permission promise is fulfilled, buyers and sellers will remain on the agent’s email list for long periods and are more likely to give that agent their business because they feel that the agent has earned their trust.”
But she said emails that are generic, poorly targeted, irrelevant or too frequent can breach the permission promise, eroding trust and resulting in potential clients unsubscribing and refusing to consider the agent when the time comes for them to sell.
“The Trust Report reveals this nexus between establishing trust, remaining in contact and winning listings, and steps agents through what to do – and what not to do,” Ms Davis said.
Staying in contact with past clients proved to be of huge importance for developing client loyalty – 61 per cent of those surveyed prefer to use the same agent again, while 27.3 per cent of those who changed agents did so because they couldn’t remember who their last agent was.
The reported also found over 10 per cent of agents lost repeat business because they didn’t stay in touch with past clients.
However, not all email marketing was valued equally. The research delved even deeper into the minds of property consumers with a creative experiment to analyse how consumers interacted with genuine real estate emails in a controlled scenario.
“This was the most eye-opening part of the research. We literally had participants’ talk through their thought process around why they engaged with some emails and not others,” Ms Davis said.
The report goes on to outline the top dos and don’ts of email marketing for real estate agents, supported by the insights gained from the email engagement analysis.
ActivePipe CEO and founder, Ash Farrugia said The Trust Report is part of ActivePipe’s ongoing goal to demystify digital marketing by revealing the expectations of modern real estate consumers and matching that to the behaviours that consistently drive success for real estate agents.
“The marketing landscape for agents has changed dramatically over the past five or so years and we know that the new digital options can be overwhelming,” Mr Farrugia said.
“We’re committed to helping agents understand what they need to do to win more listings and create successful businesses in this new environment and we’re excited that the data is categorically proving that best practice is based around using technology to build strong relationships and amplify human connection.”
Other key findings from The Trust Report:
- The top factors that influence how consumers choose an agent are personality (24.2 per cent), reputation by word of mouth (22.6 per cent) and past results (21 per cent).
- Low fees were not considered important when deciding whether to stick with a current agent (5 per cent).
- When a new property hits the market, 63.3 per cent of participants wanted to hear about it ASAP. When sharing properties that are for sale or sold, undisclosed prices erode trust significantly.