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How to build customer loyalty with diversification

What do Apple, Zipcar and Amazon share? Their focus on providing exceptional customer experience both before and after a sale – and the customer loyalty they’ve achieved through that business model. This is the same experience agencies could be delivering if they created a more diverse offering, says Anton Babkov.

Diversification isn’t a new concept; almost every agency offers both a sales and property management service, after all. But tech tools can take this much further.

You don’t have to use one to use another, but together these tools help you provide a great customer experience: from the first touchpoint, through to moving day and beyond.

Meet sellers on social media

The worldwide explosion of social media requires businesses (including yours) to be where their customers are. However, it’s hugely time-consuming to create, design, upload and monitor effective social media ads. So we built Spoke – a simple answer to a complex problem.

What Spoke does

  1. Creates dozens of eye-catching, highly targeted ads for your agency, agents and listings in just a few minutes
  2. Publishes those ads across multiple networks – Facebook, Instagram and the Google Display Network
  3. Retargets interested social media users with different ads to recapture attention
  4. Continuously optimises your ad campaigns using artificial intelligence
  5. Gives you access to real-time reports that show how the campaign has performed

It’s a powerful tool for selling houses, sure. But in this context, the beauty of Spoke is that it can begin a seller’s experience with your agency.

Agency and agent ads can be targeted towards people in your local area who, based on their online behaviour, are likely to sell. But even listing ads get your brand out there. Think about it. When you publish a listing on the portals, you’re driving traffic back to that portal. With Spoke, all that traffic is coming back to your website.

Capture enquiries on your website

Once a potential customer clicks on your ad, they’ll come to your website. This is an extension of your agency – and a preview of what you’re like to do business with.

At this stage, the aim of the game is to generate leads for your agency. To do that, your website needs to be:

  • beautifully designed
  • mobile responsive
  • consistent with your brand
  • optimised for search engines
  • secure

To help you work as efficiently as possible, your CRM should connect with the tools your agency uses.

For you to effectively manage those leads, it also needs to link with other software you use, like your CRM.
However, technology isn’t stagnant. Your website needs to be constantly updated in line with the latest developments in security, SEO and design. That’s why we created Siteloft, our website platform product, specifically designed for real estate agencies.

As a SaaS company, we’re able to constantly improve Siteloft websites (and all our products) and immediately release new solutions, pushing updates to our users as soon as they’re available.

Nurture relationships with your CRM

Once you’ve nabbed that enquiry, it goes into your Customer Relationship Management system. Notice how this is the third step, not the first. Your customer’s experience with your agency starts long before this.

Back in the old days, CRM software was a simple contact management system helping businesses build and maintain relationships with new and existing customers. Now it’s a robust tool to manage sales, marketing, accounting, vendor and other types of operational data, forecast and report on business outcomes and manage leads – all while providing a personalised customer experience.

To help you work as efficiently as possible, your CRM should connect with the tools your agency uses. For example, the Rex CRM integrates with over a dozen tools, like CoreLogic, Xero and REI forms (as well as all Rexlabs products). If our users want more, they can suggest it via our UserVoice platform. However, with our open API, they have the option of building their own integrations.

Keep momentum while you’re out and about

You’ve probably heard that following up online leads in five minutes or less makes you nine times more likely to convert. For many of your customers, round-the-clock service isn’t a bonus – it’s expected.

But this is 2018. You also need to be able to edit a contract, manage your team and effectively run your business from your mobile. That’s why we built Pocket, our fully featured CRM app for Rex users. We’ve also built an app specifically for running open homes more efficiently: PocketKiosk.

Above all, your CRM is there to help you nurture relationships to achieve either a signed listing agreement or a sale. Being able to provide a consistent customer experience – from wherever you are – is going to help you get there.

Then add value with referrals

The customer experience doesn’t end at the point of sale. Most sellers will need a removalist. Most buyers will need a conveyancing solicitor. See where this is going?

But it’s not just about adding value for your clients. American brokerages are generating about 40 per cent of their revenue from secondary sources like referrals, but for many Australian agencies they remain a virtually untapped revenue stream. Why? The onerous compliance requirements and significant admin overhead required are rather large deterrents. We’ve created an app that solves this problem, too.

Hitch makes your agency a one-stop-shop for all your customers’ property-related needs, helping you track, record and facilitate the referral process from any device to earn more referral fees and provide more value for your clients. It keeps all the important documents together and updates you on the process. Then it takes care of payment.

The value you bring to the table is the total real estate customer experience you offer. So focusing on customer experience may be the single most important investment your agency can make in today’s competitive climate.

Together, Spoke, Siteloft and Rex form the full solution for creating interest and driving traffic, retargeting, capturing leads and closing a sale. Hitch adds extra value – ensuring your customers have a great moving experience – and then Rex helps you keep in contact until they’re ready to sell again.

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Anton Babkov

Anton Babkov is CEO of Rex Software, a real estate software provider with 60 staff servicing more than 1,300 agencies. He talks regularly with Rex users and leading industry thinkers about the state of technology and innovation in the real estate sector. Until 2008, Anton practised intellectual property and internet law, working with tech companies from early-stage startups to some of Australia’s largest telecommunications and media companies. When he’s not busily jet setting across timezones being an international man of business, you’ll find him doing typical CEO things - inhaling tech news and jumping up and down with excitement.

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