Online buyers are a new breed. No doubt you know this, so let’s talk about some of the subtle differences between online buyers and those who telephone or visit the office – I will call these personal buyers.
Personal buyers most often give us their contact details and we can do some qualification with them in the office. Many of us ‘grew up’ on this type of buyer.
Online buyers, however, often do not provide contact details, at least not immediately. All leaders should gear their offices to better handle online buyers.
Offices must have a procedure for handling anonymous online buyers – those who do not give telephone numbers. These buyers are not being evasive; they most often prefer to communicate by email or text. But if you give them good service, it won’t be long before you meet them face to face and get their contact details.
When anonymous online buyers enquire, a receptionist or secretary should respond IMMEDIATELY using standard reply templates – just fill in the blanks and give the buyer the information they want, quickly and courteously. It won’t be long before an email dialogue turns into an inspection and a contact.
These buyers can be linked to bees, buzzing from one plant to the next gathering nectar. Online buyers appear to flit from one property to another, but we must remember that they have done a lot of research prior to inspecting the property.
Online buyers tend to search for properties online and shortlist several. They inspect and move on. Often, if those properties are overpriced, they don’t come back. Sometimes a property gets only one ‘shot’ at an online buyer.
This means that you should be careful about giving wide internet exposure to sellers’ properties too soon, while they are overpriced. You could be destroying the value of the property.
There was a property in Queensland that received an offer from a buyer at $1.4 million. The offer was accepted. But the buyer did some research and found that the property had been on the market at $1.2 million six months before. She rescinded her first offer of $1.4 million and came back at $1.2 million. The sellers were desperate and had to accept. This property’s Digital Footprint cost this seller $200,000.
For more information about online marketing, read Peter O’Malley’s book, Real Estate Uncovered. In this excellent book, Peter explains the Digital Footprint, and many other important things that online marketers, and property sellers, should know.
Sequential Release to Market
Adam McMahon, a million dollar producer from Dignam Real Estatein Thirroul, NSW, recommends to sellers a sequential release of properties to market.
- First to the sales team’s buyers
- Then buyers on the company’s database
- Then the company website
- Then Social Media
- Then the public property portals
This is thoughtful marketing as opposed to shotgun marketing, and it impresses sellers.
Buyers are advised to visit the company pages to obtain more information on the company’s newest listings. Marketing in this way drives online buyers to the Dignam Real Estate website, giving the website high Search Engine Optimisation prominence.
Online buyers need to be handled a little differently to personal buyers, but with some smart marketing, you can give great service to online buyers, while still maintaining some control.
Look after them properly and soon the online buyer will turn into a personal buyer.