PHILADELPHIA PA – How many ways can real estate clients and prospects contact you? Maybe more importantly, how many ways do they KNOW they can contact you?
There could be a huge difference between the two and, if so, you may be missing business opportunities. Worse yet, you may be opening the door to competitors.
Ten years ago, the only point of contact most agents or brokers needed to distribute to the world at large was their office telephone number. Then things began to change.
- The office phone wasn’t enough. To better serve clients, agents also began publicizing direct office numbers, fax numbers, home numbers, and cell numbers.
- After that, phone contact seemed antiquated. The Internet was The Next Big Thing, and e-mail was its killer application. Agents offered up their e-mail address, then multiple addresses (some agents have three or four for different purposes), then the subscription for an e-mail newsletter.
- Soon after, agents began supplying web addresses too (technically known as Universal Resource Locators, or URLs) for individual pages on our brokers’ websites, then the domain names for personal websites, followed by web addresses for sales teams, for listings (a page for each property), and for communities.
- Gripped by blogging fever, agents ensured everyone also had URLs for blogs they wrote individually, blogs they published with others, and blogs at real estate information portals in which they participated.
- Web-based messaging came along. To the mix they added IM addresses for Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Meebo, AOL Instant Messenger, and Google Chat. Cell phone text messaging took hold as well, extending the life of cell phone numbers for a wholly different reason.
- And now, with Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, MySpace, Tumblr, YouTube, Flickr and a whole host of other social networking media sites, potential points of contact have expanded once again.
Were you keeping count? At a minimum, 29 contact references were mentioned in the space of six short paragraphs, above.
One of the biggest problems plaguing licensees today is managing all these contact nodes. They’ll eat up a lot of valuable time among agents who lack discipline; who are enamored by technology rather than by what it should be doing for them; or who haven’t mastered the shortcuts to communicate quickly.
On the other hand, being inundated by client and prospect queries from multiple contact sources can be a success problem you’d be happy to have. A certain percentage of that contact traffic should be real business that makes you money!
It won’t earn you a dime, though, unless people know you’re available at points of contact of their choosing. The lesson here is simple: in all your marketing materials, on all your websites, and with anything distributed to the public, find ways to list as many of your pertinent points of contact as possible. It’s the way to tell the world, “I’m ready to do business with you, no matter how you get in touch.”