Click to talk, click to chat, click to get an instant connection with me. Question is, are you really there? We are moving at lightning speed deploying technologies that put us together with consumers with the click of a mouse. We can even send files, webpages and links from our cell phones directly to the consumers desktop while we are on the phone with them. It’s not new technology but the rate at which it is being adopted is astounding. Having the ability for consumers to contact you at the height of their interest is a very compelling opportunity and the affordability of these solutions make them perfect for this market.
Agents, brokers and vendors are placing the quick connect links all over their websites, emails and listing detail pages. Even the virtual tour companies are in the game. FloorPlanOnline.com just inked a deal with realPING to have a direct connect link option on their tours.
Is Technology Moving too fast?
I love, love, love this technology. The agents who have adopted it as a way of doing business are doing very, very well in this new market. The key is, you have to make it an integral part of your business. If you have a click to call me anywhere in you online marketing, you better have phone in hand. As an industry, we will lose consumer confidence (again) if they click to connect and keep getting voicemail, an answering service with no real estate information; or worse yet, no connection at all. This hurts all of us.
I relate this loss of consumer confidence it to some of the “Get Your Property Value” online programs who either never get back to the consumer or have staff in India calling the sellers back 3 weeks after their initial submission. I know, I’ve been testing several of them. As a consumer, after my 2nd-3rd try, I wouldn’t believe an ad for instant online property valuation no matter what.
Just this past weekend, I had to contact my cell phone company and found a “Click To Chat With Support” button. My thought was, it’s got to be faster than sitting on hold for an hour. Not…I clicked, submitted my issue and was not replied to for 45 minutes. By then, I had forgotten I even opened the chat. I could have driven to my local provider and back by the time they came on line. And, when they did come online, I felt like I was communicating with a 3rd grader. No resolution. After all that, I still had to get in my car and go downtown.
It’s all about expectations and meeting those expectations! If you say you are available, then be available. The best agents I have ever worked with were reachable via cell within 3 rings 95% of the time and their clients knew it. If you are going to use this type of instant connect, be sure you can easily turn it off if you are not available or switch it to offer a “Text Me” mode. No individual is available 24/7. Having a flashing button that says you are sets an expectation. Fail meeting it, and you lose. On the flip side, truly understanding how this technology can bring you closer to the sales playing field can be a goldmine!
Tips to using Click To Connect programs.
1. Be sure the button is prominent at the top and bottom of every page you want it displayed.
2. Know your program inside and out. Login and go through the tutorials before you even place a button online.
3. Test your system often by going to the sites you have the button linked and clicking on it like a consumer would.
4. Turn off your click to connect system or place it on a text or voicemail setting when you are not available.
5. Once you have mastered “Being There,” advertise the dickens out of it!!
6. Keep your cell phone charged and have an extra back-up battery or power source at all times.
There are several click to connect providers. Watch the pricing. If they have a per-call fee associated, it can get very expensive. Find the one with the most bang for the buck and is easy to use. I like realPING (link to discounted set-up and quarterly rates) because I have used it, but I am sure there are others out there. If you use one that has a lot of fun features and is user-friendly please submit a post so we can learn more about these options.
You probably will not see a click to connect button on my site for a bit. I learned from Business Coach Ralph Williams that it is all about expectations. I can’t very well answer a phone when I am presenting for 2 days. And I am not going to be texting while I am in a coaching session. However, if I was on the street selling right now, you bet I would be using this technology!!!!