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Get the Facebook message

Go back ten years, says Nelly Berova, agents would call or email their clients to move a deal forward. Now, we see a massive shift to a different method. As this shift is mainly coming from the consumer, agents should pay close attention!

Nelly Berova

Chatbot image

I am talking messenger apps. For example, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

Facebook Messenger is already a powerful tool because it is tied to a channel which has more than 2 billion active users every month.

The proliferation of mobile devices is impacting how we communicate, giving users uninterrupted access to other people, brands and businesses via email, social media and messenger apps. But it is messenger apps that are really reshaping how we communicate online and, crucially, how we expect others to communicate with us.

Nelly Berova image

Nelly Berova

In our view, Facebook Messenger is poised to become the next big thing in online communication. Estate and letting agents that embrace this marketing channel will have an advantage over their competitors.

Let’s say you have plenty of landlords on your books and you want to attract more tenants. A significant proportion of those tenants may be millennials (18-34) who are active on platforms like Facebook. You won’t have their email addresses, but you can connect with them on Facebook. With a growing number of millennials preferring the convenience and informality of Facebook Messenger to other forms of communication, it is a wasted opportunity not to be active on this channel. You can then create a messenger bot to communicate with potential clients.

ABOUT THE BOT

What are the advantages of a Facebook Messenger bot for estate agents?

A bot or ‘chatbot’ is programmed to comprehend questions and reply with useful answers. The messaging process is automated, so once it’s set up, your team won’t need to be directly involved in its operation.

In using a Facebook Messenger bot, estate agents can reach an audience easily, respond to specific customer service needs, and identify and qualify leads.

All this can be achieved without much input from your sales team, saving your agency time and money.

Chatbot technologies are becoming increasingly sophisticated, giving your agency more options to interact with clients.

Estate agents can use a chatbot to provide potential clients with useful information, and you can display property listings (including images) via the chatbot, giving users an idea of the type of properties you have available which match their criteria. This can be done for buyers and tenants. Chatbots can also be used to answer any questions the user might have, and if the user is happy with everything they have been told, allow them to schedule a visit to your premises or book an appointment.

Though chatbot technologies are still evolving, they are becoming increasingly sophisticated, which gives your estate agency more options. You can interact with a potential client in a way which suits their busy schedule and preferred mode of communication. And this can be done 24/7, so if a user wants information when members of your team are busy with other things, they can still access that information.

Compare the Facebook Messenger bot to email marketing. To add a new subscriber to your email marketing list, GDPR dictates that they should opt-in first. But when a user interacts with your Facebook messenger bot, they can instantly be added to your subscriber list. You can then take a more targeted approach and segment your audience, nurturing each lead from there.

WIN WITH FACEBOOK MESSENGER

The purpose of a chatbot is to capture leads. Facebook Messenger allows you to reach, engage with, qualify and convert tenants, landlords, buyers or sellers into clients. The bot will ask a series of questions which allows you to qualify leads. You can then drip-feed personalised information, keeping the user engaged while offering value. This encourages a conversion.

You can also capture leads by allowing them to book a valuation, a viewing, or book an appointment within a messenger bot. Alternatively, users can download a ‘Guide for Landlords’ or a ‘Property Buying Guide’ via a messenger bot.

Facebook Messenger allows you to personalise the way in which you interact with each user, so you can provide a specific solution to their problem quickly. This is important, as it should not be about the estate agency, it should be about the potential client and their needs.

And don’t forget that Facebook Messenger is only one channel. To be successful in your online marketing efforts you should communicate with potential leads on multiple channels.

From LinkedIn to text message to video to email, you want to be wherever they are, putting forward a solution to their property related questions.

December 5, 2018

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