You can google everything these days, in fact we haven’t even thrown in a question yet and Google can predict what we want to ask. It’s amazing how our technology has evolved. Google has moved quickly from a service through which people found information to one in which people served as guide to choices to almost everything.
Getting found online is really important now more than ever. The rise and fall of company may due to their Google search results. Gone were the days when people can rely on just spoken knowledge. If you are not on page one, you don’t gain people’s confidence.
This generation’s distrust of spoken human knowledge is a challenge for us whose businesses are built on confidence and trust. How do we build trust and gain their respect other than organically being on Google’s first page?
Building trust is not exactly rocket science. There are ways in which we can gain trust to grow our business and these can be applied not only in the real estate industry but with other industries as well.
1) Transparent Marketing – It’s not enough to just sell anymore. We need to inform. Being able to verify what you say about your widget or service with other information adds more credibility. By giving people other sources you are validating your transparency. It’s not just a simple citation; this is something that needs to be cross referenced to other websites that are familiar to the general public. Let’s apply this approach on a real estate website; when people view properties online, linking to Google Maps street view will let them see what the neighborhood is like; adding a virtual tour would convey “as if they are looking at the actual property.” These sources validate your transparency for each property.
The key here is the sites used for cross referencing have to be site recognizable to the general public.
2) Higher Calling Marketing – Talk about celebrated companies—think Walmart, Wells Fargo, Chevron—these big companies who have amassed fortunes but haven’t forgotten to give back.
Make giving part of your marketing. Your customers/clients care about philanthropy, they really do. A study says that 82% of US consumers consider corporate social responsibility when they shop. Let’s take a real world view of this style of business. Let say that for every home you sale you will donate $150 to a local charity, this in turns starts a great word of mouth marketing campaign that just continues to grow without you. Let’s take this a step farther and say you have pre-chosen 4-5 local charities for them to pick where the money goes or you can offer special discounts to people who are associated to your charity. Not only is it a primary means for developing a strong network but it also help your business expand while helping those around you.
3) Video Marketing – According to Cisco, by 2017 video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic. Instead of reading information about some product or service, clients and customers will be much more interested to watch and listen about that. Videos satisfy people’s need for information. Why so? 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed faster in the brain than text. Visual content drives engagement. Just make sure that the video you make is relevant to your targeted audience.
4) Testimonials – People want to hear what others are saying about you, your service, or your product. Hearing past clients’ satisfaction of your work or services gives prospective customers/clients visiting your site a clear indication of what to expect from your business. In real estate, what really drives buyers and sellers to work with an agent are testimonials. These really go hand in hand with transparent marketing – viewing other sources for validating you. And since video has clearly become one of the most effective ways to engage people, why not have a video testimonial? They are more credible and your viewers will understand that the testimonial is of a real client.
5) Referrals – This low tech marketing still rules in today’s modern industries. Most people trust services or products more if they are referred by people they trust, friends, family members, or associates. In real estate, home buyers and home sellers chose a real estate agent they had previously worked with or an agent referred by a friend, acquaintance or family member. The foundation of an agent’s business development plan should always start with staying in contact with past clients and staying in touch with the agent’s sphere of influence.
All successful relationships run on trust, be it in business or personal life. Building trust in our company isn’t an easy feat and may require some time, but with transparency, hard work, and commitment we all can instill a level of trust that will enable us to succeed more.