A little effort goes a long way

In most industries, a bit of extra effort (or even simply nominal effort) can go a long way. While it can apply in a variety of different areas, I see it most often in real estate.

My first big experience with it was three years ago when I took my family to the beach. There were a lot of houses for sale, but none that seemed to put any effort into providing information to potential buyers. The “take info” boxes were all empty, none had custom URLs, and QR codes weren’t even being considered. It was quite sad.

QR code to nowhere

IMG_20140620_190204883I was reminded of this during a family walk a few nights ago. A house not too far from ours was for sale, and we were curious about the details of it. They had a QR code, so I figured that would be a great way to see more info. Things unraveled quickly. The QR code wasn’t specific to this house, but rather was a generic code that loaded a page that then used the GPS from your phone to try to figure out which house you were trying to locate. Presumably that was to save money on printing new QR code signs for each home for sale, which seems like a cheap way out. Sure enough, though the GPS on my phone pinpointed our location, the only house in the system nearby was down the street and I couldn’t find anything related to the one in question. On our next walk I took a photo of the entire sign so you can see what I mean.

The house is on a busy street, so it’s very possible that I’m the only person to ever scan it (cars driving by wouldn’t be able to), but this is an example of laziness on the part of the agent. Someone delivered and placed that sign, but never spent the necessary 10 seconds to test it.

Call them back

Another example occurred last week with a potential client of ours. They called, we returned their call a short while later, and then spoke to them a few times during the day. Toward the end of the day they mentioned that they had called a few other local agencies similar to ours, but we were the only ones to call them back. This stuff isn’t rocket science, and it can make a big difference.

“Secret” tips

Here are some basic things that, perhaps sadly, will set you apart from other businesses in your industry:

  • When people send you an email, reply to them the same day. Striving for inbox zero on a consistent basis will help.
  • When people call you, call them back.
  • Test items on your site such as your contact form to make sure they’re working properly. This applies to other features you may be using, such as the QR code example above.
  • Pay attention on social media. If someone sends you a message on Facebook or a mention on Twitter, be aware of it and get back to them. Being “on” social media without truly being present can make you look foolish, such as these car dealers from a few years ago.

It’s not particularly difficult to do those things, but it takes consistent attention. Put in that little bit of extra effort and you can really set yourself apart.

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Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

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