When I first started in the real estate business more than 14 years ago, I took classes where everybody touted using flyers to “capture buyers.” One of the tactics was to leave the price off the flyer so that buyers would call to get the price. Others had special offers or asked buyers to call for more details. The only problem was flyers were always disappearing, and it was a constant fight to keep them in stock.
Around my fourth year in the business — or about a decade ago — the 1-800 call capture systems started gaining traction. The public loved listening to a recording because it was almost like taking a flyer, but they didn’t have to talk to an agent. The public didn’t realize that the agents were capturing their information. Now it seems like almost everybody has one of these systems on their signs to capture buyer leads.
Fast-forward to today: Now we’re seeing another change. If a buyer wants to know what a home’s list price is when driving by, they simply check an app on their phone. They can see pictures of the inside, they can read property details, they have all the info at the touch of a button.
This type of home shopping about to become more prevalent for two reasons:
1. Mobile search is increasing like wildfire. Smartphones are the new norm.
2. The cost to have a real estate app that delivers this type of quick information is about to get less expensive. MLSs will soon all be using the same language called RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standard). Now third party vendors won’t have to waste time developing their product to fit 100 different languages. They can spend their time on making better products.
The potential buyer will achieve what they want…the ability to know about the property without calling the toll free 800 call capture systems. What does this mean for agents? Unfortunately, it might mean fewer leads — unless we come up with a new tactic on how to capture them. We still may have three years before that 800 number call capture system becomes obsolete, so take this time now to work out your new lead capture plan.
What will be the new way to capture leads once mobile starts to rule?
Dave Robison, known as “Utah Dave,” is broker/owner of UtahDave.com Neighborhood Experts.