The first thing I noticed when I went into the bathroom stall was the white card with a QR code on it, sitting on top of the toilet paper dispenser. I picked it up. ‘Search for HOMES on the MLS, just like an agent,’ it said. Of course I pulled out my Android phone, opened Google Goggles and clicked on the QR Code.
I was taken to an agent’s Listingbook sign up page. It is a standard webpage Listingbook creates for each agent who registers for their program. This one was pretty good. It had the agent’s picture and contact information, and a crisp bulleted description of Listingbook, how it works and why it is superior to other property search tools. To the right there were input boxes for First and Last Name, Email Address and Phone (Optional).
Yes, I am in real estate. I am intrigued by QR codes and I love Listingbook. But I don’t think my reaction would be all that different from anyone else mildly interested in the local real estate market. I would have completed the fill-in boxes on the spot (or on the throne as it was) to get access. Of course, then the agent would have my contact information and as I used Listingbook to search for homes, he/she’d also be able to see what I was looking at.
Here are the lessons in this:
- Marketing. Superb! Can you imagine a fully loaded campaign structured around the phrase, ‘Search for HOMES on the MLS, just like an agent?” Thousands of QR codes like the one described scattered all over town, Blitz signs with the same message and code, Maybe even a mailbox campaign like the one Mike Paholke at Excel is doing for us these days. Almost everyone interested in real estate in your target market would at least click the code to get more information and many would sign up . . . and each of them would be that much closer to being your clients.
- The power of Listingbook. I have been on a real kick the last few weeks to get you guys (you Help-U-Sell brokers) to start selling your websites as the great search tool they are. Because they receive information every night from the MLS, they are far more up-t0-date than, say, Zillow or Trulia. However, if your MLS has Listingbook, it’s even better! Listingbook is not an IDX feed that happens overnight. It’s real time. So an active listing that goes pending at 1:15 pm will show in Listingbook as pending at 1:16pm. The IDX feed will take a day to catch up. More important, the only way a consumer gets a Listingbook account is through an agent and then that agent can see every listing the consumer looks at, can see at a glance when their criteria changes, when their areas change, when their searching activity picks up (usually heralding a more imminent purchase).
- QR Codes. Have you noticed? They are everywhere. And just as DVD marketing was all the rage 7 years ago (we were distributing DVDs because there was a good chance the consumer would view them), QR Codes are the hot ticket today. One relating to anything of interest to the consumer is likely to produce a click . . . and clicks start the relationship process.
I know I sound like a broken record, but: Call you MLS and ask if they have Listingbook. If they do, decide whether you want to signup for the free account for the very moderately priced upgrade. Then start marketing it! Everytime anyone signs up for an account through you, you have their contact information and a basis for staying in touch. Once you get the account take advantage of the free training offered. There’s a lot to Listingbook and much of it is easy to miss if you don’t take a moment to get up to speed.
I can think of no better local campaign to generate leads today than the one described here. Drive people to your Listingbook sign up page – which will be perceived as a high-value offer – where their contact information is gathered and then start building a good working relationship!
On Another Note: I sent each of you an email today about Website Lead Generation and Operational Areas. I didn’t want to publish that here because, frankly, I don’t want the competition to know what we’re doing. Please check your Help-U-Sell email and look for that message, read it and make any adjustments you need to make.