Tech Tip Tuesday: January 14, 2014

 Utilizing Google Helpouts: 5 Ways to Build Your Business

One of the perks of my position is working alongside Sarah Hill, a Google+ Hangout pioneer and one of the first recipients of Google’s wearable tech – Google Glass. The primary benefit I receive from this relationship is a stronger understanding of Google+ and the latest innovations and features that come with the platform.

What has caught my eye recently is a new Google+ extension called Helpouts. With Helpouts you can connect with people – based on qualifications, ratings and availability – who have niche expertise on a wide range of topics and receive sound answers.

For real estate professionals, Helpouts can dramatically help you build your personal brand and online presence. And we know that next to customer service, there is nothing more important than establishing trust through a strong personal brand.

Becoming a Local Expert

Prospective buyers and sellers want an agent who knows the neighborhoods, comparables, school districts, and other local amenities; however, knowing upfront who to trust for the information is fairly difficult. This trust factor is what leads many prospective clients turning to friends, corporate websites and review platforms, which also provides an opportunity for tech savvy realtors to win them over.

By creating tutorials and offering Q & A sessions through Helpouts, agents can demonstrate their knowledge of the areas in which they do business. By directing potential clients to their Helpouts page, real estate professionals can teach their clients how to stage a home, find a home that is right for them, or about local amenities without having to repeatedly answer calls. If done right Helpouts provide you the opportunity to not only set yourself out as an authority in your area, but also gain additional clients.

Increasing Organic Awareness

When people begin looking to hire a real estate professional, they frequently start the search online. This is why search engine optimization (SEO) is vital to your online success. By taking steps to increase your search engine visibility through unique content offerings such as Helpouts you will see your information climb in a Google search.

Even after they have taken note of real estate signs around town and recommendations from friends and family, prospective buyers and sellers will still check out Google for agents that show up first and the most recommended in the search engine results pages.

Individuals and businesses that rank high in Google are those that typically get the most business. If a friend or family member of the potential client recommends you, and you aren’t well ranked, that client may still choose a higher ranking professional as opposed to the personal recommendation.

By simply signing up for Google+, you automatically increase your SEO. You further increase your SEO by using Google Helpouts. Information on Helpouts is shared and ranked according to helpfulness. The more helpful your tips, answers, or tutorials become, the higher they rank. And the more notice you gain on Helpouts, the higher you climb on Google itself.

Offer Online Immediacy

As stated before, customer service is everything to a real estate professional. One missed phone call, lacking information, a missed deal, or even a simple misunderstanding can send a client into an angry rant that winds up over every review board online.

By using Google Helpouts, a real estate professional can answer questions online without even being present. You can create tutorials on everything from closing a home to staging a home properly for clients. You can choose to either give this information freely or charge for it. You can offer that bit of advice on staging for free to a client, while charging a non-client for the same tutorial.

This ability to offer immediate answers to questions that once required a consultation or phone call allows you to offer service 24/7. By increasing your availability to provide quick answers, you’ll be sure to draw more clients.

Reach More People, Quicker

A real estate professional’s income is directly tied to the sale of homes. If you want to increase your profits, you’ll have to sell more homes or larger homes this year as compared to last. However, connecting with as many clients as possible isn’t always easy. Traditional marketing needs, dealing with regular competition, and keeping up with current clients, make it difficult

Connecting with more people won’t just increase the likelihood of greater earning potential; it’ll most likely also create a ripple effect. Josh Siegelman, a broker for the Winich Realty Group, stated that the increased accessibility and real-time linkage offered by Helpouts could create an abundance of clientele and an overall higher number of transactions.

Better Allocation of Time

If you’re spending too much time on marketing, then you’re missing out on quality face time with clients who can improve your personal brand from a different angle. Likewise, if you’re spending too much time in the streets, your online presence is probably waning. Balance is key, and by using Hangouts, real estate professionals can offer great services, increase their SEO efforts, and build their personal brand without having to spend hours behind a computer.

Offer real time information and help without having to waste time driving to and fro. Give tutorials about selling a home while meeting with a client face-to-face. Manage your time better, and you’ll give better all-around service. 

 

By: Geek Estate Blog

Helpouts offer great ways to build a personal brand for nearly any real estate professional. However, keep in mind that business should not hide behind a computer screen entirely. Although going paperless and offering online tutorials and assistance can be of great benefit, clients are still going to want quality face-to-face interactions. Especially since many of your clients are making one of the greatest financial purchases of their lives.