The Coronavirus pandemic has forced many real estate stakeholders to embrace new-age technologies. Real estate agents who have an online presence, have been able to continue running their businesses, while brokers who relied entirely on face-to-face meetings, have been forced to halt their business for the time being.
At a time like this, it may be a good idea to learn about technologies that could enable you to grow your business and the technical terms that would come your way. In this article, we list 30 technical terms that real estate agents will often come across, they try to expand their presence online.
Property technology, shortened as PropTech, is the use of new-age online tools, to assist real estate brokers in managing and selling properties. Using these tools, a broker can carry out nearly all of his business online.
A lead is a contact detail of a customer, who is interested in your product of service. The contact details might include the name, the mobile number, the email address or the social media connection of the user. Every lead is basically a potential customer, which can be converted into actual businesses if pursued effectively. Housing.com, for example, provides sellers with leads in various forms.
While a lead is any person who indicates interest in your product or services, in some way, shape, or form, lead generation is the process of converting this interest into active participation in that product or service.
Lead tracking is the process of following up with people who have evinced interest in your product or service. It also involves tracking the source and status of leads and coming up with effective actions, towards lead generation. This is an important part of the online business strategy. Lead tracking involves the broker gathering all details of the leads they have generated through various mediums. Using this information, you can follow up on the leads, based on their underlying potential, using lead management software. This huge data can also be used to find out what works out well for your business.
Once you see a high possibility in a user becoming a prospective client, you use various information and data sets, to make your interactions beneficial for the client from his perspective. For example, if someone is looking for a 1BHK home, you could send him mailers about the launch of such a property, as soon as you get to know about it. In good time, the lead may become a client and the process you followed to achieve this, is termed as funnelling.
Suppose that a client got in touch with you, through a mobile app or webpage. After making sufficient inquiries and being satisfied with the services, the customer may then be willing to buy the product. This process is known as lead conversion.
Keeping regular contact with past, present and future customers, is of utmost importance for agents. This is where customer relationship management (CRM) comes into the picture. This involves creating a database of all your contacts and using data to reach out to them at regular intervals and special occasions.
In paid advertising, impressions are the number of times any content on your website/app has reached unique users. In other words, impressions are the number of people who saw an online ad, article or video post, because it was displayed to the user. Whether they click on it or not, is not relevant in counting impressions.
Clicks are the number of people who have clicked on your advertisement/content and have come to visit your site, thereby, increasing the traffic on the site.
The traffic on your website or mobile app, is actually the number of visitors during a specific timeline. The traffic on your site/app can further be categorised into unique visitors and total clicks.
Call to action (CTA) describes the interactive features or anything on the app that ignites a response from the user. These help users to take action. For example, an online poll on your website, saying ‘Will property prices crash due to the Coronavirus crisis’, is one feature that would inspire such an action. Similarly, an option given to the users to rate their experience on the site, does the same.
When you send marketing emailers to advertise about your services, the percentage of people who click on links sent as part of the mail, is known as the click-through rate or CTR.
Cost per lead or CPL is an online advertising pricing model, under which a property broker pays advertising platforms only for a qualified sign-up and not for impressions or clicks on their advertisement. This model helps a broker generate secure returns, on his online advertising expense.
Keywords are the words or phrases that users are more likely to use, while looking for online content on search engines. Relevant keywords in your content/video, can ensure better ranking for your services on the web. A buyer, who is looking for a PG in Gurgaon, is more likely to type ‘PGs in Gurgaon’ and not ‘where are paying guest accommodations in Gurgaon’.
Search engine marketing (SEM) refers to the use of paid advertising on search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, to drive traffic to your website. If a user is looking for, say, ‘Property in Gurgaon‘, several ads appear on the screen along with other results. SEM is in fact a more secure way to present your offering, to an already motivated customer.
There are innumerable pages on the internet, providing similar services. Some webpages have higher rankings, while others are ranked poorly. This has a lot to do with the webpage’s Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). How good your ranking is, in the wide world of the web, would depend on keywords. You need to have a strong SEO in place, to get a good ranking.
Webinar is a combination of the terms ‘web’ and ‘seminar’, which refers to a seminar held online where exclusive audiences are invited to participate. People can conduct and attend webinars using their smartphones, laptops, tablets or desktops. Webinars enable participants to share and discuss data and information, by way of sharing video images and PowerPoint presentations and screen capturing. Zoom, GoToWebinar and Skype, are some of the most popular platforms to conduct webinars.
Often, property brokerage houses seek a visitor’s contact information, including name, job title and contact number, to provide certain information. Most common among these are research reports about property markets, etc. The page on which the user lands after entering this personal information, is known as the landing page in digital marketing. Advertisers use the personal information, to enhance their database and as potential leads.
In digital marketing, a microsite is created to focus on a single campaign. If a broker is launching a special offer to, say, sell properties in Gurgaon at a discount, he might launch a sub-site through the main site, to feature the new campaign. These could have a short or long-term life, depending on your requirements. These sites are also supported by their own social media campaigns.
Content management system (CMS) is the software used for website design. This software helps you in creating, managing and modifying content on your website. The most common CMS platforms are WordPress, Squarespace and Wix.
An application or app, on website or mobile, is software designed for a specific task. While an app for desktop or laptop computers is called a desktop application, those for mobile devices are called mobile apps. Using mobile apps, buyers can not only view properties available online these days but also complete almost the entire transaction.
The user-facing part of your website or app is known as its frontend. How a website looks to customers and how useful it is, in his overall experience, is decided by the frontend.
The part that powers a website is known as its backend. All the good work done at the backend, though coding, applications and linkages, is reflected at the frontend in the form of aesthetics and functionality of your webpage/app.
A database is a collection of each and every piece of information that a property broker has – names, addresses, emails, phone numbers and transaction history – with regard to his prospective and existing customers. In database marketing, this information is analysed and used to create a personalised experience for each customer, in order to expand reach and business.
API or application programming interface can mean two things. An API is the way in which web applications are created. APIs also enable software developers to use data and features of other products, to create the programme of their own. Map-based searches, for example, typically use the Google Maps API that enables them to use Google Maps on web pages. The same is true of Amazon Product Advertising API that allows developers to access Amazon’s product database and advertise Amazon products on their website.
User interface (UI)
User interface (UI) of your webpage or mobile app basically describes the role of the design elements and functionality of the page, in increasing or decreasing the user experience on your page/app. These include the size and font of the text, colours used, design of the icons, presentation of data and numbers, etc.
User experience (UX)
Suppose, a customer uses your mobile app and finds it extremely easy to navigate from one page to another and is able to complete the task they intended, without getting stuck anywhere. Their response to the app would be known as UX. A bad user experience can cost someone their business. This is why there is a lot of emphasis on enhancing the user experience by way of keeping things simple and functional, in webpage and app designs.
Suppose, you have a website featuring your products. Now, how well does this site run, if a customer chooses to view it on his mobile, which has a smaller screen size? This response of your webpage on the mobile, is known as the mobile response of the webpage. The success of the page would entirely depend on how user-friendly the page is, on mobile.
Visual display plays an important role, in the sale of property units. A high dynamic range (HDR) video will showcase the property in greater detailing. HDR video displays comparatively better luminance and colourful content, along with eye-catching contrasts.
A virtual tour is the collaboration of a series of pictures or videos, to enable your user to have a realistic view of the property online. A virtual tour not only gives the buyer a fair idea about the property but also saves time, energy and effort. This is precisely why virtual tours of properties have been popular tools, to make a website user-friendly and stay relevant. At a time when buyers are not able to go for site visits, virtual tours can be extremely handy.
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