In the stormy waters of today’s climate with COVID-19, how a business communicates and evolves its service can make or break its performance. When it comes to attending to the needs of Coldwell Banker agents and keeping in tune with the fluctuations of the real estate market, the Listing Concierge team has proven to be a ray of light to determined agents.
To find out how they’ve been able to help agents succeed in a unique crisis, we sat down with the Director of Listing Concierge, Kim Powell, for her insights on how the team continuously provides agents with premium products and service.
From your perspective, why was it important for Listing Concierge to adapt to the current environment and struggles with COVID-19?
One of the great things about Listing Concierge is that we already had a robust digital offering before COVID-19 struck, so we didn’t have to do much to make sure that what we were offering agents was relevant. We’ve got a wide range of materials we offer agents, including print pieces like brochures, mailers, postcards, etc., and digital elements like social media ads, web advertising, eBlasts and even televised ads.
So, we already had a great digital offering, but once COVID-19 struck, open houses stopped happening with shelter-in-place rules that went into effect in so many areas, so we decided to give agents the option of foregoing their printed brochure and instead opt for an extended social media ad. We partner with a company called HomeSpotter and we offer one of their products called Boost, which gives agents a robust social media and web ad to advertise their property. So, agents were able to decide, “Okay, do I want the brochures or an extended Boost ad instead?”
We offered them that choice because we wanted to make sure that the full package they were getting was still relevant for them in today’s market.
By now we all have an idea of how Listing Concierge is evolving to meet the demands of a shut-in market, especially with concentrated exposure… but I would say that Listing Concierge was already digitally equipped to suit many marketing purposes, so what’s in the works to further enhance Listing Concierge, and how did your team accomplish this?
One of the things that became important during COVID-19 was the reliance on video marketing. So the Listing Concierge team got in touch with all of our partner photography vendors, about 70, that we work with across the country, and we asked if they were offering any special discounts on things like Matterport, video walkthroughs or floorplans because we wanted our agents to be able to take advantage of these services. For the markets that have TV advertising, we started running properties for two weeks in a row in order to give them even better exposure. And our viewership is way up right now, so that’s been a great thing for agents. Another pivot we made was regarding The Update, which is a weekly eBlast we send out to all local agents, including Coldwell Banker agents. It’s basically a report of the new Listing Concierge properties that came on the market within the last week. Usually if an agent buys a package, they’d get The Update for one week, but during COVID-19 we actually extended it to two weeks in a row. And as of early June, we’re going to be showing virtual open houses as well.
In the last few months, it’s been clear that a quick response and valuable interaction with agents and vendors have been a priority for you and the Listing Concierge Team. Do you have any feedback on how Listing Concierge has helped agents continue to build their business?
For the month of May, 21% of our orders came from agents that have never placed an order. That’s a pretty powerful number there. In mid-March we saw a dip in orders, then we started to see a comeback in April, and now we’re spiking back up again. For the 21% of agents that just tried the program, I think they knew that they could lean on us for the first time, because they knew we were there to help them. I’m really proud and happy about the fact that we got them into the program, and hopefully they’re having a really good experience and want to use it again.
What kind of response are you getting from agents? For example, how many are choosing the Boost Ad over brochures?
When we introduced the option for an extended Boost ad, we saw quite a few agents taking advantage of the it. As shelter-in-place orders have been lifted and communities are starting to open up more, we’ve seen the demand for that go down a little bit, and agents are starting to go back to the print brochure more. Hopefully it’s a sign that things are getting back to a sense of normalcy, or whatever our new normal is.
Ultimately, how do you think this crisis will affect the future of Listing Concierge and how this program sees to the needs of agents?
One of the great things is we’re getting ready to migrate to our new platform, and it incorporates a lot of the agent feedback we’ve received over the last couple years. Based on everything that’s happened with the coronavirus, I’d love for us to offer more video products within the packages and make that a standard of the packages instead of an add-on. I’m hoping that we can continue to offer more digital, video and online elements that are going to be helpful to agents. The whole point of Listing Concierge is to offer a very well-rounded package with a variety of different assets, whether it be print, digital, web or TV. We want to make sure we continue to offer that robust package, and I would love to see us continue to expand into the digital sector.