Commentary by Matt Thomas
I grew up in the real estate business; my mom has been a Keller Williams agent for 30 years. But real estate wasn’t my first profession. I went into tech sales after graduating from Notre Dame. A couple of years ago, I woke up and realized selling to businesses instead of people wasn’t the right fit for me—real estate was.
Tech Tool Quandary
Getting started in the real estate business can be tough, especially when it comes to selecting the right tech tools. I was fortunate because both my manager and our local MLS (MRED) were huge advocates of Broker Public Portal with Homesnap. I felt like I was going to miss the boat if I didn’t dive in and learn how to use it.
Today, every single one of my buyers is on Homesnap. It’s an easy conversation. I share with them that we are a team, working toward a joint goal, and I want to help them be successful. To do that, every member of the team has to work in the same direction.
I also explain that while they have other options, Homesnap is the best way to collaborate. I can help track and manage the process for their benefit. Homesnap gives them better, more accurate data that comes directly from the MLS in real-time. Homesnap helps enable our teamwork, and I say to clients, “Between the two of us, we will find the right home for you in Chicago.”
Homesnap saves time when it comes to communications and collaboration. Using another app, they are going to “like” a hundred things, grab screenshots of each property, email them to me and I’ll have to look them up. Or, they can like them in Homesnap, and I’ll get a notification in two seconds. That keeps us on the same page.
Once clients click the link you send them to sign up, they are going to be connected to you. They will start snapping photos and favoring properties—and because I can monitor their activity, I can touch base throughout the process.
Homesnap eliminates communication gaps that buyers commonly experience. As they search, I can send them a message through Homesnap and say, “What do you like about this property? Do you want to go see it?” We have a constant exchange of communication.
Market Maker, Decision Aider
In a hot market, when you need to move quickly, Homesnap helps my clients win. Because I can instantly see their favorite homes, I can comment immediately. With my hyperlocal market knowledge, I can let them know, for example, when they are looking at a pretty active building and will need to act fast.
In a stagnant or slowing market, Homesnap may be even more important. Because it’s such an addictive tool, clients are often tempted to go in and browse using the Homesnap app. It subtly reminds them: “I want to buy a house.”
Homesnap as a Process
Spending thousands of dollars each month for a bunch of leads doesn’t help grow your business or refine your business processes—it just gives you names. If you’re good enough at hounding those people, you might get some leads out of it. Homesnap is different: It’s part of a process. It is how I add value to every transaction.
Today, you have to be on the front end of a customer’s search. Not using Homesnap is a missed opportunity. You risk losing deals to agents that pay to be featured on other third-party apps.
When I began in real estate, I felt like using Homesnap was something that I had to do. Now I can’t even imagine doing business without it.
Matt Thomas is a broker associate with Baird & Warner in its Lincoln Park office in Chicago. His background includes technology sales for an industry-leading, Chicago-based data management company, where he consistently exceeded his sales goals and honed his skills for managing complex negotiations.
Note: This column originally appeared in the September edition of Real Estate Magazine and online at RISMedia.com