A requirement for any business website or blog is to have a page where an online visitor knows exactly how to communicate using a variety of tools. Vagueness of information available can cause confusion causing the online visitor to spend more time searching for how to find phone #s, physical address, and other preferred methods of communication. Answering questions that could easily be posted to a Contact Me page will save time over the phone and answering emails relaying information that could be easily be accessible over the web.
You would be surprised on how many broker and REALTOR® Associations websites/blogs that you could not find the mailing address, phone #, and other contact information on the home or contact page.
Many of these items you may already be using, some not as effectively, or didn’t think about incorporating others. We can always make slight improvements so here are my nine nuggets for improving your contact me page.
9. Mailing address
Some real estate brokers and REALTOR® Associations have separate mailing addresses in addition to their physical address. Each one should be stated to avoid confusion on where to send direct mail. I’m surprised on how many people do not have their physical address or mailing address easily identifiable on their blog/website. This information can also be included on the footer (the area below the website that appears on every page/post).
8. Google map of Physical Location
Real estate brokerages and REALTOR® Associations have offices where agents need to visit the exact location. Open your Internet browser to http://Maps.Google.com, type in your address, and make sure that that your business or REALTOR® Association appears as the main link. Each address on Google Maps is assigned a hyperlink to send by email or other forms of social media. The Google Map can be embedded into the contact page meaning online visitors see a map inside the blog/website instead of clicking a link to visit the map. Google Maps allow you to zoom in and out easily and provide directions from any starting point.
7. Fax number
Members and agents will still send faxes so this communication tool is not going away. Employ a fax to email service that saves your office paper and ink on the printer. This will cost $10-20/month and will not only save on costs but also protect the privacy for credit card numbers and scanned check deposits from sitting on a fax machine over night.
6. Skype button
Many people are now using Skype as a communication tool because it is free, easy to use for phone calling, and has a video conferencing component. You will need to create a free account at http://Skype.com and also download the free software onto your computer.
To learn more about how to use Skype see this article.
If you had the chance to ask every agents five questions to receive feedback what would they be?
Example questions would be:
1. What is your preferred method of communication?
2. What is your biggest challenge?
3. If there is one thing we could do to help you what would it be?
Great survey and assessment tools include:
Each assessment can be turned into a hyperlink that can be posted to the contact me page in addition to email signatures.
Your brokerage or REALTOR® Association already has a Twitter account set up and if not, it takes two minutes to get started. Encourage your members to follow you so you as the organization can send them a private message if necessary. Remember if the person is not following you on Twitter then the only way you can communicate with them on Twitter is a public reply.
Same goes for Facebook but encourage visitors to share their feedback on the Facebook fan page. If they do then make sure to comment on their posting, attempt to solve the issue, or follow up with that individual over the phone.
2. Email address
The contact email address should be something as simple as Info@XYZassociation.com that forwards to the administrative assistant, office manager, or depending on the size of the organization it could be the Chief Executive Officer. In my opinion the Info@XYZassociation.com address should be an auto-responder that when an email comes in an automatic reply includes the links to frequently asked questions. The staff member assigned to this email should also follow up accordingly depending on the nature and importance of the email.
1. Phone number
If your phone number has this format online 314/555-5555 then chances are you are aggravating the people who are visiting the site from a mobile device. A mobile phone user cannot click on the 314/555-5555 to dial out because of the /. In order to dial out the mobile phone user has to write down the phone number, and then dial out from the phone application by typing in the numbers. Instead use 314-555-5555 or 314.555.5555.
Check out my contact me page as an example