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[CometChat] How in-app messaging can help online real estate business


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Posted 18 March 2019 - 11:21 AM

Just like any other industry, the dynamics of real estate business has changed too. The customers are different, the sellers are different, and even the real estate markets are different. Now, maybe you have created a website for your business, added listings on it and operate it as a real estate marketplace.

It’s a good thing to do, but just adding listing won’t cut it. To make the most out of it, you need to ensure that various participants in the online real estate marketplace are able to communicate with each other to ensure transparency and faster transactions. For this, adding in-app messaging to your real estate platform is the right thing to do.

For instance, customer engagement in the form of real-time messaging is perhaps common for a marketplace to have, owing to its ease of use and popularity among millennials. The ever-increasing use of real-time chat is becoming important for businesses and organizations in order to increase engagement among their users and provide a fully-transparent medium.

Now, talking about online real estate marketplaces, there is huge potential for in-app messaging to revolutionize the real estate scene. Communication in real-time will ensure dealers to stay connected to the leads, and for leads to clarify any queries they might have.

While real estate has always been seen as a domain that prefers staying away from technology, the times are changing. These days, real estate has seeped all the way into the heart of online on-demand platforms.

The entry of real estate into the on-demand economy

On-demand platforms are the buzz today. Everything is done on smartphones these days, hence the rise of on-demand apps and the boom of the on-demand economy. The “Uber for X” model is gaining speed, and it won’t be long before we see an Uber-esque model for each and every product or service imaginable out there.

How does the real estate online marketplace intersect the on-demand economy?

On-demand economy has already crept into the real estate marketplace. For instance, if you have an underutilized space of real estate, turn to breather.com and get on-demand room and space management. If parking spaces are an issue with your real estate, turn to zirx.com and get those solved.

The underlying feeling is that the on-demand economy, when intersected with the online real estate marketplace, helps reduce friction in the real estate operations. The market has always been hectic for home sellers and buyers, and they could certainly do with a bit more convenience. This is exactly what the on-demand economy aims to bring to the online real estate marketplace.

As the real estate marketplace catches up with the speed of on-demand, there are a few things that become crucial for the success of such an amalgamation.

  • The speed of your service. Since on-demand is all about quickness and how fast you can deliver your product/service. No one likes to wait these days.
  • Quality of customer experience. If your users have a bad time using your online real estate platform, then would they come back to you or recommend you to their family and friends? Most probably, the answer to both these questions is no.
  • How to retain your customers and keep them engaged. Most of the interactions occur on smartphones these days. Making sure your customers remain your customers and stay loyal is an integral part of the process. This is where real-time chat and messaging actually steps in, to keep the users engaged and solve all their problems as soon as possible.

The importance of real-time chat and messaging arises from the fact that interactions with online marketplaces take place on mobile or web platforms, therefore, immediate communication with these users becomes a priority when it comes to user satisfaction and retention. Chat fits this dynamic perfectly, being an immediate and real-time communication solution to keep people connected on the real estate marketplace. This also facilitates fast and quality services to users, which fulfills the aforementioned points that we discussed before elaborating on the need of real-time communication.

How will messaging enable real estate to communicate in real-time?

Time is of the essence when it comes to real estate deals. The nature of the business usually means that closing a deal from start to finish takes up too much time, more than what the broker or the buyer wishes to spend. In an ideal scenario, the customers should be the first ones to see a listing that fits their needs, the first ones to tour the place and then buy it.

Similarly, real estate brokers should immediately be able to contact the involved parties using in-app messaging at the real estate marketplace, instead of wasting their time cold calling or writing emails to generate leads.

Customers wanting speed out of the real estate process has given birth to the potential of messaging to enable the real estate marketplace to communicate in real-time. The customers won’t have to visit the property or agent numerous times just to clarify questions, all the communication can be done in real-time over text and video chat itself.

Most of us give up our daily google searches if we do not get an answer within the first minute of searching. Similarly, people when looking for real estate listings do not stick around, they move on to the next one. Now, integrating a messaging or chat function into this kind of a platform has many advantages.

It becomes easy for agents to manage communications. Since they can manage to chat with many people at once, agents get their jobs done quicker, and may even close deals faster than you could imagine. This also prevents agents from wasting time on leads that are likely to lead nowhere. As compared to the past when they could only communicate with one prospect at once, they can communicate with a number of them and use it for leads qualification too.

Buyers or sellers get the immediate response that they wish for. They can speak immediately to agents when their intentions of buying or selling are at their highest points.

For cases where the buyer, seller or broker becomes idle or inactive, push notification or SMS/email system could be put in place to ask the involved party to either respond or to close the deal. If still no response is received, then the deal can be marked as unsuccessfully closed.

Further, users can communicate among themselves and clarify any doubt/query they have related to any property/dealer. This will not only enable transparent communication but also keep your users hooked.

Messaging and real-time chat does exactly what it is meant to do – make communications simpler and more effective. For real estate tech, property tech, and online real estate marketplaces, real-time messaging is already playing a crucial role.

Methods of monetization for online real estate platform

Not only can an online real estate marketplace help you build a bigger brand name for yourself, there are many opportunities for generating revenue that are possible only when you have a full-fledged online real estate marketplace. While it all depends on how much value you are providing to the customers and other participants in the marketplace, here are some of the most promising ways of monetizing an online real estate marketplace:


1. The traditional commission system

Well, here’s an obvious one. The same way real estate brokers have always made money in the past – earning commission from the sales! However, if you study it closely, paying and earning commissions from sales will be much smoother and more streamlined than it used to be. With all the information about transactions stored online, it will be more transparent and free from bad-player problems.


2. Drive sales by advertising in chats with lucrative offers

This can have a great impact on your sales if you manage to get the in-app messaging game right. The customers, as well as sellers in the marketplace, must be able to find the right match as per their needs. If this is achieved, you will find that the conversion rate is increased.  Now, once the users start using the in-app messaging of your marketplace, you can place highly personalized ads that have high rate of clicks and eventually conversions. Not only this, by running campaigns and offers in pilot-mode within the in-app messenger of your marketplace, you can truly get the hang of what your customers really want.

3. Using Role based Access Control

A real estate marketplace can generate revenue by restricting and enabling access to various features in the platform to users depending on the paid plan they choose. Not only this, using this method can help the real estate marketplace owners and operators to identify users on the basis of their willingness to pay. Hence, allowing them to build solutions that can convert non-paying users to paying ones.


4. Credit Reduction for monetizing in-app messaging

If you provide enough value to the customers and the user experience is great, the users might be willing to pay for using the chat features such as greater storage of media files, screen-sharing or even premium voice and video calls. You can introduce the credit system to the in-app messaging. The users can then be charged with credits depending on what features they used and for how many times.

How messaging will enhance the quality of service for online real estate, RETech and PropTech.

Unlike usual deals, stakes are much higher with real estate deals. But the customer is the same, they need answers and have their doubts clarified in real-time. That’s the reason why in-app messaging is a must for real estate marketplaces.


Streamline the process for buyers

Not only this, the buyer is supposed to be taking care of a gazillion factors when it comes to real estate deals, from taking a loan to doing tons of paperwork and from finding the right home to negotiating, they’re doing it all. With in-app messaging feature in your marketplace, you can make sure that at least the communication aspect of the deal is taken care of. Whether it’s communicating with the sellers or other buyers on the platform – in-app messaging makes it all not only possible but also seamless.


Everyone likes it fast

Be it the sellers, the buyers or even the agents, none of the participants in your marketplace likes losing time, and time means money! The customers want to get maximum attention and want updates real-time about the listings they’re interested in and properties that are getting listed. The sellers, too, don’t want to wait for weeks before getting any qualified leads. All of this can be accelerated considerably by introducing in-app messaging to your marketplace.


Be Insightful, be useful

With in-app messaging active at your real estate platform, you can generate very useful insights about what the various participants want and how you can make solutions that drive growth for your business. Once you are able to understand what kind of property a buyer is looking for, you can personalize the property they are shown when they surf your marketplace. The same personalization based on their behavior and activities can be done for sellers. This will boost transactional volumes and hence revenue for your marketplace.

Wrapping it up

Communication and trust are of utmost importance when it comes to the success of any marketplace. Introducing in-app messaging with a great interface and impeccable user-experience helps you achieve both of them.

Still have any questions about how in-app messaging can help your real estate marketplace platform?


Consult CometChat about In-App Messaging

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