Tech Agent Q+A 💭 Get to know realtor Vannessa Carter, @itstimetocoast, a seasoned agent at @DunesProperties, in South Carolina. Find out how she uses her App to help clients find the luxury homes of their dreams while building her business online.
“In a vacation home market, I love using my App with clients who may be new to searching the area. They don’t know…what homes they can get for 750K, 1 Million or 2 Million and my App allows them to play with that and explore, without me having to ask.”
Why join a brokerage that values marketing and tech?
“I relocated from Virginia and came right to work for Dunes Properties 15 years ago. They have Traci (Magnus) a full time marketing director, so from the get go, they showed us the importance of brand recognition and staying consistent with our website, our branded App and social media…I’m even wearing my signature blue and white today!”
Most effective App feature?
“Being in a luxury home market, I have buyers that may not buy for 2 – 3 years, I’ve even had clients not buy for 7 years…but eventually they do. My App is great because it allows clients to set their own saved search preferences. Buyers often hold back when telling you how much they are willing to spend, they may say they can spend 1 Million and really and truly they are willing to go to a Million Five. I like that I can go into my App’s Insights feature and see if they are searching at a higher price point, then I know they feel comfortable there.”
How do clients use your App?
“I have had clients come back to me and say, I didn’t like anything I’ve seen in my price range, but I did see this house in your App that was actually a little higher…and that led to a great discussion of “Well what you can really afford, because I think if you go up to that price point, your going to be very happy – the App is a good vehicle for navigating communications.”
“Sometimes I don’t want to send people properties that are beyond the budget they have told me, because you don’t want to appear “pushy” but if I give them my App that lets them do it themselves it’s a completely different story.”
You have a strong social media following, how did you achieved this?
“Most of my business comes from my hometown in Virginia and my college friends who are now scattered all over, so social media, mainly Instagram has been key in reconnecting with people. I get old sorority sisters reaching out, “Hey, my neighbor is looking for a place in Charleston and I gave her your name.” If I did not take advantage of marketing my real estate business on social media, those referrals would not happen.”
Advice to agents starting on social? Biggest mistake – just “posting listings”
“One of the mistakes I see with agents just starting out is a page full of 2,3,4 million dollar homes. You can’t just show listings, you’ve got to add value! Know your community and share that with people. I call it the “Chamber of Commerce” aspect of what I do. I bring people to town to search, put them in my car and I do my first day “Chamber of Commerce Tour”. We have to learn the areas before we even look at specific house. When you can do that it gives people a lot more comfort and then they trust you.”
You must use technology, If you can’t hire someone who can
“I am 59 and I have embraced tech and social media more than most people my age and I’m proud of that! If you’re not good at doing that yourself, hire someone to help you! There’s lots of good people out there…I pay someone to manage my business account because when people land on it, I want it to feel cohesive and on brand. The girls who manage my account know me and my voice so it feels authentic.”
Agents my age: keep an open mind with tech – it makes your job easier
“Agents in my age set, instead of saying “Oh I’ve gotten this far without tech, give it a try! Like my with my Dunes Properties App – it makes my job easier, it allows my buyers to have more autonomy in terms of setting their own searches. Just don’t make the automatic response of no, it’s really easy you just have to give it a chance!”
Watch our full interview with Vannessa below:
Also, we want to hear from you too! Have creative tips of how you are using your App? Let us know email@example.com.