It's beginning to look like the real estate market is finally recovering and, with that, resellers can expect realtors to be more open to new business marketing investments that will enable them to use technology that helps them take a bigger piece of the growth for themselves. It also will make them more willing to loosen their purse strings. This presents an opportunity for resellers to offer an entirely new communications tool - digital signage - that can help them reach customers in new ways and extend their existing business marketing efforts.
Let's start with the most basic digital signage application - displays in sales office lobbies. Realtors can use digital signage technology to present their agents to visitors, as well as highlight available properties, based on price ranges. We've found that additionally they use their electronic signage to post customer testimonials and highlight the community detailing events, schools and rankings, libraries, parks and other services.
Digital signage also offers realtors the opportunity to easily feature their own listings with photos and details, which encourages visitors to buy from the listing agency. Realtors often use a database function available from StrandVision and, I assume, others that enables them to automatically present detailed listings with photos either randomly or in price bands. There are lots of other digital signage page management features available to realtors that make it easy for them to present their inventory in innovative ways.
One of the advantages of digital signs for realtors with multiple offices is that a single administrator or an authorized group of administrators can manage the digital signage to ensure that the messaging, listings and other information is accurate and up to date across the office network while still featuring local listings and news.
These traditional in-office digital signage applications have proven to provide effective communications for office visitors, but today real estate engagements often start on the Internet. In some cases, the first time that a client visits the office, if at all, is to sign a purchase & sale agreement.
That's why some digital signage providers include the ability to stream their digital signage content on websites, often at no extra cost, either as a frame within the main website or as a full-screen web presentation. This enables the real estate administrator to use the digital signage provider's Content Management System (CMS) to update the lobby digital signage system and simultaneously provide fresh, accurate information and listings on the website without any additional steps. No designers, no HTML, no arcane Web design software. All they have to do is post the digital signage page and within minutes it appears on the website. The digital signage provider takes care of the rest. Neither the realtor nor the reseller has to manage the interface or update the various communications channels.
And, as they say on the late night television commercials, "But wait, there's more!" Electronic signage also can be paired with Quick Response (QR) codes to enable viewers of both the television displays and the web pages to zero in on additional information on listings or sales. QR codes can be tied to each listing/digital signage page so prospects can scan the QR code and be taken to the realtor's Web site for additional details, a video walk through or an audio tour of a particular property on their smart phone or tablet.
In other words, digital signage can become the gateway into a realtor's entire portfolio of marketing materials.
Given the relatively low cost of digital signage with the instant updates that it offers, especially when compared to traditional print and online advertising, it makes a lot of sense. In this day and age it's the online differentiators that attract both seller listings and buyers. Digital signage can become the central marketing technology that supports other marketing programs and provides a quick and easy way to offer dynamic, accurate and up-to-the-minute office and online information. Your job is to make your local realtors aware of the potential and your digital signage provider should help you with the rest.
Mike Strand is founder and CEO of StrandVision LLC, an Internet-based subscription digital signage service that is distributed through resellers. Previously, Mike founded StrandWare, a leading bar code software and AIDC company. Prospective resellers may contact Mike at mjstrand@StrandVision.com.