Can Periscope help stop the extinction of agents?

Originally written for and published on Inman News

There’s been a great deal of discussion about the following factors jeopardizing the livelihood of real estate agents and the longevity of real estate being a viable career choice:
  • Marginal agents destroying real estate’s reputation
  • The decline in the relevance of agents
  • Removing agents from the transaction
In short, as competent real estate agents, we have to protect, prove and promote our reputation, relevance and place in an increasingly cynical and apathetic real estate marketplace to stay in business.
Periscope might be the social media tool to negate our extinction.
Periscope App Screenshot
Periscope App Screenshot

So how can this app help you counter such threats to your career and business?

Here’s my quick and sweet answer: Periscope helps you connect to captive, curious audiences with a live-video feed that captures authentic, relevant and timely client emotions spurred by your exceptional service. This tool can easily become an influential piece in staking your claim in a changing marketplace.

Let’s start capturing the instantaneous moments that matter for our clients and our would-be clients in this new way to view the world. You might be great at snapping photos, but imagine your impact with a live-streaming, easy-to-access video.

For instance, after getting to know your clients, you intuitively understand when a particular buyer-client will be awe-struck by a specific home, so capture a live-stream video of that moment for their friends, family and the world to see.

Imagine your client’s daughter, who is stationed in the military overseas, now seeing more than the pictures of the home that her mother, husband and children have chosen. She gets to see the live reactions and expressions moment by moment.

It becomes a great bonding moment for them and an incredible marketing moment for you and your business.
How about capturing the moment when your buyer’s umpteenth offer was accepted? You have gotten the go from the listing agent, and instead of shooting over a quick email, opt to meet your client in person for coffee, dessert or lunch where you share the good news and capture that once-in-a-lifetime reaction.

Then you can even promote it on Twitter to enhance the scope of eyeballs that see the videocast and, hopefully, connect with you. Your business can gain a lot of traction with such gleeful and heart-warming video snippets that demonstrate your professionalism and the importance of human connection in the real estate transaction.

Or how about nabbing the moment when your seller-client was elated to receive multiple offers, allowing them to close one chapter of their life and start a new adventure? As the gatekeeper, you typically will be notified first of good news, so make it a live-video casting moment.

What makes Periscope different?

I know what you are thinking: “That’s cute, but how is that different than using FaceTime, Skype or Google Hangouts?” The big difference is that Periscope is a live-streaming video social network that provides a new frontier to generate business. So the more special memories you videocast, the more followers you will likely amass with whom you will have the opportunity to engage.

This newfound audience ideally will become patrons of your sales business at the least, but at best, they will become raving fans.

This new social network hinges upon relevancy and authenticity, the very traits that are an endangered species in our industry.

There is nothing that compares with hearing the sporadic, surprised squeal of a first-time buyer going under contract or a speechless seller shed a reminiscent tear while joyfully handing over the keys to the home in which she raised her children. Periscope puts life and animation back into your client testimonials and reviews, and it introduces them to a whole new audience.

Additionally, Periscope stays pertinent for its audience because this app hungers after new content, obliterating old videos (in our microwave, fast-food generation, 24 hours is old). This should keep followers more connected to you when you regularly post because nothing in this app stays the same, slapping the myth that agents are not timely and relevant in the face .

Finally, because Periscope is the up-and-comer with a bigger millennial following, according to eMarketer, you can get dibs as an early adopter.

I am sure you have heard others share what they would have done had they been one of the first agents on Twitter, Facebook and the like. Maybe you have even had grandiose visions of what could have been had you acted sooner. Well, here is your chance to be the breakout sales star on a new social media network. Double boom!

Caveat: I would highly recommend informing your clients in advance about the sporadic video ops you will take with Periscope, asking if they would allow you to capture their special moments (Periscope gives you an option to make moments private for designated followers like only their family), and having them sign a release of image agreement at the time that you have them sign the brokerage agreement so that you are covered. Consult with your local attorney for wording on this.

As you can see, I like keeping up with the latest and greatest to help your business flourish. If you want more tips to transform your sales game plan using today’s top technology, then join me for my next webinar, “Why Streak should be on your real estate radar.” (That is a continuation from this Inman post, if you missed it.)
Happy selling!

Lee Davenport is a licensed real estate broker, business doctoral student, trainer and coach; learn more about the training and one-on-one coaching. Follow her on Google Plus and Facebook.
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