Texting For Info vs. Calling a "Hotline"

When it comes to driving around to look at a home, or simply driving to a home after finding it online, what are your opinions/thoughts on getting more information? There are signs to "Text for photos/virtual tour", and others with phone numbers to call for automated information. I myself and more of a flyer person, but maybe I'm falling behind the times. Most signs that require some sort of action on your part are there to capture "leads".

Part of the pitch to take part in using these signs is because "buyers are savvy, and they want information now". Well, I understand that, so why aren't they in front of the home looking it up online where their information isn't being captured? I do believe that any/all information you can provide should be readily available. I'm really curious as to what your thoughts are.
  • May 03 2011 - Southwest Colorado Springs
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Answers (11)

Profile picture for sunnyview
That's a tough one. Some people do want that information now, but many buyers are leery of trading their private information/email/phone for it.

I have had really bad luck as a potential buyer with the 800# systems. The call back from the agent or their office has always been difficult to deal with. Most of time, I am simply not interested based on the details of the listing so I tell them that to try to save them professional time. Other times, the price has been unexpected so I'm honest about why I'm not interested. The agent goal is to get a new client or buyer, my goal is to get the information.

Follow up is important for any business, but sometimes the line between making yourself available as a professional and being respectful of a potential buyers privacy is hard to find. I appreciate flyers, but I have wondered about a system of doing a virtual flyer so you could text a number, get the vflyer and then check a box to have the agent send a virtual tour if your want more.
  • May 03 2011
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We actually appreciate it when someone is up front with feedback, it helps in talking to the seller when something needs to be done with curb appeal, or reassure them that we are priced right. It seems as though buyers love it when you call them back right away, offer to answer any questions, and then let them go on their way. It's surprising how many of them call you back later on another house because they liked the no push information.

  • May 03 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I completely agree. I appreciate information from agents very much and have called agents back later that I felt were doing their best to be helpful and professional on another property that I saw later.

Although your system allows for it, many agents seem afraid to give the potential client that space to call back. I think that's where I start to feel uncomfortable as a buyer. It's almost like being on a blind date where the other person insists on driving you home in their car. As a potential client, I like bringing my own car and calling them the next day instead if I like them. Follow up is important, but I think you have to take the risk to let them come back to you willingly after that first contact.
  • May 03 2011
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Profile picture for hpvanc
I saw a few when I was looking that had the URL for a virtual flyer.  I liked that unless they required contact information.  If they required contact information to view their ad, I went through my normal research procedures and ignored their website. 

The only time I called the 800 hotline (it was just a recorded audio listing ad, I did not leave my contact info at the end) on a house that I made an offer on, was told that another offer was accepted, but the house remained active on the market.  I still have no idea what was going on, and the property is still continuously active on the market 2+ years later.  It was a wasted call all around.
  • May 03 2011
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
I want information NOW!

I do not have a portable computing device with internet capability. I do not need or want one.

I call the listing agents number and talk to a human to get my answers. I hang up on computer systems.

A virtual tour is ok if it is just a slide show. If it is the camera walking around the house I can not watch it. The perspective is wrong for my eyes.
  • May 03 2011
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I love the blind date analogy, it is so funny yet so true!
  • May 03 2011
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@hpvanc: We usually have our personal number, and the hotline number there for 24 hour info. The virtual flyer can be a great thing, but I think if they require your information they should be required to disclose that before you waste your time.

@Dan: I also cannot stand the camera walking around the house perspective. Would you like to see flyers on signs instead?
  • May 03 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I appreciate flyers, but I I know that with a lot of listings it is hard to keep them in boxes. When my house was for sale, I mounted a laminated flyer with color photos to the front of the flyer box. That way even if I ran out, people could still get the basic info and decide if they wanted to call my agent for more info.

I am not big fan of those walking virtual tours either. I feel like I'm following a drunk party guest home. Slides are easy to click through and I think they give a better idea than the "wrapped" look of many virtual tours.
  • May 04 2011
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I like the idea of the laminated flyer in front of the box. It can be complicated to keep flyers in a box, at least in good condition, because inevitably someone always leaves it open when it's about to rain.
  • May 04 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
So true. I hate soggy flyers. It would sure be nice if they made a flyer box with weak spring in the lid so it would close by itself. 

I saw a lot of people that were drawn in by the photos on the laminated flyer, pull up alongside the flyer box and read the it before taking a paper flyer. For the laminated flyer, the font was a bit larger and featured the photos more. Then, a more detailed flyer of similar design was in the box. It worked great.
  • May 04 2011
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I told Jess and it sounds like that's something we are going to give a try. We tried putting a magnet on the lids before (weight to make the lid come down), but a spring would be much nicer. Thanks again for the idea!
  • May 04 2011
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