By Anne Ewasko
As we become increasingly digitized in our communications, I have found that as it’s supposed to make our lives easier, it is, in fact, becoming more and more of a time killer. The never-ending flood of emails in our inbox can drown you quickly, and the constant pinging of incoming texts just pulls us out of focus as it demands our immediate attention to respond. If we rely too much on these forms of communication, it depersonalizes our client relationships, and no matter how good you are in composing a great message, it can never compare to that face-to-face conversation where we can truly express what we are trying to convey.
But in this pandemic world we live in today, those face-to-faces aren’t options as much, and scheduling formal Zoom sessions also takes time away from not only our busy schedules, but our clients’, as well. So, what is a good solution? Well, a couple of years ago, I was introduced to video messaging.
What is “video messaging” exactly? Basically, you subscribe to one of the products that are out there. For me, I did BombBomb, and you get an app that allows you with a press of a button to video-record a message, and then with another click, you can easily send it via text or email to your client, and boom — they receive it without having to click a link to access it. It’s right there for them to view, and it’s immediate and easy. It’s the next best thing to having that face-to-face conversation.
Sounds pretty cool, right? I thought so, too, but why didn’t I jump on this wagon earlier? Well, No. 1, it was pre-pandemic and I really didn’t see the need back then, and No. 2, as cool as they may be to receive, I really didn’t see myself making video-recorded messages to send to clients. I was happy in my comfort zone with my traditional emails and texts, but not so much with putting myself in front of a camera to record these messages. It felt weird and awkward, it just wasn’t my style, and to be quite honest, I was pretty intimidated by it, so I shelved the idea for a while.
Then the pandemic hit a year ago, so we all ran to Zoom to be able to “meet” with clients (in our sweatpants and fancy shirts), and being on camera just became the norm. Then it went from Zoom meetings to virtual walk-throughs and even Facebook Live open houses — yikes! So, I took another look at video messaging and thought, “Why not?”
As I delved deeper into BombBomb, I was really surprised at how easy it was to use and regretted that I had been paying the monthly subscription of $29 on it for almost a year and not using it! It comes with your own personal video library to store your creations, so you do not need to use up your own cloud space. They do not limit the length, size and types of videos you send. If you already have existing videos made, they allow you to upload them into your library, as well, so no need to reproduce them.
Also, I found that they do smart streaming, so your clients do not have to wait for the videos to load. Their system can already determine which device is being used and the connection speed, so the video will automatically adjust to it and be delivered in the right size. I was also worried about how difficult it would be to get it integrated into my website and CRM. I assumed it would be a frustrating process and that I would have to spend tons of time with their customer support to get it up and running, but I was surprisingly shocked that it was just a matter of a few clicks and I was in — no support needed! They do provide 24/7 support, group coaching sessions and, of course, tons of how-to videos (as that is what they do!) to help you if you need it.
Once you have the software set up, it allows you to send e-blasts to your contacts, create drip campaigns and even enable auto-responders for those frequently asked questions from clients. It’s all stored in your library for those pre-canned ones, so it’s just a simple click and voila, they have the info they are looking for! That alone saves me hours from having to get on calls to explain things, plus the client can view it at their convenience.
The analytics provided are quite stellar, as well. Each video is tracked, so you are informed if it was opened and how much of it they actually watched. They will even score it, so you can see which of your videos are performing best (and the ones that are not). This allows you to see what is working and adjust the ones that are not so you can get the best of your best out there.
Once I got it all set up, it was time for me to roll up my sleeves and get started on making my videos, but … don’t do what I did! I overthought it and overproduced my first video. Being the perfectionist that I am, I set out to make the best video intro of myself, so I… wrote a script, got all prettied, set up my camera and started rolling. It took me over an hour and at least 15 takes as I tripped over my words a bazillion times before I finally felt I got it right. The sad thing is that it ended up being almost 2 minutes long (which is an eternity for a viewer)! Anyway, I was all proud of myself at the time and then had it integrated into my website so that new visitors could automatically get a quick intro of who I am, how I work, what I’ve done, what I can do for them, blah, blah, blah…
I was excited to try it out because I thought it was so efficient to get my message out, and for sure new prospects would be pounding down my door to work with me. Do you know what happened? To my dismay, after a week of looking at the analytics, I found that most people were opening it but only a few hung in there for more than 20 seconds — and not one person knocked on my door. (What a waste of time that was!) I learned very quickly that video messaging is not for highly produced, scripted and polished presentations. I needed to change my game, and boy, did I.
Video messaging has been a total game changer for me. It is inexpensive, saves me a ton of time and is ridiculously easy to use, but most importantly, it humanizes my interactions with my clients. They see me and hear me, and there’s almost an instantaneous trust that goes along with that. For me, it cannot be done just through robotic texts and emails anymore, and there’s no better way to stay in front of my clients and build those lifelong relationships.
Anne Ewasko is a veteran Realtor in the Chicago area and a longtime techie. Visit her at Anne.LuxHomeChicago.com.