Amidst reports of its decline, Facebook continues to dominate all aspects of social media – and many aspects of general web activity. With over 90% of all brands reporting that Facebook is an element of their marketing plan, it’s clear that the platform is healthier than ever. This past March at their annual F8 conference, Facebook unveiled another way that businesses will be able to utilize the platform to engage directly with their audience: Messenger for Business. In simplest terms, the development tool will allow businesses to better integrate Facebook’s native messenger chat into their websites, which will allow for next level to live-chat capability.
What can this new development mean for homebuyers and builders alike? Let’s explore a scenario.
Imagine that you’re a potential homebuyer searching home listings in your area. You come across a new community that you’re instantly in love with, and decide that you’d like more information. You notice a live-chat pop-up and click on it. It asks you for your Facebook info, and after a quick login you’re connected directly with the builder. You ask a number of questions, and receive feedback. Sensing that you’re extremely interested, the builder invites you to book an appointment. They offer you a few available timeslots. You’re not sure if the times work for you, so the builder tells you to simply let them know. Because the website’s chat applet has been using the Facebook messenger platform, the whole conversation is archived on your Facebook, and you’re now connected directly with the builder. Two days later, using your mobile phone, you open up the Facebook app and accept an open appointment time. The conversation is archived, so it’s easy for a representative of the builder to quickly see the message trail – and respond appropriately. The day before your appointment, the builder sends you a message with an easy to read Google map. Below is an example of how an interaction could take place.
Unfortunately, this feature isn’t available just yet. Facebook is slowly rolling it out with a small group of large US brands, but a representative recently revealed that we could see a release for all pages/businesses within the next 4 months. It’s very exciting, and has the potential to further personalize the homebuying process – and to create a strong community of engaged buyers. If you’re interested in Messenger for Business, Facebook is currently allowing parties to sign up for updates.