Do you remember a time when the only way to market your real estate services or your listings was by telephone, the newspaper, direct mail, or even fax machines? If you do chances are you’ve been around the real estate industry for quite some time.
But fast forward to today, and there are quite literally hundreds of digital channels that you can have a presence on to market your business. And it seems like there’s a new shiny digital channel, social media platform, marketing product, mobile app, or technology emerging just about every week that promises more reach, more impressions, more leads, and more everything.
But just because that shiny new platform or product promises those things, who actually gets to dictate what happens to your brand or your marketing on that platform or product? How much control are you giving up?
It’s an important topic we need to talk about in real estate.
I want you to think about the number of digital platforms that your business has a presence on today. How many are you on?
From Facebook, to Instagram, all of the portals, ratings and reviews websites, LinkedIn, Twitter, email, messaging apps, SMS, mobile apps, live chat, Facebook Messenger, enquiry apps. And the list goes on and on. And inside of those platforms or products, how many products or different levels of subscriptions do you have?
If you’re like most real estate businesses you probably can’t answer that question very quickly. There is so much technology and so many platforms that our businesses exist on today. And that list is growing exponentially every single day. But has it made marketing any easier?
I would argue in some ways that it has because unlike back in the older days when you had to pay the big media guys to reach their audience you can now reach that same audience yourself on any number of channels for a much lower cost, provided that you know what you’re doing.
In fact, we know and work with agents and businesses all over the country who are relying far less today on third-party platforms for seller and buyer leads than ever before. Simply because they’re using digital channels to take their listings and their content to buyers and sellers before buyers and sellers go looking for it on third-party sites. This is not something you could do before the internet came along in a big way. Or, certainly, not without the help of the big media guys.
Social media is important, third-party websites are important, as well as search engines. But it’s also important to remember that you don’t own any of them. They can change the rules on those platforms whenever they like. They can put up their prices, they can put banner ads on your profile if you don’t upgrade to the premium model. They can do all of this, and there’s not much that you can do about it.
You can complain about it, but that’s really not going to help move your business forward, now, is it?
So, what should you do?
Well, the first option is to simply just keep doing what you’re doing. And when the prices on those platforms or products go up, or when a free service suddenly becomes a paid subscription, you have to find a way to absorb that cost into your business.
But if that doesn’t sound all that appealing, then here’s what I want you to do – as a starting point.
For the next property that you list promote a Facebook ad for the property using the step-by-step guide that we’ve created on our website.
Invest a few hundred dollars, and direct potential buyers back to the listing on your website. I can’t stress enough how important it is to set up the Facebook ad properly. And it’s critical that traffic goes to your website.
You can waste a lot of money on Facebook if these two things are not done properly.
If you do this you will see a huge spike in traffic on your website from potential buyers who we all know can be potential vendors. And the best part, only you are on your website. No banner ads, no competitors, no distractions. And you get to control the conversation.
If you do this for every listing I promise that your website traffic will explode with potential buyers and sellers checking out you, your profile, and your listings. This is how smart digital real estate businesses rely less on third parties for new business today than they did yesterday. It’s just like having more sign boards or sold signs on more houses in your local market than your competitors. Only here you’re putting your sign boards and sell boards online.
Obviously, this relates to listings, but the same process applies to your profile and your content. Let your best content live on your website. And use the internet, especially social media and email, to amplify that content to bring people back to the only platform that you control, your website. And when a new digital platform or product comes along simply use it as another anchor for your website.
If you do this the less impact third parties will have on your business when they decide to change the rules on their platform.
The big media guys didn’t bank on our industry professionals getting smarter about digital so prove them wrong.
Take back control of your digital assets.
Hopefully, these quick tips have given you some clarity on how to approach your digital marketing moving forward and if you’d like to see how our team here at Stepps can help you, head over to our portfolio and check out some of our recent projects with some of Australia’s most forward thinking real estate brands.