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5 minute read


Business is returning to (somewhat) normal for real estate in some markets throughout Australia and real estate businesses are starting to invest in their marketing, branding and digital strategies again. And just like during pre-COVID times, many are turning to third-party digital marketing companies or consultants for help to get the edge over their competitors.

Sadly we hear all too often from real estate businesses and franchise organisations who have started working with a third party marketing company or consultant only for it all to end in broken promises and poor results.

You can certainly “get what you pay for” when it comes to engaging a third-party consultant so, on this week’s video, we’re going to talk about what you need to know about hiring and working with a digital marketing partner to get the best possible results.

Digital marketing truths

Winning attention online today as a real estate professional is hard and it’s harder than it’s ever been before. You’re not just competing for attention against other real estate agents.

On social media specifically, you’re competing for attention against:

  • people’s family and friends
  • the things that they deeply care about.

On Google, you’re competing for attention against:

  • the major portals
  • ratings and reviews websites, and
  • lead generators with big advertising budgets.

So, what do you do? How do you keep up with that rate of change and what are the strategies for cutting through all that noise to generate new business?

Well, a lot of real estate businesses are very busy and they need to turn to third-party marketing agencies, social media or digital marketing consultants to help guide them and then to actually do the work for them and while sometimes that is a match made in Heaven, it doesn’t always end up being a fairy tale business relationship.

We hear from agencies, franchise organisations, and individual agents all the time who have engaged a third party to help them with their digital marketing only to be left with minimal, if any, return on their investment.

The marketing consultant or agency ends up getting fired and the real estate agent or agency is left thousands of dollars out of pocket and then become quite jaded about the whole digital marketing thing as well.

So, they go and do everything else that they used to do in terms of advertising and marketing and they revert to the old way and this is a really sad reality in so many real estate businesses.

We all know how important the internet is for growing our business and engaging a third-party marketing agency or consultant is almost always the best approach because you can’t do it all yourself and hiring someone in-house is not always possible or the best approach either. So, what should you do?

Tip #1: Be really clear about what you actually want help with

A social media consultant is likely not the best person to help with your SEO or your website. Just like an SEO consultant is likely not the best person to help with your social media strategy.

These are both very different skill sets just like property management is to sales in your business and you shouldn’t expect to hire a marketing consultant or agency that can do everything and especially things outside of their specialty. There are some agencies and consultants who do have people in their business to help with most areas of digital marketing.

They’re rare and sometimes it can be better to have different consultants or multiple agencies all working together to help with all of those different areas of your digital marketing.

Tip #2: Look at what the consultant or marketing agency are doing themselves

If they’re claiming to be the best at social media, SEO, or content marketing, but they’re not doing any of these things well themselves, it pays to question if they are going to be the best fit for your business.

Tip #3: Ask the consultant or marketing agency for some case studies and results that they’ve achieved for other real estate brands

There are a lot of digital marketers who use figures like growth in Facebook likes, Instagram followers, or website traffic as the reason behind why you should choose them but you need to go deeper and look at more valuable metrics like growth in email subscribers, vendor leads, property management leads, or inbound inquiries that they’ve generated for their clients.

Any marketing agency or consultant worth their fees will be able to show you how they deliver return on investment for their clients. Not just big, fluffy numbers. Also, go through their portfolio on their website and pick out a couple of their older and newer clients to call. Ask them what their experience was like and what were the tangible results that they’ve received from working with that particular marketing agency or consultant.

Tip #4: Try and look for marketing agencies and consultants with experience in the real estate industry

There are a lot of marketing agencies and web developers and consultants who specialise in other industries like e-commerce or consumer products and they do an excellent job but when it comes to real estate, it’s a very different consumer and a very different product and service to sell than every day consumable items.

You’ll likely find that by working with an agency or consultant who has experience in the real estate industry will cut down on that back and forth between you and your marketing partner because they understand your audience at a much deeper level and it will also cut down on the time required for the discovery process at the start which is a nice thing as well.

Wrapping up…

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 prominent real estate brands.

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