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48: Josh Cobb: One Simple Marketing Strategy To Dominate Your Local Area

By |October 2, 2015| No Comments

 

In this episode of Real Estate Pros, Josh Cobb shares one simple marketing strategy that – if done consistently over time – will have an enormous impact on your brand awareness, customer loyalty and leads for your business.

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Josh Cobb: One Simple Marketing Strategy To Dominate Your Local Area.

Show Notes

In the “olden days”, a real estate business could only reach new customers through advertising – in newspapers, TV, radio, Yellow Pages, bulletin boards, flyers and brochures.

This is called outbound marketing and it worked because customers expected it. But that’s no longer the case. It’s now harder to reach customers and ad sales data suggests they have simply tuned out to advertising and mass media. If you haven’t heard already, Apple’s new operating system will make it far easier for users to block ads on their mobile devices and it has marketers and publishers worried.

Print advertising is not immune either. Industry-wide advertising expenditure on newspapers is expected to drop almost 11 per cent to $US14.4 billion this year, which will bring its slide during the past 10 years to about 71 per cent, according to MagnaGlobal.

Consumers today use social media recommendations, review websites, self-serve educational videos and reports, as well as various other online research all before they even think about talking to a salesperson. I’m not saying you should stop advertising – for certain situations, advertising still works. We use it here at Stepps for our events. But if advertising and pushing your product is all that you are doing, you are missing out on more business than you think.

Today’s consumer is smart and they’re getting much smarter.

The reality is that people today don’t want to hear about how great you are, how many years you’ve been selling houses, how quickly you sell properties, how much commission you charge or how many awards you’ve won. They want educational, helpful information to solve their problems. In return, they’ll reward you with their trust and ultimately the job of selling or managing their property.

Let me tell you a story about a guy by the name of Marcus Sheridan. Marcus runs a fibreglass pool company called River Pools and Spas in the town of Warsaw, Virginia. In 2007, River Pools and Spas had an annual turnover of $4 million and its annual advertising spend was $250,000. But along came the global financial crisis, and we all remember the impact that had on business. For Marcus and the team at River Pools and Spas, they were really hurting and within weeks of bankruptcy. People didn’t have the money to invest in pools and those who had ordered their pools were asking for their deposits back, which could sometimes be in excess of $50,000.

But while most pool businesses in the US continued to do business the same way they always had, Marcus decided he wanted a different approach.

Enter content marketing.

Marcus created a blog on his website and started answering every possible question relating to fibreglass pools that you could possibly think of. Anything from “how much does a pool cost” to “why is fiberglass better than concrete” and so on. There wasn’t anything he left out. His goal was to become the leading content provider about fiberglass pools anywhere in the world.

By 2011, River Pools revenue was $5.5 million a year, with a marketing spend one tenth of what he was spending in 2008. They cut their sales cycle by 50%. During the same period as River Pools and Spas was growing rapidly, other providers saw their sales drop between 50%-70%.

Marcus was on to something.

Today, Marcus is the leading authority on fibreglass pools in the world with factories all over the US, products in multiple countries and he travels the globe teaching other businesses the benefits of content marketing.

There are so many lessons in this story for real estate professionals. But I know what you’re thinking – where do we start?

Taking inspiration from Marcus’s story, we’ve tried and tested one simple strategy in real estate agencies with outstanding results. It’s an idea that – if done consistently over time – will have an enormous impact on your brand awareness, customer loyalty and leads for your business.

Step 1

Go to your email inbox right now. Search for every question you’ve been asked about listing, selling, auctioning, managing, buying or renting a property. For extra points, go around to the rest of your team and ask them to do the same thing with their email inbox. File these questions away into a folder.

Step 2

Film yourself and your staff answering each question in a video. These should be no longer than 90 seconds. Don’t worry too much about quality and you don’t need a professional videographer with all the flash gear and exorbitant pricing. The latest iPhones have fantastic camera quality and they will suffice for this exercise.

Try not to read from a script. Your clients and prospects will reward you for being real. If you can’t answer these questions confidently without a script, you should probably be thinking about a new career.

Step 3

Publish your videos to Youtube, Wistia or Vimeo and embed them on your website. This part is critical. You want people to watch these on your site where you have the ability to show them all of the other wonderful things you do. Send someone a link to Youtube and you’ll have little chance of keeping their attention over a funny cat video.

Step 4

Distribute your videos across your social channels and have your staff do the same on their networks. Make sure to include a link in your social media posts that sends people back to your site where they can watch more.

Extra Tip: Instead of replying to someone’s email with the same old standard response, send them a link to your videos on your website.

Step 5

Include your videos in your regular newsletters to clients and prospects – ensuring that you direct them to your own website. Make sure your site is optimised to make it easy for viewers and readers to subscribe to your helpful videos and regular e-newsletters. Creating helpful content that people actually want can dramatically improve your search rankings – Google favours quality content. You can spend hours creating fantastic content that attracts tonnes of traffic but if your site doesn’t guide your visitors through the sales funnel – or convert them into leads – you’re missing a huge opportunity.

In closing…

This is just one of many content marketing ideas we’ve helped real estate professionals implement in their business so we know it works for driving brand awareness, customer loyalty and ultimately new leads for your sales and property management departments.

One of our clients has taken this strategy one step further and they turn every video into a blog post by having the audio transcribed, as well as using the audio from their videos in a podcast on iTunes. This particular business produces 20 videos consistently every month – all helpful, all educational and highly relevant to their community.

Their commitment to content marketing is quite amazing and the longer their competitors keep doing things the way they’ve always done, the longer it’s going to take to catch up. The results speak for themselves by way of new subscribers to their e-newsletters and the amount of seller and investor leads they receive through their website consistently each month.

The golden years of advertising are over. The dawn of helpful content marketing is about to begin.

Will you be the one who carries the torch in your local market? I certainly hope that you are, or that you will.

Good luck.

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