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87: Josh Cobb: Stop Building A Database & Start Building An Audience

By |July 14, 2016| No Comments

 

In real estate, we create a lot of content. We print a hell of a lot of paper with our listings, our agent profiles and calls-to-action about why someone should list and sell with us. We as real estate professionals are advertising machines.

But if we all stopped all that today, would anyone miss it? Would anyone care that their letterboxes or email inboxes would no longer be filled with our marketing ‘fluff’? We would likely all agree that the answer to this question is no.

In this episode of Real Estate Pros, we discuss the difference between having a database of contacts versus having an audience of loyal fans – including a real life example of one agent who – in just 12 months after returning to the industry – has built a following of 8,000 subscribers.

Why You Need To Stop Building A Database & Start Building An Audience

Over the past couple of months , my team and I have been travelling around Australia presenting our Digital Marketing Essentials Workshop and we’ve met hundreds of real estate professionals and marketers from all different size companies.

At the start of each workshop, we asked the audience to tell us one challenge they each faced when it came to marketing their brand.

Aside from some of the obvious questions like ‘how do we get more leads?’, real estate professionals all over the country made it very clear that standing out and cutting through all of the marketing noise was important to them.

And it’s not hard to understand why.

With more and more consumers wanting self-serve information before picking up the phone and speaking to salesperson, it’s becoming harder to cut through the clutter these days.

Layer on top of that, the perception of real estate agents in the eyes of the community, marketing today is harder than ever.

During one particular workshop, I met an agent who had left the industry after what he referred to as ‘burning out’.

For the sake of this story, let’s call him David.

David told me how he had only recently returned to selling real estate after a much needed break. It was truly a raw and honest account of what I’ve personally seen some agents go through when it all gets too much.

But it was what David had done only 12 months after returning from his time out of the industry that was really intriguing.

In just over a year, David had built his database to 8,000 contacts. Naturally curious, I asked David what he had changed.

He said:

“Before, I was probably no different to any other agent. I did letterbox drops, I called my former clients on their birthday, I had trails setup to send out market information to my top 50 prospects, I had call lists ready for me every morning, I did everything we’re taught to do in real estate, I made a very healthy living selling property and I had a good database of contacts. But this time around, I don’t want to build a database, I want to build an audience.”

David proceeded to tell me about his lifestyle blog and property Q&A videos on his website that have been the main focus of his marketing over the past 12 months and the reason for his growth in email subscribers. He’s become a real local celebrity.

In real estate, we create a lot of content. We print a hell of a lot of paper with our listings, our agent profiles and calls-to-action about why someone should list and sell with us. We as real estate professionals are advertising machines.

But at the end of the day, if we all stopped all that, would anyone miss it? Would anyone care that their letterboxes or email inboxes would no longer be filled with our marketing fluff?

We would likely all agree that the answer to this question is no.

In a recent interview, the famous rock legend Bruce Springsteen said this:

“An audience is not brought to you or given to you; it ’s something that you fight for. Getting an audience is HARD. Sustaining an audience is HARD. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.”

You cannot deny the fact that there would be millions of people genuinely upset if he decided to hang up the guitar and never play again.

This is the difference between having a database and having an audience of loyal fans.

Your loyal fans aren’t reading online agent comparison sites when it comes time to sell. They aren’t calling in three or four other agents. They aren’t questioning your advice.

Your audience are your clients for life, but it takes time to build an audience and not every agent is prepared to put in the time and effort – like our friend David – to create helpful content, consistently over time.

Email subscribers may not be tangible assets right now, but with the right message to the right person at the right time, your audience will quickly turn into paying clients when the time has come to sell their most valuable asset.

So… what content can you produce that should you ever stop, you would have an army of fans genuinely upset?

Because remember, this is the difference between having a database like every other agent and having an audience of loyal fans.

Good luck.

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If you enjoyed this episode of the Real Estate Pros podcast, please head over to iTunes, leave us a review and subscribe. If you have any feedback for us on how we can improve, we would love to hear from you because this show is all about helping you, the real estate pro. Please email us at [email protected].

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