Today’s real estate consumer is faced with invitation overload from companies competing for their attention. In this episode of Real Estate Pros, we’ll explore why real estate agents need to think like a media brand to gain more attention and earn more clients.
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Today’s real estate consumer is faced with invitation overload. Companies of every size, shape and description are asking your customers and potential customers to like them, follow them, click here to watch this video or download their amazing app – there’s a lot of noise and that creates a big challenge for all of us as marketing professionals.
The common misconception among some real estate professionals is that the louder you shout, the better you’ll be heard. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
You are not just competing for attention against other real estate professionals. With things such as social media, smart devices, live streaming and the seemingly endless amount of ways consumers can access information, you are competing for attention against everything.
Let’s take Facebook, for example. When we all log in to Facebook – you’re likely no different – we see something posted by a friend or family member, then a post about a viral news story and then another post by a family member. It’s not just on Facebook – it’s everywhere. You are competing for attention against everything on every device and in every channel that your customers and potential customers are using at any given time.
What that means for real estate professionals is you shouldn’t be aiming to be better at marketing than your competition. You need to be as relevant and interesting to your clients and prospects than their own family and friends.
So how can we create a compelling story that generates attention?
Media companies are really good at this. This is what they focus on. This is the core for them because their revenue model is tied directly to audience attention. A lack of audience for a media company means a lack of revenue so when a media company publishes content, their focus immediately goes to: “How can we get the audience involved?”
This is the key to thinking like a media company – no matter what marketing you are doing, you should automatically go in with the aim to build an audience first, well before interjecting with your own message.
So how are brands adapting their marketing to gain attention in this new marketplace? Let’s look at some examples.
On October 14, 2012, Red Bull launched one of the most innovative marketing plays ever done. Felix Baumgartner skydived from the edge of earth at 127,000 feet. This event took place live on YouTube with 9 million viewers – the most amount of views received for an online event by more than 8 million views. On the next day, Red Bull had more than three billion media impressions by hitting the front page of nearly every offline and online news publication on the planet. That video today has just shy of 40 million views and it’s just one in a series of videos that has netted hundreds of millions of views put together.
It goes without saying that this particular campaign was a huge undertaking. It certainly had a large dollar amount tied to it but it also took the willingness from the team at Red Bull – a company that sells a little can of energy drink – to tell a story that people would find interesting, enlightening and entertaining.
This is something you and your company have the ability to do and ought to be thinking about because, like it or not, there are real estate teams catching on to this thing we call content marketing.
Brad Bell Real Estate, a medium-size real estate agency in the southern suburbs of Brisbane, Australia, has a video series they call BBRE TV. Each month its staff produce a number of videos – featuring those same staff members – where they simply answer real estate-related questions they’ve been asked in the previous month. There is no selling in these videos and the only call to action is to visit their website for all of the other helpful videos they’ve done. They then use social media to broadcast their helpful, educational and entertaining videos with the sole intention of building their audience.
As a result, Brad Bell Real Estate not only delights its clients by providing a library of helpful content, but drives new email subscribers, opt-ins for ebook offers and leads for its sales and property management departments.
By focusing on delivering value to consumers without any expectation of an immediate sales-ready lead for its business, Brad Bell real estate is just one example of a real estate business that thinks like a media company. It is generating attention by delivering inherently helpful content to its community.
Gary Peer Real Estate in Melbourne, Australia, is another example of a real estate company thinking like a media brand. Its popular GPTV episodes are a hit with their community. Each week, both Gary Peer and Phillip Kingston put together a 10- to 15-minute video to discuss recent results, team milestones and community news. Accompanying GPTV are also a library of helpful videos answering real estate-related questions from clients and prospective clients.
The statement I get from principals all the time is “I’d love to do this stuff, but there’s just no way we have time to do it.”
I have a little saying that goes: “Do what you do best, and invest in the rest.”
Companies such as Brad Bell Real Estate and Gary Peer Real Estate have invested in the people, technology and systems that allow them to think, act and produce content like a media company because they know this is what it takes to get attention in this attention-poor economy we all live in. You can as well.
My question to you this week is: Do you think of yourself as a real estate business?
Or would you prefer to think of yourself as a media company that happens to sell real estate? It’s a really interesting question – one that I’m always thinking about and I hope you will as well.
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