Be selective when choosing your ‘brand building’ social media
In a recent blog post, I talked about how the erosion of newspaper advertising is also eroding an agent’s ability to leverage current listings to get new ones, due to the way property portals like realestate.com.au and Domain serve listings to buyers algorithmically, and the way people, generally, use the internet to find a professional service. If I haven’t already made it abundantly clear, your next listing is coming from the internet, but only so long as the vendor has determined that you’re a major player in your local area. This means, you need to start building your online real estate agent profile.
Currently, most agents rely on their shopfronts, signboards, DL cards, and the word-of-mouth referrals from previous listings, but what would happen if none of those options were viable anymore? This isn’t that much of a stretch. Shopfronts and all forms of traditional marketing are on their way out, while word-of-mouth referrals are increasingly being replaced with likes on a Facebook post, a retweet on Twitter, or a blog post shared on LinkedIn.
Facebook isn’t the be all and end all in digital marketing
Most of the time, when I speak with agents about how they can build their presence online, they fixate on social media — Facebook, in particular. And I can understand why. Facebook has amassed a tonne of data about its users, basically because people are willing to share every last detail of their lives on it. This makes it especially efficient at targeting particular kinds of people in particular places. But Facebook is just one cog in the digital marketing machine. Here’s what else you should be doing
Personal agent website:
Most agents have a profile on their agency’s website, just as Marshall Rushford did on the hockingstuart website, but an agency website only serves to promote the entire agency, not any one agent. Like many of our clients, Marshall wanted to create his own personal agent website, so that he could showcase his current and previous listings, in addition to his recent successes. A personal agent website can also be used to capture prospect data, while regularly maintaining a blog will help to establish yourself as a credible source of market information.
Create your own content:
Nearly every agent I speak to makes one huge mistake online: they don’t create their own content. Instead, they link out to content created by other people — REA Group, Domain, RP Data, etc. Instead of sending a prospect to their website by linking to some original content they published on their blog, the agent sends them all to REA Group, Domain or RP Data, and down the rabbit hole of Domain or REA Group’s endless supply of content they go. Only link to your own, original content published on your website, and send prospects down the rabbit hole of your endlessly informative content instead.
Be selective with social media advertising:
I’m yet to be convinced on the benefits of advertising on Twitter. To be honest, I’m not even entirely convinced on the benefits of using Twitter in a professional capacity, unless you create an separate strategy for it, in addition to your digital marketing strategy. Twitter still hasn’t found a way to transition from a place of anonymity, parody accounts and internet trolls (see: Tay Tweets), which makes it an inefficient way to spend your marketing budget. FaceBook, on the other hand, is highly efficient, due to the sheer volume of data it’s amassed about its users, which makes it easy to target specific demographics and to measure your results after the fact. Instagram and Pinterest are also great ways to interact with people online, from a purely community-building perspective.
Success online begins with a successful strategy
You can certainly begin building your online presence by kicking a few ideas around online, but if you’re really looking to have success online, then you need to have a strategy backing it up. We’re a digital marketing agency that specialises in developing online brands, through a combination of online advertising, social media marketing and content marketing.
To begin building your online brand, contact our team to discuss which digital marketing options will suit you and your digital marketing goals. Alternatively, to learn more about digital technologies that help real estate agents build an online presence, subscribe to our blog.