Real estate marketing isn’t about posting your awards or touting the number of homes you’ve sold. You’re stats don’t tell me if I can trust you with the biggest financial decision I’ll ever make. Marketing used to be a one-way street. I advertise and you buy. I talk and you listen. Thankfully (since we’re all consumers) we can now choose if we see ads and what ads are served.
More people now own smartphones than toothbrushes and I’m not surprised. I can Google anything I want with one tap of my iPhone and I can re-order toilet paper with a voice command to Alexa. Google didn’t technically change marketing, access did and now words like Uber and Prime have become verbs. Because we have unlimited access to information and things, the one-way marketing interruption model imploded.
Brands and advertisers no longer hold us hostage because we have apps and access.
Because consumers now have the power, your marketing strategy is going to need to meet them where they are and allow them to communicate in the method they prefer.
As consumers, we expect to collaborate and co-create with brands because we can. With one tweet or post, we can reach a brand and help design experiences that fit our needs, on our terms.
We want to interact, share our opinions and know that our feedback makes an impact. Sharing data and statistics is helpful, but hearing your story and building a relationship is so much more powerful. Knowing where to find your audience and how to engage with them proactively are key factors for any successful real estate marketing plan. Building trust with technology is a requirement and there are plenty of platforms that can help you do it well.
We have expectations in 2017.
If you want to build an effective real estate marketing strategy, keep these 3 things in mind:
To market your services, you first need to be seen. The average American is spending upwards of 50 minutes a day on Facebook. Each year, more traffic is sent to websites from social apps than Google and 1 in 5 web page visits will be to a Facebook Page.
Are you leveraging platforms where your target audience is spending the most time? Where do they consume their content, in other words, where is the attention?
Social Media has replaced the TV. We now create our own networks and consumer behavior has been trained to expect that your brand will be on social. Social platforms are now a requirement for real estate marketing moving forward. A few years ago it was an “either/or” add on, but those days are behind us. It’s not if you should use them its which ones am I using. Consumers use social media as a form of social proof- are you who you say you are?
Researching where your target audience is spending their attention is critical before executing marketing campaigns. Creating a consistent presence on platforms where consumer attention is matters. Cross pollinating your content and message without re-posting the exact same content is key. Learning the language of each platform is key.
Engaging with your audience is a powerful brand builder and establishes you as a trusted resource. As a real estate professional, your clients are trusting you to help them navigate through the largest and possibly most important financial investment in their lives. They need to trust that you are the right person to do the job.
How easy is it for consumers to engage with your brand?
Messaging platforms and live streaming video offer real time engagement and real time is human time. Facebook Live and Instagram Live have proven that people want in the moment content and access to brands.
We are in the participation age. Your real estate marketing strategy needs to include a plan that focuses on creating an easy way for potential clients to connect with you so that you can build trust and establish yourself as an expert in your field. We’ve all heard about video as the go-to medium and that’s because our brains can’t help connect with the human face. The next step up from video is live streaming for the massive amounts of participation that come with it.
Live video appeals to all demographics and our brains can’t help but love faces. Creating trust means showing your face and connecting on a human level. Real time is the most “human time” you can get.
A real estate marketing strategy that embraces the trend of communicating and telling a story with a camera-first format (read video) and leverages social platforms like Snapchat, YouTube and Facebook Live will brand awareness at little to no cost that yields big returns. A newsletter can create leads, but how interactive is it?
“I don’t watch TV anymore because it doesn’t talk back.”
Seth Godin calls this massive communication shift in communication the “Connection Revolution“. We crave real interactions and we’re too smart to be sold. Building real relationships will never go out of style, we just have some new ways of doing it. Social media and digital strategy are important, some may argue vital but connecting with people is required.
Who are you?
Consumers want to know the story behind the brand and work with a real person. Luckily, you have a camera studio and editing software in your pocket. Face filters not required.
The best brands are humanizing with storytelling that involves the consumer. We want experiences not just interactions.
Thanks to the video studio in our pockets, we have become very used to seeing raw video. We don’t have an expectation that every video we watch is a high level production. We don’t need a green screen or drones to make a video that will connect with others. Yes, there is a place for professional video production and it is still an important element in your plan, but today’s consumer merely wants to know who you are.
We’re not buying from brands or logos, we’re buying from people. The goal of your videos should be to educate or entertain and give the viewer some idea of what you are passionate about or why they should rely on you as the expert.
Real estate marketing has more to do with creating an authentic core message about who you are and how you can help a home buyer or seller make the best decisions during the transaction.
Developing your plan with the three factors of marketing will help you create a competitive edge and position you as a professional who “gets” the consumer. Remember, marketing has only changed as much as communication.