In Ontario, Canada, we have over 30,000 Real Estate Agents. Many of them have been trying to tap into Social Media marketing to gain the competitive edge over their peers. They have all tried advertising, which as we all know doesn’t work well for small business and can be costly. They consistently ask me what they can be doing more or less of.
As a former Consultant with a major 3rd party Real Estate website here in Toronto, I have spent the last few years analyzing what Realtors are doing in this space to stand out from the crowd.
[message type=”info”]Here’s what I have seen too much of:[/message]
Cookie cutter websites that have nothing but listings
Push marketing tactics (1 way communication) such as posting of listings onto social sites
Little to no information about who the Realtor is, what their experience is, what they represent
Realtors, when asked if they have a farm area, responding with “everywhere”
No real plan of how they are going to achieve their goals online & offline
Reactive vs proactive business
Many times I have gone onto Twitter and said “if you are a Realtor, you need to stop posting your listings on Social Media sites. This is not a place to advertise.” The overwhelming response that I get from consumers is “yes, please no more agent spam!” I have seen the use of LinkedIn to push out a listing with the intention of getting it sold fast. All that does is annoy people.
To quote my good friend Karlton Utter in this video from the #140MTL, “In Real Estate, you are a Marketer.” My good friend Lewis Poretz then says “when you push out your message, it’s advertising” As a marketer, you have to understand that the word SPAM has changed its meaning over the last 5 years, and no one wants to see your listings. The most important thing is to make it interactive for your audience.
There are ways of connecting and communicating with your target audience to build solid relationships as the foundation of your business, which then translate into referrals and recommendations. You first have to have a solid strategy of identifying your target market. Then you need a plan on how you will connect with people in your target market and what you are going to tell them about your farm areas. You are a salesperson, so sell it to them!
Here’s what consumers want to know:
Local, neighbourhood information
To know the people and business owners in the neighbourhood and to find out why they like the neighbourhood
Where the closest shops, schools and restaurants are and who owns them
What makes the neighbourhood or property unique
A home’s value in that neighbourhood and other market stats
The safety of the neighborhood
Here’s what they want from you as a Realtor:
To build a solid foundation of trust and a relationship based on consistent communication. You are a human, after all. Humanize your brand.
Answers to all of their questions about the home buying and selling process without having to ask you for them
If you are a team leader, they want to know who is in your team. They are expecting you when they make the call, so the representative of your team should be known as well.
To do some of the research on their own (make sure you tell them about the Zillows of the online world)
Access to your network, which should include a Mortgage Broker, Insurance Advisor, Home Inspector & a Real Estate Lawyer
If your website is not providing this information at a minimum, why would someone choose you over another Realtor? We will dig a bit deeper on the importance of personal branding and humanizing your brand, and how to achieve this through Social Media, in future posts.