Driving to The Net
If agents are responsible for tending to their leads and databases to eventually sell these contacts a home; what are brokers responsible for?
wanted to take you back to 2012. There was a story that came out that Target knew that a young woman was pregnant before her father did.
That was the precursor to today where algorithmic behavior is fueled by digital advertising: track and market.
Those of us in real estate are following these developments with keen interest. Every few years, there are these massive dustups where the holy grail becomes visible and seemingly just days away—knowing when someone might buy or sell a home, get to them before anyone else and get the deal. Of course, we have emerging trends and modern plays like iBuyers, virtual brokerages, and coders galore working hard to figure it all out.
Along the way, these smart people may teach consumers new behaviors. We have to be ready for it.
Agents are encouraged to use social media, target market and be a personal brand. The list of what we encourage them to do grows almost every day, but it’s almost always geared to helping them grow their sphere of influence. We want them to cast their net wider and create as many personal connections as possible. Each new person they meet gets tossed into their net. The hope is that the net never breaks, and the agent can continually connect with all inside working to turn them into leads or referrals.
If constantly carrying and caring for the net is the agent’s role, where does the brokerage’s marketing efforts come in? There are a few critical areas.
The first is to raise awareness of the brokerage, getting its logo seen, establishing the company’s agents and brokers as the local experts, participating in community activities, and reaching the masses at the top of the marketing funnel. This effort includes lead generation.
The agents feel good knowing the company is behind their efforts. The brand awareness—whether through digital and social campaigns, billboards, radio, TV, cause marketing, etc.—gives the salesforce added credibility and confidence to push open new doors of opportunity.
With a consistent approach, this brand building will have a long-tail impact as the consumer becomes more comfortable with the company. The company builds trust allowing potential buyers and sellers to associate the agents with that positive source.
If brokers are involved in this type of work to support the agents, (which all should be doing), there is often a critical piece that is left out.
Everything the brokerage does to reach consumers should also have mechanisms for the agents to piggyback on and take advantage of the program. Most agents won’t interpret what to do. You have to tell them.
Helping get people into the agents’ nets should be followed by a strong effort to help them communicate with those they’ve captured.
In today’s world, that means content marketing, social media, email campaigns, market updates, home value estimators and a wide variety of other tools, including listing collateral, that can be shared on an ongoing basis.
Finally, it’s critical for the brokerage to offer strong listing marketing support. Whether using an in-house creative team or an automated approach, providing the agents with a high quality and consistent look is extremely valuable. This includes photography and video.
Nielsen says that the average person consumes 11 hours of media a day. If that’s the case, our materials better look great, or they’ll never get noticed. And, if they don’t get noticed, not only will the property not attract buyers, but we’ll lose the opportunity to use it to reach those already in the net or attract new people.
David Siroty has spent 30-plus years in marketing and communications, the last 15 in real estate. He launched Imagine Productions, a marketing and communications consultancy focused on assisting real estate brokerages, in December 2016 after 13 years leading global communications for Coldwell Banker. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.