In December 2009, Marketing genius Chris Brogan authored an excellent piece titled ‘If I were a Realtor’.
I wrote about it and shared it here. In his short piece, Brogan dot pointed things he’d do if he were a Realtor in 2009 with the then emergence of video, Twitter, and a new fad thing called Facebook. He talked a bit about community and engagement.
In light of the current angst within much of the real estate community in Australia, I thought I’d use some licence and build a 2014 Australian version of Brogan’s wonderful words…
If I Were an Australian Real Estate Agent in 2014
- I’d identify and develop a ‘magnificent modern point of difference’ in my marketing.
- I’d acknowledge that anyone can put a listing on realestate.com.au. Even a seller. On their own. I’d never forget that.
- I’d use video. Lots of it. No more BS excuses on why you can’t. The days for excuses on video being “too dear, too hard, too slow” are over.
- If I were a Real Estate Agent in Australia in 2014, I’d understand that many sellers still see us as necessary evils in the transaction. I’d work tirelessly to change that perception of me. Immediately.
Regardless of whether I’m an Agent, Agency or a Salesperson, I’d have my own websites. Plural. Lots of them in fact. At least 5. I wouldn’t just settle for the stock-in-trade website handed out to me by my franchise group or association. Sure, I’d pimp the franchise or association one out to the absolute max, but I’d also have my own strong, structured strategic plan for developing online lead and relationship generation.
- I’d have information-rich and totally relevant websites for buyers, sellers, investors, and others. They wouldn’t be talking about my company or fuelling my own ego with posed out of date photos of me in a flash suit, or standing in front of a leased racy BMW. The websites probably wouldn’t even have my logo on them. They’d be strategically designed to inform people and capture lots of enquiry. They’d position me as the indisputable trusted local authority.
- I’d trash the absolute crap that gets sent to the people in the database, and I’d replace that mail with interesting, relevant information that people appreciate receiving. *(Tip) If I’m a 700k Unit buyer, please don’t send me 2 million dollar farms or your $200 p/wk rentals.
- I’d stop advertising to chase NEW business and I’d connect with the forgotten ones. The people who’ve already had a brand or personal experience with me. It’s so much easier to deal with those who already know us.
If I wanted to excel as an Agent in Australia in 2014, and beyond, I’d ask someone trustworthy which database they think is the best database. And when they answered, ‘the best database ever invented is… ‘the one you actually use’, I’d believe them, I’d stop searching, I’d do what Nike say (#jfdi), and I’d move to the next point Swiftly.
- I’d use my database product and, because I’m better using my brain, ears, and mouth than I am with typing words and numbers into a database, I’d appoint an offshore database manager for $2.00 an hour to input and manage strategic forms and frequency of communication with my clients to ensure an ongoing drip feed of repeat sellers and buyers.
- If I were a professional real estate agent in Australia in 2014 I’d be showing my sellers the deep connections I have with ready made buyers in my database and I’d use that as a key point in my listing presentation. That’d be one of the key differentials I’d win every listing from you on.
- I’d letter box drop 10,000 glossy print, dl sized banana and almond cake recipe cards to my farming area every month without fail. BUT ONLY IF they actually were a proven source of seller enquiry. And once I finally came to my senses and realised they’re a waste of money, I’d change that expenditure into creating an awesome digital footprint that gets me found where the genuine sellers and buyers are researching. And that’s not in their letterbox.
- I’d post all my listings to my local institute site. As a member, I get to vote on the make-up of that board with my colleagues. We are those site’s stakeholders and shareholders. I’d remember Don Chipp, founder of the Australian Democrats Party’s goal ‘to keep the bastards honest’. Support your Institute. They’re not the bastards. Help them help you.
- I’d still post my listings on realestate.com.au. and Domain and some other portals. But I wouldn’t do it until I had absolutely exhausted every other source of enquiry, and never ever before 30 days had passed. I’d never break ranks from this and I’d only work with a business that sees the bigger, long-term picture and supported my colleagues and I to do this.
I wouldn’t ever remotely consider buying a feature, premium, or fancy pants advertisement at up to a seemingly ridiculous $3,665.00 on a portal to get a listing found a bit higher up for a week or so. Trust me. The buyers will still find your property. Just like the major portals, I have conducted my own deep dive private research using my Mum, Brother, and my long lost Aunty Joan on this. They still found their neighbours’ homes for sale hidden on page 4 of realestate.com.au. and Domain amidst a sea of crammed, glittery, irrelevant, distracting, flashing advertising mayhem.
- If I were a real estate agent in Australia in 2014 I wouldn’t stick my head in the sand and smugly say ‘it doesn’t matter what price the portals charge, I don’t pay for ads, My sellers pay for all their advertising’ .. My friends, the day will soon come when even your sellers will too be tired of being anally probed and say ‘enough is enough ‘. Do your job and represent their interests in all parts of the transaction. That includes cost-effective marketing.
- I’d very quickly get to understand how Facebook, Google and retargeted online advertising works and I’d adopt it into my my business’ and my clients’ products as part of my magnificent point of difference I referred to in Point 1.
- If I was personally challenged and didn’t know how to effectively use the online world to professionally market property and myself then, just like a budding auctioneer gets an auction coach and just like a first grade football or cricket player gets a kicking, tackling or bowling coach, I’d get an online marketing coach, or I’d take me up on my free offer to Pick Peter’s Brain.
If I were a real estate agent in Australia in 2014, I’d certainly support a move for change, and I’d do it now…otherwise the industry you have today might not be yours in 2016.
But that’s just what I’d do. You?
You’d probably also enjoy this really short post on the importance of having a great digital twin.