June 15, 2014 That Peter Brewer

If I Were an Australian Real Estate Agent in 2014

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.  Change
  • 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  They wouldn’t be talking about my company or fuelling my own ego with posed out of date photos of me in a flash suit, or standing in front of a leased racy BMW.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 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. First Prostate Exam

  • 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?  peter

You’d probably also enjoy this really short post on the importance of having a great digital twin. 

About the Author

That Peter Brewer Peter Brewer is a speaker, educator, digital footprint strategist on a mission (some say crusade) to ensure that smart small businesses and smart business people treat the new digital world with the respect it deserves. Peter is a former real estate agent of 30 years and now speaks across Australia, New Zealand and in the USA on technology and digital media in the real estate industry. You'll find more about Peter at thatpeterbrewer.com

Comments (18)

  1. Dan

    Spot on with everything.

    I might add if I were an Australian Real Estate Agent in 2014 I would…

    1. Hire a full time web developer with general internet marketing skills before even looking at hiring anyone else.

    2. In addition to my own digital footprint, get him/her to build and maintain for free, websites for the local
    – Farmers Market
    – Sports teams
    – School
    – Clubs/Volunteer organisations
    – Visitor center style website of my local area. Feature a local rock star business every week or month.
    – etc etc

    • That Peter Brewer

      Thanks Dan, the opportunities are endless. Great stuff!

  2. The context of your BLOG post resonates with me on a number of levels.

    I’m not sure about the data-basting (as I refer to it) and certainly not with banana almond cake recipes!

    So although I might not concur on the strategy in content, I agree on one thing and that is that agents clearly need to realign their prospecting strategy to the exclusion (or should I say delusion) that major portal presence is either affordable, sustainable or effective. The road to independence is clearly one that requires a disintermediation (this word is fresh to my vocabulary!) of the major portals between agents and new property seller prospects!

    Secondly the mirage of the online fallacy is that genuine property buyers need relevant listings to appear on page one of any search – nonsense! they might find more sophisticated search software useful but the highlight in practicality is another nonsense!

    Finally I think that property sellers deserve to understand the contrast of advertising to marketing. My observation is that real estate agents either unwittingly or compliantly have duped seller into investing too much money in advertising (for clicks, hits and views) and not enough in marketing (for leveraging and protection of property value)

    Great BLOG and I’d be grateful if you’d allow me to share this to many of the social media outlets I operate.

    LIST n’ Sell 😉

    Mark Dwyer

    • That Peter Brewer

      Thanks Mark. The reference to Banana and Almond cake recipes was very tongue in cheek. I appreciate your support. Share away!

      • Yes mate I know. Perhaps I was being a little tardy… I usually use the Waldorf Salad example. Although many estate agent have been kind enough to convert fahrenheit to celsius! They’ll be at you now my friend!

    • That Peter Brewer

      Thanks David, I always appreciate your support.

  3. Thanks again Peter,
    Besides this *-*.com website we also own the *.com.au site to publish that shortly. Am moving toward many of these strategies already…our main challenge being better known…as a start-up. Anyway, thanks 🙂


    • That Peter Brewer

      Keep fighting the good fight Francis. Call me if you need any help. You know the number.

  4. Peter my head was nearly nodding off my neck with all the screaming “yeses” in response to your article. And then I got to the recommendation to letterbox drop and lost it for a moment until you put the boot into that too. Fantastic! Now who will listen?

    Great article. Fabulously comprehensive and right on the money.

    • That Peter Brewer

      Thanks Christine.. You’re correct! We’ve shared the tools and strategies…. Let’s see who’s up to the task…

  5. Ryan mccann

    Very smart .. Brilliant reading thankyou excellent piece that was. Thank you ryan. Mccann

  6. Karen

    Great article. Just wondering if you could elaborate on point 10? What would you get this offshore database person to do?

    • That Peter Brewer

      Thanks Karen, I appreciate the feedback. I think an Offshore (or anywhere) database person could do a whole range of things to support your database. I’d be getting them to do the things I’m bad at and the menial things that I never get around to doing. I’d have them constantly cleaning up the data and ensuring people are in the right places and receiving the most relevant information to their needs. (But i’d also be very selective in picking the RIGHT person to represent my brand) I’m always happy to chat this through if you need more clarity. I’d simply be retaining someone to keep me honest and accountable and to be sure that they look after all the ‘left brain’ things I’m bad at, to allow me to be more ‘right brain’ where I excel. You’ll get me on 0417630962 if you’d like to chat.

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That Peter Brewer

Peter Brewer is one of the few specialists who can think outside his generation