AgentMarketing

Digital marketing 101 for agents

Want to expand your digital footprint? Learn from the best
  • Sellers can't trust you to market their home if you can't market yourself.
  • Resist the urge to sign up for every social media platform and tool available. Pick one to start with and perfect it.
  • Agents can plug their demographic and home trend data into Facebook.

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

There are many analog agents finding it hard to navigate a digital world.

From Facebook to Snapchat, LinkedIn and beyond, it can be hard to craft a digital marketing plan that gets you in front of the right audience at the right time.

During a panel discussion at Inman Connect New York, real estate marketing gurus Chris Lim of Climb Real Estate, Tigh Loughhead of Elegran, David Marine of Coldwell Banker and Danielle Garofalo of Stribling & Associates shared how they’ve managed to master the digital world with plans that fit their team’s specific needs and goals.

Write a strong bio

Lim, who runs an 150-agent team in San Francisco’s uber-competitive market, says he recently hosted a full-day marketing boot camp where agents learned the ins and outs of social platforms and writing an integrated digital plan.

Lim also dug deep into another oft-overlooked part of creating a digital presence: a strong biography.

Agents really didn’t have a bio. They had a great photo, but not a bio,” he said. “It’s shocking that agents don’t know how to write a bio.”

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Moderator Wendy Forsythe agrees, noting that a seller can’t trust you to market their home if you can’t manage to market yourself.

Start small

With new platforms launching on a continuous basis and tried-and-true platforms evolving at the same speed, it can be overwhelming for real estate newbies and veterans to know where to start on their digital journey.

Garofalo suggests resisting the urge to dive in the deep end by signing up for every social media platform and tool available.

“Start slowly and be really, really good in one place,” she said. “Look where your network is already. How are you interacting with the network you already have?”

If the audience you’d like to reach is on LinkedIn, start there and become really good at marketing on LinkedIn, she suggests. Then you can move onto other platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Let the data guide you

For Marine, data is the crux of a great digital marketing plan. “Take the knowledge base you’ve had in the real world and translate it into the digital world,” he said.

Any good agent has a treasure trove of data on their farm — the area they work in and cater to. Marine suggests that agents take that data, which includes demographic and home trends, and learn to plug it into Facebook.

He uses this formula: Data + Facebook + Video = 1 cent cost per view / 10 cents per site visit

“It doesn’t cost thousands of dollars,” he said.

Delegate using automation

“I’ve been a fan of multi-channel advertising since the very beginning,” Loughhead said of the more than 30 channels he uses to advertise.

So, how does he manage it all? Automation.

Loughhead says chatbots and other marketing automation tools, such as Pardot, can take some of the burdens off agents striving to be “everywhere at once” on the digital scene.

Take the online, offline

Lim closed the session by sharing the story of one of his most well-known agents, Kenny Truong. Troung is known in the Oakland, Calif. area as #fastagent, thanks to his traditional advertising tactics at bus stops throughout the area.

Lim praised Truong’s ability to use offline tactics and spin them into far-reaching online results, and vice versa.

For example, a number of Truong’s ads were tagged with graffiti, which Lim says was an expression of displeasure of the recent gentrification of Oakland. Instead of being derailed, Truong took the opportunity to blog about the tagged ads and speak about gentrification.

From there, news outlets began interviewing Truong, which enhanced his name recognition and social media presence.

Email Marian McPherson