In this advice column, Marketing Mastermind Christy Murdock Edgar answers three burning questions from the real estate industry at large. This week, she’ll discuss three vital marketing topics brought to light at Inman Connect Now.
Inman’s Connect Now brought together a host of agents, brokers and marketing experts from all over North America for a virtual event on June 2-4. If you weren’t able to connect for all of the sessions, I decided to bring you three of the most interesting topics that were covered during those three exciting days.
Should I talk to my sphere of influence about difficult topics, and how should I do so?
Real estate marketing expert Katie Lance, Atlas Real Estate CEO Victoria Kennedy, and RE/MAX Capital Realty Broker-Owner Kendall Bonner discussed “marketing as usual” in the face of unrest and societal upheaval. Automated marketing will not be enough to preserve your brand’s reputation when the emphasis is on social change and empathetic messaging.
According to Lance, kindness is key. Reaching out in a genuine way and offering assistance is a winning stance. In addition, she emphasizes listening and learning to better communicate and implement diverse perspectives into brand messaging.
Kennedy recommends that agents embrace the opportunity to engage in authentic ways with fans and followers, as well as their sphere of influence. Rather than shying away from real conversations, she recommends embracing the opportunity to be a voice of calm and reassurance in the community.
Bonner discussed leading with empathy and authenticity and said that the days of silence are over. She emphasized leaving room for listening to and understanding other viewpoints while serving your community at a higher level by staying focused on the job at hand and communicating your own authentic response.
How can I differentiate my team from the competition right now for more success in my local market?
Oakland’s Brian Boero, CEO of 1000watt, a creative marketing agency focused on the real estate and mortgage industries, offered exercises designed to help teams and team leaders determine what sets them apart from other teams in their market and define their unique value proposition.
To begin to hone in on your differentiator, he suggests answering the following:
- What was the thing we did first, before other real estate professionals in our area?
- What do we do best that no one else can match in our market?
- What is the thing that only our team does that no one else is doing right now?
- Finish the sentence: The world would be a better place if …
- What benefit do you provide, and how do you provide it?
In addition, he suggests seizing upon a cultural moment or idea to better define and position yourself. Are you speaking to a new generation like Pepsi or to a traditional market like Coke? How can you create ideas and images that truly resonate with your ideal client?
Boero said that marketing differentiation comes from being able and willing to say or do things that no one else is doing. What can you say about real estate in your market that no one else is saying? Point of view, tone, feeling: These all help to differentiate your marketing and, by extension, your team.
Logos, fonts and colors are not a marketing and branding strategy — they are the end result of thought and conversations between you, your team and your marketing team.
What is brand templating, and how can it help me find more success and more sales?
Josh Robinson, real estate strategist for Lucidpress, offered a walk-through of the company’s brand templating technology that allows brokers to facilitate marketing materials that are brand-specific and convenient for agents. Integrated into the brokerage intranet or customer relationship management software, agents can access pre-populated presentation materials customized with the brand’s colors, fonts, and other design elements, along with logos and relevant images and data.
This allows agents to improve their marketing design while automating adherence to their brokerage’s style guide. It allows marketing teams and brokers to ensure that their agents have the resources they need to better market their properties and services. Brand templating provides a smart compromise between agent autonomy and brokerage guidance.
By making professional-level marketing materials more available and easier to implement, brand templating provides a more cohesive look for the brokerage while allowing agents to stay true to their vision of what will sell while getting the attention of buyers and potential clients in their area.
Do you have questions for the Marketing Mastermind? Send them here.
Christy Murdock Edgar is a realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate. She is also a Florida Realtors faculty member. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook, Twitter, Instagr