In this advice column, Marketing Mastermind Christy Murdock Edgar answers three burning questions from the real estate industry at large.
In a recent marketing and branding virtual workshop, Realvolve + Firepoint’s Valerie Garcia and PLG Estates’ Peter Lorimer talked about ways to self-brand and communicate with empathy and authenticity. Here are some of the questions they are asking now.
How has marketing changed this year?
According to Garcia, the die-hard things we’ve depended on — door-knocking, big client events and traditional open houses — may not come back in 2021 or even after. Lorimer does not recommend door-knocking and cold-calling because he does not feel they’re productive enough for the time spent on them.
Evergreen, original content that can be pushed out to a targeted online audience offers a more meaningful way to contact non-sphere leads. According to Lorimer, real estate agents don’t sell houses, they sell trust. Authentic, value-added content can help build that trust and brand authority for agents who are consistent.
Where are you spending your marketing dollars? Where are you putting your efforts?
Garcia pushed out a poll asking participants about this, and Facebook and Instagram were the most popular choices. Video and photography were also favored options as well as print and direct mail.
Video is more important than ever before, according to both Garcia and Lorimer. Jesse Peters of RE/MAX Executive in Winnipeg signed onto the panel to discuss video in more detail. His best advice for those who are just getting started with video is to embrace the connection potential of video rather than worrying about polished video content.
Peters talked about the ability of video to help people communicate and connect with authenticity. Whether it’s through a phone or through a more elaborate setup, video helps agents develop rapport better than any other marketing platform.
In addition, one-to-one video through email or platforms like BombBomb creates even more personal connection, offering the ability to make leads, clients and members of the sphere feel special because the content is highly individual and customized to their needs. In Lorimer’s words, “Generic anything is toxic.”
What are you currently including in your marketing plan?
Garcia’s next poll brought back answers related to bios, about us pages, property search platforms and other additions to websites and content platforms. In addition, many of the participants were focused on community marketing and tying their brand to their local market. Finally, a large number of participants were looking for a total brand overhaul.
According to Lorimer, the old ways of trying to appeal to everyone all the time is over. Now, it’s much more important to dive deep into becoming an expert in two or three neighborhoods with value-added information and expertise. COVID-19 has made us all little villages, Lorimer said, since we’re all stuck at home. Use that to focus on a niche or micro-market.
In addition, because everyone is spending more time in their own community, go live on video at the dog park, local recreation areas or with local business owners to talk about places to go and things to do. This reinforces your role as the neighborhood expert while offering hyper-relevant information to friends, neighbors and potential clients.
Garcia talked about how to determine whether your content or outreach is value-added, saying that if you wouldn’t spend your time reading it, you shouldn’t be sending it to others. Lorimer added that telling people why you do what you do — rather than simply stating what you do — is a winning way of adding an extra layer of meaning to your content.
Lorimer feels that generic content and automated drip campaigns indicate a generic agent and undermines the impact of the content shared. People will seek you out based on your authenticity and your differentiation, so your content and communication should reflect who you really are rather than the white noise of pre-packaged content.
Make your content sound so much like you that no one else can use it, according to Garcia. This ensures that potential clients get to know the real you as it helps you find your audience. People want to feel something, and adding your authentic personality to your marketing can make that happen.
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