The world of online listing promotion for real estate professionals has created a unique marketing challenge. This challenge – creating brand awareness – was reinforced to me in two recent articles I read.
The first is by author/blogger Kris Berg, a San Diego Realtor writing for Inman News. Kris writes of a question from a potential client who asked her "What makes you different from other agents?" You can read the article here.
Her challenge was to seek to differentiate herself from her competition and she realized the difficulty of this effort.
Every business has this same challenge. Kris writes that "until I am able to establish brand recognition … my listing interviews will remain a series of pop quizzes for which there are no right answers." Her solution is found in her understanding that establishing a remarkable brand takes a long time and requires communicating a value proposition and differences in all your marketing – online and offline.
This is where I believe many real estate professionals are stumbling as they mistakenly consider – and are repeatedly told in many places – that it's all about listing promotion, virtual tours and listing "syndication". "Get your listings promoted online and offline everywhere you can because it's ALL about moving product."
This approach to marketing may pay the bills in the short term – which is good! – but if this is the extent of your marketing plan you're really not doing what's needed to truly build a lasting business.
From another article The Power of Brands, Greg Satell of Digital Tonto says that "the world's premier marketers spend billions every year on brand image campaigns because they make money doing so." He believes, and I agree, that "the bulk of marketing budgets will continue to go toward building brand perceptions because brands are incredibly powerful."
Greg says "…although marketers continue to experiment with digital media, they struggle to find ways to measurably alter brand perceptions with online campaigns with anything approaching the efficacy of traditional media."
Effective marketing for Realtors should be a balance between direct response/product promotion and brand building and the most effective brand building can be obtained in traditional media (like direct mail and targeted print products) that allows for both branding and product promotion.
Additionally, your website must be communicating a value proposition to your potential client beyond "Search for homes here."
Failure to provide a value proposition and your unique distinctions in all your marketing to your current and potential clients beyond "I have this home for sale and the other guy doesn't" may provide some short term success but provides little, if any, long term value to your business.
Contact us and we can help you build your business brand.
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