I wrote this blog before I saw Tom Panos interview Gary Vaynerchuk, but that session at AREC last weekend brought it home as a blinding flash of the obvious; When it comes to marketing, many agents are totally missing the mark. They’re blowing hard earn freight on Facebook and a heap of other ideas in the futile hope they can make a connection. This short episode is designed to encourage you to start thinking differently. It’s only 11 minutes so short and sweet but filled with PLENTY of good ideas in my humble opinion 🙂
This year’s Australian Real Estate Conference on Queensland’s Gold Coast was another great event with an excellent line up of top agents.
And it was interesting to see that a number of this year’s speakers were LockedOn users and our stand in the exhibition hall was swamped at each break with agents looking to demo the much-anticipated Version 2.
To make sure we have plenty of resources to on-board all new LockedOn subscribers, we limited new sign ups to 50 accounts, which went quickly.
So to give priority to agents looking to switch up to real estate’s best software, we’ve set up a wait list registration at LockedOn.com where you can check out the latest features of this exciting brand new version and register to be notified when we open the gates and accept new accounts
If you’re already a LockedOn client, we’ll soon be posting an update to your online dashboard to let you know how you can go about upgrading.
The long flight back to Toronto is always a killer but it was great to connect with my LockedOn partners and so many of my agent friends on the Gold Coast at AREC.
And to all of the listeners to this show that came up and said hello, a special thank you. Knowing that you guys get value each week makes all the effort and planning worthwhile.
In this episode, I want to get into a subject I believe every agent needs to know about and it’s a trending topic that’s going to affect the entire industry and it’s happening globally.
Here’s the message I want you to get and think about: … If you’re not creatively driving traffic to your own real estate website and social media to build your own brand, you’ll soon be facing the problems and expense that go with buying your own leads to compete for market share.
And just in case you haven’t noticed, some heavy hitters with deep pockets are going direct to consumers to profile and promote agents who give them the most money.
Right now, the vast majority of agents face the risk of being held to ransom by third party marketers who won’t hesitate to raise their fees once they get you addicted to their ‘lead heroin’
So how do you promote your brand and reach out to potential clients in your area?
How can you guarantee a big fat future pipeline of business in a world of increasing competition from other agents and smart start ups marketing directly to consumers?
And how do you go independent and personally own the essential digital tools and automated follow up programs that work for you twenty-four hours a day without relying on ridiculously expensive outside help?
Well, the shortcut to success is beating them at their own game by building and maintaining local connections in your personal sphere of influence.
And how do you do that?
You do it by controlling your own marketing and creatively reaching out to connect with influencers in your area who will help you spread your message.
You do it by building and growing your own online marketing presence that’s different to all of your competition.
And you do it be recording and nurturing your contacts in a top quality customer relationship management system because, I believe, that is the most valuable business asset you can own.
Once you have this set up, it’s something you’ll control and it can never be taken away from you.
Let’s remember, you are the brand. You are the name and face sitting at the kitchen table making a listing presentation and helping your client negotiate a top market result.
If you’re not doing this, you’re a paying passenger on someone else’s ship, which completely dilutes your influence and control.
Let me run through a few great examples of what top agents are doing to build influence and control their own marketing:
On a good day, Toronto real estate agent Melanie Piche speaks with ten or more potential clients who come directly from her website which, last time I asked, is getting more than 2000 unique visitors a day!
She doesn’t pay for these leads because she controls the traffic and the response. Every day she’s building her list of potential clients which is obviously the most valuable business asset she owns.
She posts quality content and key word rich articles to her website GetWhatYouWant.ca and she’s smashing it!
Each article or blog is working around the clock to help potential clients with every aspect of buying or selling real estate in Canada’s biggest city
Melanie is part of a new breed of digitally devoted, tech savvy agents who understand the raw power of online marketing.
Yes, she uses Facebook and other social media but her website is the main event because that’s something she can own and control.
Queensland agent Scott Lachmund is killing it on the Sunshine Coast!
Take a look at his website, 4510tv.com and you’ll see how he’s making connections with locals in his market by videoing short interviews then posting them to YouTube.com and his site.
And while you’re at Scott’s site, click DIRECTORY in the nav bar and you’ll find a list of local business people sharing a profile of their business and contact info. Bloody Brilliant!
And he doesn’t even need to add this info himself because he’s set up a submission form where the business owners can do it themselves. This is automatically sent to Scott for approval. All he needs to do is send them the link and voila… he’s got fresh content and a new friend and potential business referrer in his community.
Which agent do you think all the business owners on Scott’s site are going to promote and recommend to their customers?
Local groups in the area now approach Scott when they’re looking to promote an event or fundraiser. Can you see how he’s quickly become a vital sphere of influence to people in his community by NOT being real estatey? I love this! Only question I have is why aren’t more agents doing it?
Have you ever been to Mount Barker in South Australia’s Barossa Valley?
The landscape, colors and light are so beautiful it could make you weep.
It’s also home to extraordinary agent James Sexton and what makes him extraordinary is his unique approach to marketing.
Like most agents on the planet, he started a Facebook Page called James Sexton Real Estate.
But like most agents on the planet he struggled to get any traction.
James is a popular and well known personality in his area (and the real estate industry nationally) so he got a few likes and follows from friends, family other agents and a handful of loyal clients but it was harder than herding cats.
Then he came up with a very cool idea that cost him nothing:
He started a Facebook Community page called We Love The Adelaide Hills and started posting iPhone images of his beloved town and surrounds.
Then a funny thing happened.
The good folk of Mount Barker started to like and follow his new community page and also began sharing the images to their own Facebook pages.
With confidence boosted by the discovery of this awesome idea, James approached professional photographers in town and invited them to post a few photos each week.
In no time at all, followers to his new Facebook community page cruised past 4000 and continue to grow. Not bad considering the population of Mount Barker is only 10,000!
Go to the shownotes for this episode to check out James’ Facebook page
So what are agents like Melanie, Scott and James doing differently?
Well, for starters, did you notice their websites or Facebook pages don’t include their names or the names of their businesses?
They’ve done a one-eighty and turned the focus (and cameras and blogs) on their community not themselves.
They’ve become skilled online marketers.
They’ve set their egos aside and got creative.
They’re making the whole conversation about their target market, not themselves and giving people and businesses a voice and a valuable marketing connection they never had.
Could any agent do this? Of course!
It’s amazing what happens when you think differently.
If you’re looking to creatively grow your brand and build an ever-growing number of contacts in your local area, I want to encourage you to get started today.
In fact, I’ve got a program and the resources in place to help you build the online marketing tools you need and replicate the success of Mel, Scott and James.
This way YOU’LL own the contacts, not some company looking to sell you leads or charge you a monthly fee to maybe get you noticed.
And wouldn’t this make your ever-growing database of people the most valuable asset you’ve ever owned? Could you actually put a price on a private list of highly prized contacts that constantly fill your new business pipeline with referrals?
Right now I’m working with a small group of agents to help them build these tools and customize everything to their local area.
I’m helping them ‘massage’ their personal brand to reach out and connect with the influencers in their community.
We’re looking at the best ways to build their authority as the agent of choice and carefully position their brand to get noticed as a very clear alternative to other agents in their area who all look the same.
We’re making sure their websites are working hard to deliver excellent value and connect with more potential clients.
We’re focussing on the powerful marketing tools they can own so they’re not at risk of being controlled by someone else.
If you’d like to know more, why don’t you send me a message and tell me a bit about yourself and your business?
Obviously, I can’t help everyone so I’ve set up a short online questionnaire to see if we’re a match. You’ll find the link in the show notes to this episode.
As always, thanks for listening. I’m delighted to bring you fresh ideas to help you win more listings and make more sales.
Until next time, dream big and take names.