With the countdown to 2020 on (less than three weeks to go, people!), this time of year we start to reflect on what has worked and what hasn’t, and how we will move the needle towards greater success next year.
In December and November each year, I see a distinct difference in the way top agents and agencies operate. They start to plan for the next year now, which means they are one step ahead of the majority who wait until after Australia Day to start work on their marketing and communications plans.
With that in mind, I’ve been reflecting on the advice I would give to real estate brands looking to up their game in the new decade. This year, I’m taking a different spin on my predictions for the new year because here’s what I’ve found that really works.
1. Be consistent
Every year, there seems to be a new trend or tactic that promises to change the world of real estate. Something shiny comes on the scene, bringing hopes of more new business opportunities and exposure — another silver bullet.
This year, I’m celebrating my 12th year in the real estate industry, and let me tell you, I’ve seen a lot of silver bullets come and go during that time. Here’s the thing though: few of them have been game changers. And the ones that have, have not been because of the trend itself but because of the determination and dedication of the agent or agency that has implemented it.
When I’m speaking to a potential new client and they say they want to “trial” social media for three months, I know they aren’t the right client for us because social media and content marketing are not strategies that work in the short term. In fact, there are few short-term marketing strategies in real estate that work, because customers perceive your services to be high-risk, and establishing trust is essential.
It is consistency, day in and day out, that will build trust with potential customers and position you as the expert. Look at what you are doing now, and before you change direction, consider whether you have really been consistent with it. Have you really done it justice?
2. Use variety
While consistency is certainly key, we also don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket when it comes to marketing. You cannot rely on just one or two marketing methods if you want to be excellent. Your clients use many different platforms to communicate, and one platform won’t allow you to reach all your target clients. Diversifying your means of connecting with people is a wise strategy.
As social media has become more popular as a marketing tool in the real estate world, I’ve seen many agents rely on this as their main method of marketing themselves. This is a mistake in my opinion. Social media is just one piece of the marketing puzzle. Which platforms work for you will depend on the type of client you are targeting and marketplace you operate in. Generally, I would suggest exploring strategies for email, a website or landing page, social media and search marketing.
Traditional marketing methods such as print, editorial, advertising and sponsorships may also be necessary in your marketplace. The takeaway here is don’t rely heavily on one marketing method unless you know it delivers proven results for your business.
3. Quality always
I’m a big believer that if it is worth doing, it is worth doing well. Perhaps that’s the perfectionist in me coming out! I’ve just explained the importance of variety, but that shouldn’t come at the sacrifice of the quality of what you are creating.
This is by far the most important element in excellent marketing. I always strive to be polished and professional; in fact, one of our core values here at Chronicle Republic is “Quality Always”. I’m not a fan of sloppy work and if it isn’t up to scratch quality-wise, I’d rather not bother. Why? Because I’ve worked too hard to build my brand reputation over the years to knock it down with one mediocre post, newsletter or email. How people feel when they look at your brand is important and will be remembered, so creating poor-quality work, in my opinion, is simply not acceptable.
When it comes to quality, I’m looking for great images that are aligned with your brand, not pixelated, fuzzy or poorly executed, and checking for correct grammar and punctuation. It’s about the integrity of your brand and producing something you are proud of. But beyond this, I think quality also comes from delivering value to your audience. I use the rule of “3 E’s” to test for value. Does this piece of marketing Educate, Entertain or Encourage my audience? I’m looking to see if I can teach my audience something new. If not, can I entertain them or make them feel something with this content? Or does it encourage or inspire them in some way?
So, as you head towards the new decade, consider dodging the “next best thing” in the real estate industry. Beware of anything that promises to change your world (especially rapidly — those are the worst!) and think about how you can expand on what you are doing now with more conviction and more consistency.
By Tiffany Wilson, Chronicle Republic director
Tiffany founded Chronicle Republic to pursue her love of property and her drive to make brands shine. Her unique industry experience means she truly understands the needs of her customers.
With a Masters in Marketing and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Tiffany has wealth of experience, and has worked on dozens of marketing projects for businesses in the property, interior design and home improvement industries.
Former Marketing Director for an award winning, innovative real estate agency, Tiffany was awarded the first ever industry award for Digital Marketing in 2014.
Tiffany is passionate about seeing other businesses grow and prides herself on helping brands bring their stories to life.