There’s a finite number of work hours in any week, and with more clients clamouring for more personalised service and expecting that service to be delivered faster than ever before, it’s no wonder agents are feeling the pressure.
The solution is to learn how to “scale” yourself. As a scalable agent, you have the processes, procedures, technology and team in place to deliver a better-quality service to more people without having to run yourself completely ragged or cut corners — or commissions.
Digital marketing is one of the most important ways you can scale yourself and your business. It does the heavy lifting of brand building, lead generation and consistent communication that allows you to focus on individual relationships and great, personalised service. Get the different elements of your digital marketing right and you’ll find it easier to list and sell more properties and get more referrals from past clients who have had a great experience with you.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Collect better data
Data is the fuel that drives everything in digital marketing, and agents have a daily opportunity to add people to their database through buyer inquiries and open homes. But are you collecting the right data? Too many agents still just focus on getting a mobile phone number so they can return a call, but an email address is vitally important as it drives your email marketing and plays a key role in improving how your social media targeting works through audience matching.
2. Clean up your database
Cleaning a database is one of those projects we often put off because we feel it will take ages and there always seems to be something more important to do. But having a central source of quality contacts is more important than having a huge source of low-value contacts. So, break it into smaller projects. Project one is to divide your contacts into those that you have an email address for, and those you don’t. Contacts that don’t have an email address go into call lists to see if you can connect and collect an email. Those who do can go into an email nurturing campaign to say hello and see whether your contacts are still in the market.
3. Develop a strategy
New research to be released by ActivePipe soon shows just 22 per cent of real estate agents have a written strategy for their digital marketing and someone who is accountable for making it happen. Most agents are winging it and trying to learn as they go along. Writing out a strategy is the single most important step you can take to set out to become a scalable agent as it sets out your objective and a roadmap for what you want to achieve. It will get you thinking about the steps you need to take and the resources and support you’ll need in advance and also help you set some goals.
4. Set goals
Good goals are specific, measurable and can be actioned, so set some specific goals to action your strategy and become a scalable agent. Some good goals to consider might be to introduce an email marketing campaign to remain in touch with past clients, to start a project to automate regular communications, clean up 50 contacts a week in your database for four weeks or convert more contacts in your database into clients (and identify a proportion that you’d like to convert). Identify some goals that you can work through that will help you feel you’re making progress as you work towards your broader strategy.
5. Create accountability
There can be a lot of work initially to get set up as a scalable agent. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to do it in between listing and selling and all the other tasks on your plate. So, who is going to help you do that? And who is going to keep it running once you’re up and away. If you’re clear about your strategy and goals, it is an easy step to create projects and performance goals for the members of your team. As part of your planning, write up the job description of the person who is going to help you and eventually take ownership of making you scalable. And create regular meetings so you can check progress and troubleshoot.
6. Learn from experts — and keep learning
Most of us use social media and the internet every day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we know what we’re doing when it comes to the deeper skills of social media advertising, website set-up, content writing or email marketing. Rather than try to teach yourself — or assume your assistant just “gets it” — seek out experts you can learn from, put time into your schedule to do the training and be open to their advice. There is a lot of free information out there that is highly valuable, including webinars and e-books. Don’t discount information just because it is from a vendor — they can be a great source of information and best practice and many offer support teams to get you set up and getting results faster.
Kylie Davis is a content marketing and tech expert with ActivePipe.