Marketing To The Google Generation (Part 2)
Do More With Less
It seems like the days are getting shorter, or our time is filling up more quickly. Either way, technology should help to increase efficiency, not over-complicate things.
Email, instant and text messaging, automatic listing distribution, social networking – all of these tools allow real estate professionals to quickly connect with customers and peers.
Here are a few key things to look for when shopping for technology and business solutions:
Mobile phone providers offer different package options to their customers for a very specific reason. Not every person wants or needs all of the same features. Some require a data plan, while others are happy with just a plain old telephone. Some want call display, others call waiting, still others voicemail. Mobile carriers are successful because they allow their customers to choose which features work best for them.
The same should be true of a real estate professional’s online marketing solutions. Keeping up with the times means having the flexibility to choose the tools that work for each individual’s personal and business needs. Gone are the days of being forced to pay for features that will never be used, all because “it’s part of the package”.
Real estate professionals need to be able to further their education quickly, easily, and in small, digestible chunks. What can be learned via online education? Perhaps the answer should be, “what can’t be?” Product demos, online marketing trends, industry trends – the list goes on. Online webinars, learning platforms, and other mediums provide real estate professionals with the ability to learn affordably, from almost anywhere. Taking advantage of these opportunities provides you with a needed competitive edge.
Automatic Listing Import
Time is money. If real estate professionals are required to re-enter their listings multiple times to get additional exposure, value has already been lost. Accuracy is also a concern when a listing is added manually to multiple sites one at a time. Since technology should be increasing efficiency, real estate professionals need to research tools that will help them distribute their data to numerous destinations from one entry point.
Exposure is a key piece to every real estate professional’s marketing plan. Consumers want their listings advertised in as many places as possible. Syndication is a key piece to the puzzle as it generates massive listing exposure at little or no cost. Enhanced tools such as predictive marketing help identify the areas of interest to your audience and market to them accordingly.
Control Over Listing Data
While syndication and listing exposure are important, significant value is lost when there is no control offered with regards to the flow of listing data. Control should be provided to every stakeholder including agents, brokers, and MLSs/Boards/ Associations. Reporting also needs to be provided to every level so each party can determine if the destinations to which they are distributing listings are serving their best interests.
Another factor to consider is data licensing agreements. Make sure you are confident your technology and syndication partners are serving your best interests – what do they do with your data? What is the licensing agreement? Are you able to easily access their data agreements and terms and conditions statements? Answers to these questions should be clear and easy to find.
Research suggests that the most valuable piece of technology is still the phone. Today’s smartphone is portable, multi-functional, and easy to use. Real estate professionals should be able to have access to listing information quickly and easily directly from their mobile device.
A staggering and increasing number of people are relying on mobile. For the youngest generation, it is all they know. The ability to deliver a seamless and enjoyable browsing experience on mobile devices will only become more important as the smartphone revolution continues to take root.
While some have the time and desire to learn how to code and build their own tools for online marketing (including websites), the majority of real estate professionals view their time as better spent serving their customers. For these, a full-featured, automated service that encompasses all of the above requirements is a must.
Some might be thinking, “Technology is not a new thing, this is the same information we’ve heard in the past.” And you’re right. Technology as a whole is not a new concept. However, effective use of technology is. Many have chosen to jump on every technology bandwagon that has come around, without sitting down to evaluate its true value.
It is important to remember that no matter which direction a real estate professional’s online marketing plan takes him or her, effective use of technology should increase efficiency in the areas of workflow, listing advertising, lead generation, and contact management. If the chosen solution(s) does not do this, it is time to re-evaluate.
To borrow a line from Bob Dylan, “the times they are a-changin’”. The world of tomorrow is taking shape today, and now is the time to embrace change. Adapting to the new world order can be a difficult task, but for the real estate professional who is able to stay in touch with the new breed of customer…vast opportunity awaits.
Download the full PDF White Paper right here.
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