If you’re in real estate marketing and you haven’t embraced the new technologies, then you need to upskill now or make way for the new breed of property marketers.
The traditional techniques that served you so well in your real estate marketing career are now found to be wanting. There’s now a wealth of information out there that can help you succeed in your business. However, you need the right skill set to get the benefit of what the modern marketing techniques have to offer.
Your role as a marketer is critical to your organisation. This applies whether you’re a marketer who works in property or a property agent who works in marketing.
According to Salesforce, “High performers tend to be heavier tech users, with most reporting that their current tech stock aids collaboration, increases productivity, and drives a more cohesive view of customer data”.
So what skills and areas of knowledge will you need to keep pace with the rapidly changing world of property marketing and property intelligence?
1. Big Data and analytics: a world of insights
If you’re an asset owner, a property manager or run a residential real estate business, you now have access to a wealth of data – and this data can help you to:
Cut through the clutter
Identify threats and opportunities
Inform your future marketing efforts
Develop and fine-tune your business strategy.
Build your knowledge
Predict real estate trends
Focus on developing a deeper understanding of your market
Grow your business
Commercial real estate, in particular, relies more on quantitative analysis and less on emotion. Big data within tenancies is allowing asset owners and managers to flip from asset-led processes to tenant-centric thinking.
Property is big business and fund managers don’t like to see empty offices.
Collecting and analysing data from lifts, building sensors, door sensors, CCTV and more can help commercial real estate owners and managers predict tenant needs and wants. Asset owners and managers can help design more efficient spaces, increase density and wellbeing, and predict how newly designed spaces will be used.
Residential real estate selling agents and property managers have access to analytics from Google, Facebook and other platforms, all of which offer useful and predictive information. As well, they’re mining Census data, geographic and demographic information, client surveys, sales records and more to offer clients a broader array of information. Much of the revealed information has been available only to the elite, or power users. Now, with so much data available for scrutiny, your clients can better understand the potential value of a particular property or new development projects.
“Clever analytics leads to a world of valuable insights.”
While it’s sometimes difficult to attribute a sales conversion to a particular offline channel, such as a letterbox drop, the great thing about the digital world is it’s easily measurable. That means you can see what’s working and what isn’t, find anomalies to predict the future, use the data to solve problems…and much, much more. With clever use of big data, we learn what our customers want and need, and we can transform these insights to client satisfaction, value and profits.
The bottom line? You can no longer ignore the value of big data.
2. Real estate marketing strategy
Guess what? It isn’t enough to pick a few digital channels and throw money at them, or paper your suburb with flyers. You need a well-thought-out property marketing strategy.
The property marketing field is now so much more competitive, with your competition using all the guns in their armoury; think programmatic direct advertising, VR and AR, content mills, database mining and more.
To get the best return on your investment, and reach your target audience, you need to be strategic in both your digital and offline marketing.
You need to understand how your clients consume information, and then provide it in the most easily digestible format; informative blogs, vlogs, infographics, tables, graph, online advertising, newspaper supplements or speciality property magazines.
And despite privacy concerns, and increasing isolation, social media isn’t going away any time soon. So it’s worth learning more about social media and how it can help your business, how to identify what channels or platforms are the best fit for your target market, and what channels offer the best value for money.
There’s no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater; your marketing strategy can include all your old-school methods as well as new digital strategies. However, you do need to understand how to develop a comprehensive strategy and what you need to do to implement it.
Just remember; whatever you do, you need to offer true value to your customers along their information-gathering and purchasing journey.
Let’s face it. Most content we blast out is relatively boring. And if you aren’t an experienced writer or can’t create a video that everyone wants to watch, then leave it to the experts.
That doesn’t mean that your role in content is finished. What it means is that your content will now be informed by your marketing strategy and analytics.
Content is king so it’s important that you provide well-thought-out advice that clients can use. Find a problem that your clients face, then use gentle persuasion to show them that you’re who they need, because you’re the trusted authority.
“Take on the bots by building a strong personal brand.”
By building a strong personal brand and more emotional connections with your clients or future clients, through giving sound advice, you’ll be helping to create relationships with your audience, and future-proofing your role as a real estate marketer.
4. Excellent customer service: never out of style
There’s a school of thought that has Chatbots replacing not only customer service employees, but also, marketers.
Be on your guard. There’s no doubt that the bots are coming for your job. If you want to hold back the tide, you need to work to your strengths.
First, identify what kind of marketer you are.
Are you an empathiser or an analyser?
As an empathiser, you’ll want to create relationships, contribute to your team’s success and grow customer loyalty.
Analysts tend to be driven by the data, relish administrative tasks and value leadership.
Most marketers, we would argue, are a combination of the two, with perhaps one trait being more dominant.
Savvy real estate marketers who fall more on the Analyst side of the coin are using the power of algorithms and bots to enhance how they offer service and create their marketing strategies.
Empathisers care more about giving clients the personal service they can’t get from bots or impersonal online interaction, or making their jobs easier by reducing paperwork and stress (perhaps through blockchain) and responding in a timely manner.
Whatever your dominant style, you can use the convenience of chatbots or other technologies like virtual reality tours through properties that your clients can do from the comfort of their own home.
Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about your clients. How can you use new technologies to give them what they need, when they need it?
5. Integrating online and offline marketing
Although technology is playing a greater role in property marketing, there’s room for wiser heads with experience. It’s up to all real estate marketers to synthesise online and offline marketing, to join the dots.
Critically, you must follow up an online interaction as assiduously as you would a phone call or face-to-face meeting, to convert that online action into a sale.
“Follow up online interactions as you would a phone call or a face-to-face meeting.”
Those agents with experience can see the bigger picture, and their knowledge can only amplify the insights they get from analytics.
How safe is your real estate marketing job?
Ultimately, it shouldn’t be a choice between new knowledge and old experience, but a combination of both.
The Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA), TAFE, the Australian Marketing Institute and other institutions all offer short courses in specific areas such as Digital Marketing, Analytics, Facebook Pixels or Conversion Rate Optimisation to help you build new skills.
So get online, become an expert in new marketing fields, or brush up on those skills you have already and you should feel optimistic about the security of your property marketing role.