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Real Estate Agent Marketing – Is It All About You?

real estate billboardWARNING: THIS IS A RANT.

Saturday night. My kids finally fell asleep. So what did I do? Catch up on my “must see TV”? Watch a movie? Go to bed? Obviously not – I’m writing – to, rather FOR you. But before I made this decision I grabbed my iPhone to catch up with my friends. My Facebook Friends. I have my “friends” separated into lists in Facebook. At this time of night I usually check up on my personal friends, – the friends I grew up with in New York, the ones I went to college with in Las Vegas or the ones I have met here in Phoenix. I chose my personal friends because looking at the updates of all of my “friends” at this time of night could be depressing – sad really. I am a former title rep. For the past 10 years I have helped real estate professionals grow their business – that was my “former” life, now I am a co – founder at PRO-Found.

I find the updates of a lot of the real estate professionals I am “friends” with rather depressing. I mean, it’s clearly all about them. And it’s sad. I don’t know what happened, I selected “personal” on my facebook list but I guess my iPhone had a mind of it’s own, I got all the updates from all of my “friends” – real estate agents included. Bummer. I was really hoping not to work tonight, yet hear I am – talking with you.

The first update I got was about how many deals an agent did last month, the next was a new listing [of course] followed by another, and another and – well, it’s depressing. I mean, I spent 10 years in the industry and seeing agents talk about themselves or their listings at 10:00 PM at night is quite depressing. Don’t they know? Don’t they know that real estate marketing is about conveying value in a product or service [to a specific audience- an audience that can take action]? I guess not. I saw a lot of updates tonight, it’s like watching a slow motion train wreck, I couldn’t help myself. At some point I started looking for the most “all about me” update I could find. Didn’t take me long either. I found it. A 10 minute YouTube video, posted on facebook [not linked to a website or blog  – EPIC FAIL] about a real estate team. 10 minutes! It was pretty too! Most real estate agent marketing is. This was a pretty video, professionally edited – green screen and all – about a real estate team. I turned off my marketing brain and watched it – as a consumer. Brutal. First of all, it was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY to long – 10 minutes. Within the first 30 seconds, I realized – this could be bad enough to write about!  I was right. We are “this”, we are “that” our clients love us, we are the best at this and that. Sure, they wrapped it in some analogies but it was clearly all about them. I mean, I watched it – as a consumer -and I got nothing out of it that could have possibly been for me, that would have made me pick up the phone, send an email, fill out a form and reach out to them.

At some point real estate agent marketing went awry, when I say awry, I mean like waaaaaay off course [asking for directions kind of stuff]. Lost. This team put together a great video [it was pretty] with absolutely no value that I could see as a consumer. If anything it reinforced the belief – many consumers have – that real estate agents are all about themselves. Look at me! look at Me! They don’t get it. The product consumers look for is called a home. Not necessarily a real estate agent – not yet anyway. More and more consumers are going to the internet to look for homes for sale or information. Information of value. This video, and most of the real estate agent marketing I see has very little of it – value. You have my attention, I clicked on your video that you didn’t link to your website, it would have been a great opportunity to educate me – about the market, about short sales, bank owned (REO), your interpretation of where you think the market is going, is it a good time to buy or sell and why!

So much of a real estate agents ability to generate leads relies on getting “found”. Years ago this could be done with postcards and flyers – not so much anymore as consumers have shifted online. Over 90% of consumers start their home search on the Internet. Making a video or producing content that is all about the agent is a sure fire way NOT TO GET FOUND – Online. When consumers use the Internet they usually want to gather information or solve a problem. They use keywords and keyword phrases in search engines  {Google, Yahoo, Bing} to identify information they are interested in. No one [I know] is going to take the time to search Google for a “good Realtor“, or “great real estate team”, “caring real estate agents’, etc. No, they will search for a PRODUCT - 4 bedroom 2 bath – gated community – pool – Phoenix Arizona or INFORMATION. Short sale vs foreclosure – Arizona, Deficiency Arizona, Realtor commissions, homes for sale near X,  ETC. If you are going to take the time to make a video or update your status on facebook, Twitter, Linkedin post content on your website, think – value to the end userthe consumer. If there is none, then it’s probably all about you.

Question: If you were in the market for a new Lexus, would you want to watch a video about what makes the Lexus a great car, features and benefits, cost, financing options OR why the salesman and his team are such fantastic car sales people? Exactly.

There is nothing wrong with making a video to show consumers how competent you or your team are [even a 10 minute one] but it should be on your website and used to reinforce an existing brand or attitude – targeted to a specific demographic. Not posted on Facebook for everyone and their mother to see. I wasn’t thinking about buying or selling a home at that point but I have to say, if I was, I wouldn’t have reached out to this team. My interpretation – It was all about them. Where’s my value?

What do you think?

PRO-Found is an inbound marketing company specializing in helping real estate professionals get “found” online through websites, search engine optimization, search engine marketing and social media marketing. We help professionals get found online, we bring customers to you.

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Stephen

Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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