Don’t be mistaken, Baby Boomers are just as active as Teens online 

Print advertising in newspapers has well and truly met its use-by-date. Today, pretty much everyone heads online for information – even the oldies – and we’re now all pretty comfortable seeking information via our devices. In fact, browsing social media or doing a Google search is the best way to find out what’s breaking news or happening on the grapevine 

Here, Steve Carroll and I discuss how the digital world has become more prominent than print, and how social media alongside the portals should be the main, and sometimes only, places you advertise a property.

Click below to watch the video.


Following is the video transcript.

Social media gets a LIKE from the oldies

Steve Carroll

I think the interesting thing with the theory that the older generation don’t use social media is absolute nonsense. The older generation are the generation that still have an attachment to newspapers, that’s true, but they have a growing attachment to social media and technology.

You only need to go to the Apple store in Sydney’s George Street, where they have those classrooms for the older generation, to see they are packed. The interesting thing about the older generation is the percentage of baby boomers that are going to leave the workforce over the next five years. Right now, in 2019, 25% of the workforce are classed as baby boomers – that’s 25%! In 2025, it’ll be less than 10%, so what we’re seeing is this shift of the older generation leaving the workforce, and the younger generation coming into the workforce.

For today’s real estate agent it is absolutely imperative to get your head around, because what that means is, your mix of customers is going to change dramatically, and again, going back to what I said earlier on, if you’re not relevant to the the younger generation, then you’re not going to get any business. It’s as simple as that, and look, I’m 55 years of age, but I think it’s very possible at the age of 55, to be seen as relevant to 20 year olds and 30 year olds, but you have to adapt, you have to evolve your style, because if you don’t, you’re in trouble.

Melanie Hoole

Definitely. Steve, what about the fear that’s out there in the industry based on disruption, and the idea that somebody like Facebook or Google would just, you know, suddenly launch their equivalent of a portal?

Print advertising is out of date, it’s time to go online

Steve Carroll

Look, I wouldn’t use the word disruption, if you go back to 2008 to 2009, what we saw was a transition from print to portals like Domain and

So what it meant was prior to 2008, an agent only needed to understand print. You then move to a world where they started to need to understand print and how the portals worked, and all that we saw was a share of wallet just changing. We are without question, looking at another evolving of the model, and social media, such as Facebook, and Instagram and LinkedIn are gonna play, I’m not sure how, but I’m going to play a more significant part in the transaction of property.

So what that means to a real estate agent is that you need to understand print still, because print is still relevant in some areas, you without question need to understand how the portals work, because the portals aren’t going to go away, but you need to get your head around this digital and social media space, because what we’re going to see is the dollar that is spent on advertising property shared across three streams, or possibly two if you discount newspapers, but certainly two streams, which is the portals and social media.

Organic (FREE) marketing is dead

And today’s and tomorrow’s seller is going to expect an agent to be able to come in and talk competently, about how they can spend money on Google, how they can spend money on Facebook, and it’s not just about shoving it upon to Facebook. There is far more strategy behind that.

Melanie Hoole

It’s about paid advertising, i.e. you pay to be on the portals, you don’t have a free listing, and you can still be on the portals in these lower grade listings, but on social media, we all need to understand that organic is not going to get you that the eyeballs, you need to pay to play.

Steve Carroll

The worst case scenario for a real estate agent is if they are presenting to a seller who knows more about how Facebook ads work than the agent.

Melanie Hoole

They’re very educated today.

Steve Carroll

That is the biggest challenge for a real estate agent, that they’re selling to someone who knows more.

Melanie Hoole

Yes, exactly, thank you.

It’s the share of wallet that’s going to change and there’s been a lot of discourse about prices rising continually, so I see this as a great opportunity to even the playing field, and it’s all gonna be about where the eyeballs are, where you get the leads from. It’s all about getting as many people as possible, in the shortest amount of time, to that property so that you can create that excitement around it and then have lots of people bidding for it.

Sell or lease property with a digital only strategy

Steve Carroll

Absolutely, and I will tell you one thing Mel, and this is the proof in the pudding is this. If I was to sell my house, in Queensland, I would give an agent a marketing budget, and I would say I want to see a plan on how you’re going to use part of that budget on social media, I want to see a plan on how you’re going to use that on the portals. And because our house is a little bit different to most run of the mill houses, I’ll be interested in what the agent suggests on a print front. But you know, that’s only because my house could be bought by somebody who’s just browsing a magazine on Saturday.

Melanie Hoole

So is print a bit more relevant for premium properties?

Steve Carroll

Premium and unique, so my property is not premium, it’s just unique, and it might be that the person who buys it is just flicking through. But without question, if I was selling my house, I’d want to plan on social, I’d want to plan on the portals, and I’m interested in hearing some suggestions on print. I probably wouldn’t go with print, but I’m interested. That’s my expectation of an agent.

Melanie Hoole

So I am selling a place in Queensland, an investment property that we’ve had, and it’s been on the market for just over five weeks at this moment in time, and I let it run on the portal to start and I paid for social media through the portal – so I saw the interest spike.

Then as the property’s been on there for a while, it’s kind of drifted down, because there’s more properties coming up, replacing mine on page one because the the newer campaigns.

Then I spent money on Facebook ads and Google Ads, and sent those through the portal package. My agent also put money into it, and then I’ve also run it myself, and we’ve all got slightly different pricing and strategies on how we’re reaching prospects because the portals use the portal audience and you’re retargeting them.

Then the agent has their own database and they’re retargeting them, and then I did it based on behaviours and demographics. So I get actual leads into a spreadsheet that I then get back to my agent, and he follows up on a daily basis.

So, fingers crossed, we’ve had a few offers, but as a vendor, as an owner, you’re on tender hooks, wondering where’s the buyer going to come from? You know, you just need two or three to give you some negotiation power.

Steve Carroll

Yeah, absolutely, we’re definitely experiencing interesting times!

Melanie Hoole

So, thank you, Steve, thank you so much for coming down to Sydney and spending time with me.

Steve Carroll

Thank you, Mel and I look forward to working with you on the Digital Live education programme, which kicks off in May, and you know, that’ll tackle a lot of the topics that we’ve talked about here.

I also look forward to riding across Thailand with you in February and March, and I’m sure we’ll have some good conversations as we’re pedalling those kilometres to raise money for charity.

About this video series

Hopefully you found this video informative and learnt a little more about how marketing works. If you would like help from a team of digital professionals, including content creators and social media marketers, and paid advertising specialists, get in touch for a free 1-hour consultation.


hoole cta navigating facebook

Written by Melanie Hoole

My team and I specialise in helping real estate and property professionals perfect their personal brand, build a first-class digital profile and implement inbound marketing activities to attract leads. If you are unsure which direction to take with your digital marketing contact me for help.

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