We’ve just wrapped up our do-it-yourself (DIY) course (affectionately known as digital-ise yourself) with a large group of real estate professionals, who were keen to learn how to run their own brand and social media marketing activities.

Whilst the course is designed for real estate professionals to learn from us, we always take away fresh insights and learnings from our participants too.

This is the seventh time we have run this DIY program. Interestingly, the course attracts a range of property professionals; from real estate principals to individual agents, buyers agents, as well as real estate operations and marketing staff. And, this always includes participants from independent and franchisee network businesses.

Why learn social media marketing?

Today, social media is the best digital marketing channel for building awareness for your real estate brand. Your social media pages are a valuable asset that requires investment and can take years to build. They are now your shop window, where prospective clients come to check you out and learn about you before they call or meet with you.

Most of the property professionals that participated in this intake of the Hoole DIY Program wanted to grow their understanding of social and digital marketing overall.

Many said they’d tried several training courses that have given them a better understanding of the power of social media marketing for real estate, but none gave any practical help in getting the wheels in motion.

With our DIY Program, participants saw value in having hands-on social media training from property industry specialists, alongside high-quality content supplied.

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Improving your digital know-how

Most participants told us they’d had a stab at managing their brand marketing themselves but found it to be extremely time-consuming and more technical than they’d first anticipated.

“Social media seemed simple so I started doing it myself, using Canva. But it still took a chunk of time and I never got much engagement or potential clients. So, I gave up.” – Anna, Ray White, Queensland

The program participants shared that the major plus was that the Hoole team did a lot of the heavy lifting. They liked the fact that we complete all the technical setup (like ad account creation and audience building), plus we provide participants with six months’ worth of high-quality blogs. Having all the content prepared for them would allow time to focus on easier digital marketing activities; like website publishing, social media scheduling and boosting their blogs as sponsored posts.

“If I could understand the technical side of social media I would do it myself but I don’t. I really like that Melanie, her team and the program has simplified everything for me.”  – Dena, National Network, Victoria

Promoting your real estate brand

Building a real estate brand through social media (and google search) is far more involved than running a property marketing campaign. Brand marketing needs unique messages and visuals to help you stand out, whereas property marketing tends to follow a templated design and is easily repeatable. 

Program participants tell us, content creation is their major stumbling block when it comes to real estate brand marketing. Knowing what and how to write, which images to select and having a steady stream of interesting and market-relevant topics is virtually impossible when you are trying to manage your marketing between your client and business operational responsibilities.

“We’d been posting the same things on social media for a few years and needed to progress. We didn’t know where to start, or how to use digital marketing to promote our business at a more sophisticated level.” – Aneesha, Independent Real Estate Agency, NSW

With six months of SEO-optimised content provided by Hoole, key topics – that help answer the all important real estate search queries – are covered, making it super easy for home sellers and landlords to find your real estate website.

Closing the digital knowledge gap

The thing that really stood out for us at Hoole was how far the real estate industry has come with its basic understanding of digital marketing terminology and what social and digital marketing can do for their business.  

In the early days, we needed to explain pretty basic concepts, like;

“What’s the difference between a Facebook profile and a Facebook page?”

“How do you build social media connections in your community?”

Now, the questions we get from participants are topics like;

“How much money should I be spending on Facebook ads?”

“How do I create a lead ad (with a form) on Facebook?”

“How do I set up retargeting ads, to pop up in front of people that have visited my website?”

“Is it possible to segment my social media ads to target home sellers only?”

It was truly exciting for us to see just how much the real estate industry’s knowledge of social media and content marketing has grown in the past few years.

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Your prospective clients are social media savvy

We also asked participants what the catalyst was for joining the training program at this juncture in their career or business journey. 

The feedback was unanimous – they see competitors getting a ton of engagement and their sponsored posts, plus, prospective clients are asking how their properties will be promoted across social media.

Participants wanted to learn how to be more strategic in social media feeds. They wanted to demonstrate that they’re not only the local expert from a property negotiation perspective, but can use social media alongside the real estate portals to effectively sell or lease a home. 

The fact is, a prospective client will judge your ability to promote their property on social media by the way you are marketing your own real estate services. So your own online marketing activities need to be better than the competitors to truly stand out.

It’s important to know your limitations

Whether it’s a lack of time, technical knowledge or desire, everyone has limitations on what they can deliver in an area that isn’t within their expertise. For example, as business owners we can interpret a P&L at a high level, but we need to use an accountant to prepare our company tax returns because they have the legislative and technical know-how.

Before deciding what is the best solution for your real estate agency’s digital and social media strategy, you need to work through what time and skills are required to manage your marketing activities. Ask yourself; can you or someone in your team carve out time each week to create and publish content, post on social media and run branded advertising campaigns?

With the Hoole DIY Program, an administrative staff member can manage your brand marketing in around 8 hours a week. But if you are starting from scratch (and need to think of topics or campaign strategies, plus commission content) you need to either be good at creative writing and have an eye for design, or find creatives that can provide a further 8 hours of weekly support.

So, if one person is truly managing the entire brand marketing activities then they need to be highly creative, digitally savvy and able to put aside 2 days a week to produce and promote your real estate business online. Then and only then, will your brand awareness start motoring.

Marketing consistency is vital

If you are running your social media stop-start, you just aren’t going to see results, it’s as simple as that. Digital and social media marketing is constantly evolving, the social channels and advertising platforms add new features and change page layouts all the time. So you need to invest time learning and keeping abreast of these changes. Or, simply, engage the Hoole team and we will do this for you!

Our happy marketing medium

We developed the do-it-yourself course, not as a completely standalone marketing solution but as a way for you to tap into the Hoole technical expertise, whilst using an existing labour force within your business.

It scratches that itch for people that have the time and desire to learn online marketing for real estate agents/agencies but lack the technical ability to get everything up and running themselves. It also covers the need to create content that resonates with local homebuyers, homesellers and landlords.

The Hoole program is a midway point between doing it for yourself and having someone do it for you. Even with ‘time and desire’ after the training element of the course is complete, and participants start doing the steps themselves, the feedback we get is always;

“Wow, I never realised there was so much to learn.” – Sue, Buyers Agent

“I would never have been able to work this out and do it myself.” – Steve, Boutique Network

In the same way you have to complete CPD training each year to stay technically proficient, making time to learn from real estate digital marketing experts will help your real estate business grow.

We applaud everyone who recognises that they need to learn the right way and implement the online learnings we teach. Plus we love learning about you and your business at the same time!

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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