Who runs an agents digital marketing and what tools are used?
Every year, the REB awards are harder and harder to pick, but I love being a judge on their panel of experts. Over the years, I have noticed a variety of different digital and marketing strategies coming into play and how they are being used to affect improvements in each individual business differently.
Real estate businesses have really stepped up to the challenge of learning digital marketing in recent years, and because of the REB awards, I have been able to witness more sophisticated strategies being used.
It’s great to see the real estate industry improving their digital marketing efforts year-on-year.
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Following is the video transcript.
How well are we doing as an industry digitally? Are we moving the needle on our learning?
Over my three years of judging the REB awards, I’ve seen the level of knowledge and activities expanding digital marketing, dramatically. In my first year of judging, I was trying to compare entries for individual agents, with no social media or digital marketing expertise or funds to spend against major franchises that had a team of qualified digital staff and million dollar budgets.
It’s amusing to remember that early on real estate agencies engaged uni students or their receptionist to run their social media activities. Some more traditional agents and principals continue to regard social media as “fluff”. They missed the point that social media is a serious business and can deliver leads and drive your revenue.
Social and search ads didn’t get mentioned in the first digital awards. The sole focus was on organic posts and how many likes you had, even many digital experts the world over got enticed by the “likes” of Facebook, haha, pun intended – but these vanity metrics became redundant on Facebook in 2012 when your organic page reach was reduced to less than 1%.
What can we learn about who’s doing digital marketing and social media at the moment?
Well, from the award submissions, 70% of the entrants were boutique agencies with independent real estate brands who have their own internal staff, 30% was from the franchise groups.
Interestingly, 80% had a combination of internal admin staff and external digital professionals working for their agency.
Tallying up the list of activities and tactics mentioned in the last awards, the activities platforms and prop-tech systems that got to mention were quite extensive.
In fact, agents referred to paid advertising custom audiences including database uploads, retargeting, AB testing, content marketing, collaboration, and influences, amplification.
They even mentioned digital listing kits, digital auction, bidding systems, AI and bot platforms. While I give some real estate agencies a high distinction for their digital execution, the industry overall is still in a learning phase.
In general, real estate professionals have yet to realise the full potential of digital marketing. What’s evident is that in house marketing staff do not have the technical expertise to manage their social media ad accounts. Many real estate agencies, therefore, end up with patchy brand activities, ineffective property campaigns and low social media engagement.
If you enjoyed this video, watch Part #2 Judging the REB Awards, next!
About this video series
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