I was home over the weekend and I came across a TV marathon of a show that I truly loved…the old school “Twilight Zone.” I was watching several episodes in a row and I came to an episode that made me think about how it relates to the Real Estate community today and in the future. The name of the episode was “The Obsolete Man.” In the episode Burgess Merideth (Rocky Balboa’s trainer-Micky) lived in a Totalitarian State and was on trial in front of the high counsel for being “obsolete.” He had to answer to his charges and could be sentenced to death. Burgess said he was a Librarian and that he loved books. In this future existence there apparently was no need for books and therefore Librarians. He was sentenced to a death for no longer serving a purpose in society and being “obsolete.” Of course since it was the Twilight Zone there were some twists and ended very fittingly. So…how does this correlate with your Real Estate Marketing plan in 2012?
First off…I am in NO WAY trying to make the point that the Realtor will be obsolete in the future…though consumers don’t look for Realtors when wanting to buy a home, they go online and type into Google the size, bedrooms, price, near schools system they want to live. Realtors are attached to those homes in which the buyer is looking. They do look for Realtors when they want to sell their home though (that’s another blog).
I am trying say if you continue marketing your Real Estate business the same as you more than likely have your Real Estate business will dry up and will eventually become obsolete. Consumer behavior has changed big time…and the things that worked in the past don’t work the same or very well in 2012. There are new methods needed to get found by people that are looking to use your Realtor services.
What Has Become Less Effective-Outbound Marketing
Outbound Marketing is all the things you DON”T want sent to you in your mailbox. Postcards, recipe cards, ads, sports schedules, gimmicks, all the things you routinely toss into the trash when you open your mail. It isn’t that there isn’t some value in what you getting, but here is the thing…consumers are bombarded all day every day by outbound messages…radio ads, TV ads, commercials, direct mail, door hangers, etc. People are becoming trained to tune these all out! The other reason people hate outbound marketing is that you also don’t have a need at that exact moment for what you are getting …so you toss it.
You see Outbound Marketing is marketing to the future…it is sending a mass amount of a message hoping that someone gets it…keeps it…then remembers you down the road THEN decides to email/call you when they have that need. Does this work? Yes…to less than 1% of the population. It also costs a bunch of money and we know that most consumers open their mail over the trash…you probably do…yet Realtors keep sending outbound marketing to 99% of consumers that don’t care of have a need for it. These Realtors are also not “Target Marketing” http://www.dctitleguy.com/real-estate-target-marketing-are-you-on-target/ . So we could say that this form of advertising is surely becoming more and more “obsolete”.
What is MORE Effective-Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is when someone has a need they are able to “find you” at that exact moment. They find you online or through a social media outlet and email/call you. 98% of consumers go online when they begin their home buyer/selling search…this is fact. They ask Google, Yahoo, Bing questions and then they look for answers to their questions or for the person that can help them solve a problem. If I am looking to buy a home in Fairfax, Virginia I wouldn’t go to my mailbox, yellow pages, or newspaper to find the info that I wanted. I would go to Google or YouTube and type in EXACTLY what I was looking for. Most people ask Google questions as if it were a person. 50% of google searches are 1 time searches because people search for the same thing different ways. Same thing applies if I was buying a car or a Christmas present for a family member.
Using your WordPress website, social media outlets, and engaging people in online conversations that lead to offline relationships is the new and future of marketing your Real Estate business. If you are where your future clients are looking…you have a very sustainable business model and are in no way in jeopardy of becoming “obsolete.”
Not becoming Obsolete
As we progress faster and faster towards the uses of technology in Real Estate, outbound marketing is going to go by the way side. The agents that will remain and have great success will either have fantastic referral sources in place that can sustain them (even those can die off) or they will be able to be found by people that are looking for their services at that exact moment. They will have good blogs that are informational, videos showing their personality, answering consumer questions, showing subdivisions, and listings. They will have websites with client testimonials and good IDX’s that allow consumers to search homes easily and of course information capture systems on their site that have calls to action to produce LEADS! Once you have the leads then it becomes all about conversion.
My name is Wade Vander Molen and I am the Director of Sales/Marketing for Stewart Title and Escrow in Fairfax, VA. If you need help in your Real Estate marketing please take a moment and fill out the form below and I will be in touch with your shortly and help you GROW your Real Estate business!
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