Real estate marketing in 2020: What doesn’t work for agents
Marketing yourself is critical in any business, but it's especially crucial in real estate. Here's what you need to be aware of when it comes to real estate marketing in 2020.
Real estate agents are a different breed of cat. Self-employed, small business owners, yes. What a lot of agents fail to recognize though is that agents are in the B2C biz, not selling products, per se, but services to consumers.
Researching better, smarter or less expensive ways to market these services is admirable. Taking any advice at face value, assuming it applies to any business, across the board, is crazy.
Even when that advice claims to be specific to real estate agents, use caution. A lot of what you read just doesn’t work for real estate marketing in 2020.
Perform more than a cursory round of due diligence before investing your time, money and energy into a social media platform for your real estate business.
Look beyond the hype, analyze real estate marketing advice carefully. Here’s an example we found at Inman.com:
“Did you hear that Instagram is the fastest-growing social media platform globally, increasing its users by 23 percent in the last six months?” (2014)
Those are pretty impressive statistics, right? Look closer. What jumps out at us is the word “globally.” Stack that next to the very real truth that real estate is local, and it’s a useless statistic for real estate marketing in 2020.
The best line of all from that article, however, belies the title:
“Do you know that many of your kids didn’t stop actively using social media? All they did was move from Facebook to Instagram.”
We’re willing to wager that teenagers aren’t buying and selling homes. But they make up 75 percent of Instagram’s users, according to Brandwatch.com.
Are you willing to spend all the time that Instagram marketing requires to reach primarily 18 to 24-year olds?
Don’t buy into the hype. First, check who wrote the advice. If it’s a social media or other type of marketing company, disregard what you read. If the piece was written by anyone trying to sell a book, E-book or anything else on the topic, reconsider taking the advice.
Use your intellectual curiosity and dig into the statistics that are pertinent to your business. We outlined this a few months ago, here.
Buyers agents should ensure that the social media platform they use:
If you’re a listing agent, look for the following statistics:
That leaves Twitter and Instagram out as effective marketing platforms for real estate agents. Sure, you’ll find a handful of agents who got a big deal from one of these platforms, but overall, at least right now, the demographics are wrong for real estate agents.
Our advice? Stick with Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest for now. Social media demographics change over time, however. Remember when Facebook was primarily a teenage phenomenon?
Social media is a time suck. If you buy ads it’s an expensive time suck. Don’t jump on the bandwagon, do the research necessary and become a smart social media marketer.
Marketing missteps cost money, so it pays to avoid the bandwagon mentality when it comes to real estate marketing in 2020.
I think I recently shared with you a post I came across in a Facebook group for agents. I vaguely recall the topic was FSBOs and an agent chimed in saying he had the world’s best script and he was willing to share it.
He made wild claims about what a boss he is in the FSBO world and, naturally, at least 10 agents chimed in, begging him to send them his script. Hey, free stuff is many an agent’s hot button, regardless of quality.
I did a bit of research and learned that he doesn’t even have a website, let alone a real estate license. Yet agents desperately jumped on his offer without bothering to check his credentials.
There may be FSBO scripts out there that work. Ferry and Borino come to mind.
If chasing FSBOs is part of your 2020 marketing plan, and you must use a script, kick down the bucks to pay someone who actually offers social proof that his (or her) stuff works.
Then, there’s the video hype that just refuses to die.
I am so hoping that 2020 is the year agents get smart about video if it’s real estate leads you’re after or a listing you want to actually sell.
Floor plans and 3D tours are hot-buttons for buyers, not video. Let your viewers decide which parts of the home they want to view. The true “virtual tour” isn’t one that is through the subjective eye of a videographer.
Yet the video production companies and anyone else with a stake in video will tell you that video is the end-all, be-all of real estate marketing in 2020.
The reality is that real estate video marketing is the same losing proposition it was a year ago when we discussed your 2019 marketing plan.
When considering agent marketing advice that you find online (including here at EAP), take the time to find out who wrote it and if that person might have a financial or other agenda. Find out if he or she has actual experience listing and selling real estate.
If not, take it with a grain of salt and move on.
This is why you NEED a real estate website if you want your business to grow in 2020:
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