Please take this survey on buyer attitudes toward digital marketing services. I will send a report to each participant if you include your email address in the comments box.
It will be fascinating to discover the prevailing beliefs of online marketing from professional Realtors, Mortgage Brokers and Agents, Dentists, Realty Developers, Insurance Agents, Small Manufacturers, and other small to mid size business owners who are facing big decisions about how they’ll be doing their marketing in 2016.
Here are the 11 Questions:
Thank you for your participation and I hope the results help you make better decisions!
When you work for a big brokerage, you give away your autonomy, freedom, income and equity. You create value for Remax, Royal Lepage, Sutton Group, Century21, Sothebys, Home Life or the new kid, Engel & Volkers. How about hanging onto that equity?
I’ve known a few very successful people and what they all had in common was initiative. They didn’t sit around, coast, let opportunities pass, or let less important things get in the way. They always had their mind geared for the business they were passionate about building. They weren’t smarter. They seemed to have this vision of where they belonged and they were compelled to follow that path.
A guy I went to high school with was in the news today. His US/Canada company is valuated at a Billion dollars and it’s growing. He had that leadership quality and now all these decades later, it’s apparent he had to be at the helm of a successful firm.
Entrepreneurial leaders have faith and clarity in the sense that they knew something great was going to happen — the journey and the destination. It’s that expectation that’s made them resilient and creative to navigate their way through to success. Richard Branson, Larry Page, and Elon Musk are a few entrepreneurs who have very positive expectations. Do they have regrets?
Here’s what they really want: Freedom, Autonomy, Money, Self-respect, and to make other people happy. They’ve given themselves the licence and freedom to create their ideal, emotionally fulfilling lifestyle.
Smart Long Term Decisions
Out of millions of realtors, mortgage and insurance agents and other professionals, only a select, special few will launch their own company. The rewards are intense. Realtors such as Darryl King, Merrily Hackett, Barbara Corcoran, and Sam McDadi started off humbly and they’re doing phenomenally well. Merrily’s brokerage Sutton West Coast Realty did $22 billion in sales last year.
What About the Complexity?
Launching your brokerage rids you of your broker split, office and desk fees and gives you more funds for marketing. If you fear the paperwork and compliance tasks, you can outsource to a company such as Realty Point. They could rid you of administration tasks. And when you incorporate, you can defer income to tide you through low sales years. It’s just plain smart.
Do you Need to Start Now?
If you’re of the opinion that you should build this dream incrementally (coasting) you probably won’t have the momentum and power to get there. You can’t coast uphill. It’s wiser to start with the intent of building your realty or insurance brokerage sooner, especially during peak sales years. This intensity gets you focused to create an advantage. If you have good confidence you might even choose hypergrowth strategies to get a smart jump.
How Will You Stay Competitive?
If you’re going to be competitive and build significant revenue, you’ll want to leverage the best tools, strategies and talent. There are plenty of agents who actually need to work under your wing. All you need is a system to generate leads and convert those leads. That’s where I come in. If you and your team have a good attitude and pleasant interpersonal and business skills, clients will gravitate to you.
Clarify your process:
create a marketing plan that specifies the source, reach and capture of leads
use a digital marketing strategy that leverages all digital channels
use a prospecting strategy that quickly discovers good leads
maximize your leads with wide exposure on the Internet and local media
increase your conversions by clarifying your UVP to prospects
build your unique value proposition even further
decide on your brokerage business model
bring on one realtor who believes in what you’re doing and can help you build the correct business model
use social media to engage all your connections and build that word of mouth network
test, reiterate tactics, until your lead generation machine is purring like a kitten
I’d be delighted to help you design and manage your complete digital marketing campaign. You’ll get incomparable value and avoid making beginners mistakes.
Millions of realtors, mortgage agents, new home builders, custom home builders, dentists, insurance brokers, architects, medical specialists, and vacation resort managers are all competing to be the Big Kahunas of their markets. Some will, and from humble beginnings.
The title graphic is courtesy of Inman. In the US, almost 10k agents had at least one transaction per week, or at minimum $20M in sales.
What do these BIG Kahunas do that sets them apart and launches them into continuous success? They:
establish an unbeatable/incomparable unique value proposition
find the right clients, customers and business partners
find the best mentor
get the funding required
make their clients very happy
go all out to make their client successful
help their client learn
take the burden and pain away from their clients
think creatively, innovatively and persistently to solve client’s problems
strive persistently to become the BIG Kahuna in their market
Here’s 21 Big Kahuna Success Tips
Visualize your customer – Yes, think about who you’d like as your clients and build your marketing to capture those exact prospects – dig into their lifestyle and dreams
Build a great digital content strategy as the foundation of your marketing strategy — do this strategically so each channel drives the other simultaneously (omnichannel)
Build inbound content that’s interesting, informative and sharable – this builds excitement into your brand image
Build one very strong niche – such as ecology-mindedness, tax reduction, technology, entrepreneurialism, health, local sports, business trends, job trends, education, etc — whatever subject you believe will make your agent brand stronger.
Advertise in local news flyers/sections have good reach to homeowners and buyers
Advertise via Facebook, AdWords, and Linkedin ad platforms using excellent advertising techniques
Create original and valuable stories/statistics/events for reporters/bloggers to talk about
Use your linkedin account, plus your own prospect search to connect with investors, agents, and professional people who may need to buy or sell
Use an email strategy to build prospects into your inner circle
Be Generous – Do lots of good deeds – refer business, compliment, promote, offer help to your prospects with any issues they’re having, and set a tone of giving
Be Awesome — this means being yourself but extending your sphere of interest to touch prospects dreams
Stop thinking negatively — there are no limitations, only an abundance of leads and sales – create your own leads
Take a vacation – Get Fresh! – you can’t lead if you’re depressed and worn out. Get away from the source of your stagnation or low productivity to refresh or renew yourself – wipe the hard drive for a fresh, new, strategically effective start
Use interesting apps such as Hyperlapse to create interesting videos to showcase your homes/condos/neighbourhoods.
Hire a creative/innovative digital marketer with a winning program just for you
Building and maintaining a leadership position in your market requires professional help. How many helpers do you need? Start with one, but pick someone who is awesome. If they don’t add tremendous value, you’re wasting your money and time.
I was driving by a familiar area in town one day and noticed that a large 14 acre ranch was up for sale. Right in the heart of my town. Very rare and valuable land. I wondered how many millions it would go for in the market right now.
The For Sale sign was from Daryl King, a top millionaire realtor in this area (he has a small army of 34 agents working for him now), at least tops in selling high value properties (a great niche). The property owner has many other superb realtors to choose from, however they chose Darryl King, one of the top real estate agents in North Toronto.
This happens frequently in other areas of business where people choose whoever they think is the “BIG Kahuna” in the market. It’s probably why Donald Trump sits on a mountain of cash. Despite his horrible personality, real estate executives want to work with him. When the idea of selling a luxury house comes to mind, so does Daryl King’s team.
It doesn’t seem to matter whether they’re like Mother Theresa or Genghis Khan, the BIG Kahuna’s get the business. More people are drawn to who they believe is the top dog, rather than choosing someone who is more in line with their true interests and situation. BIG Kahuna’s make the most of wide visibility, authority, and opportunity. They leverage everything from advertising to partnerships to after-sales support to ensure everyone believes they are the best and will get them the best price.
BIG Kahunas pursue marketshare, aiming to monopolize any market they can. And monopoly, arguably, is the goal of most millionaires. Of course, excellent branding and marketing can help move toward a type of uniqueness that is monopoly. By hiring me, you are very likely to dominate your city market. Be the BIG Kahuna.
Show You Believe what They Believe
Foremost in the matter of choosing the BIG Kahuna is the belief they’ll ensure success via their network, skills, or marketing power. So begin to develop a BIG Kahuna image yourself and they’ll believe in you. Good incentive to brush up on brand image strategy.
It’s one of those buyer core beliefs worth looking closely at. Simon Sinek says people will buy from you if you believe what they believe. Big estate owners believe Darryl King has similar values and beliefs, and he is singly most able to get that extra one or two million dollars, and that he might be networked with multimillionaires. Maybe he isn’t.
Buyers and sellers believe the BIG Kahuna has the connections, selling power, persuasiveness and klout.
The BIG Kahuna removes the fear and paves the way to a big sale price. Big Kahunas seem to get rid of all the pain (okay, it’s the Witch doctor that actually does that:)
King has been a top real estate agent and broker for a long time and of course over the years has built a lot of connections whom he has likely groomed. And he has 34 realtors on his own team — a telling sign of a BIG Kahuna.
In Vancouver, Merrily Hackett is the BIG Kahuna in a market with plenty of top earning real estate agents. Every community has its top dog. The huge opportunity for you is that you could be the BIG Kahuna of your market. All you have to do now is dominate the digital marketing space!!
And a lot of what is digital marketing today is barely understandable as marketing anymore. It’s social word of mouth, being found, being helpful, and building personal connections, and supporting important causes. In the realm of high priced real estate, Adwords, Facebook, and Linkedin Ads are used more to dry up opportunities for competitors.
As an agent you need to be thinking about how you can leverage digital marketing to extend your personal reach and strengthen your personal connections. It’s the perfect high definition medium to marry your beliefs to your prospects and clients. It’s all about shaping belief.
If Someone Else Did it, You Can Do it – Become a Millionaire in Real Estate
If you’re a 21 to 36 year old realtor, you’re very smart. Most agents are approaching retirement and they’re going to leave the whole housing market to you. That’s brilliant positioning. But how’s your business development going? Are you ready to take charge and become a millionaire real estate agent?
Is there an easy way?
Everyone reaches a point in their career when they need to let go of their “shtick” and adopt a new approach — changes that will position you to go to the top. And yes, even 25 year olds have a Shtick.
Remove the Small Mindedness
Open your mind because here’s how you’re going improve your career outcome. If you view yourself as an entrepreneur, investor, thought leader, and mover and shaker, you’ll get things moving. The real value is what spins off this train you’ll get rolling. Your original idea may not work, but once in motion, the very best opportunities appear.
vastly improve your leads by leveraging digital media
improve your lead quality by attracting the best qualified prospects
explode your reach to tens of thousands of people
be present everywhere so you’re easy to find
increase variety of investors and buyers
open your presence in home services, mortgage, travel and other industries to access new types of business that you can refer to others
better capacity to capture and close any deal that comes along
exposure to multi-millionaire investors
more visibility as a credible expert
more time to focus on critical areas of your business
hiring agents to start your own office
help your new agents expand their networks
leverage their networks for results at scale
Sometimes We Have to Reinvent Ourselves
Merrily Hackett, a Vancouver real estate agent, was in danger of bankruptcy and seemingly going nowhere. But necessity made her more creative. She improved what she was weak in. Her company is now the biggest real estate agency in Canada with 25 offices and earning billions in sales.
Sales brought that (competitive spirit) out in me. I strive for excellence. I’m driven. When people say that I can’t do it, that tends to motivate me even more. — Merrily Hackett, Sutton Realty.
Millionaire agents build their success through prospecting, constant prospecting. They sleep, but they never stop. Their marketing machine works round the clock. This marketing persistence is only one of the keys. You’re about to go to more parties, if you leverage digital to get invited in on all the sweet deals.
Feed Your Drive
If you become content with a sale every few months, you lose that driven spirit to build your presence and huge volumes of leads for yourself. Competition is intense now.
With thousands of realtors now, you may fail, if you don’t outcompete them with a smarter digital marketing strategy. Real estate marketing is reasonably challenging, but top realtors such as Merrily Hackett master it by leveraging technology, experts, and other real estate agents.
Now, it’s all about 2016. It takes time to gear up. Time for you examine the top realtors and study what they do.
Some of what today’s top digital realtors do:
try something new even if they don’t know how to do it
build a lot of high quality, useful content
create new content that is optimized for Google rankings
have an attractive website with full MLS listings
have an effective, friendly brand image
promote and advertise extensively – including in person events
be customer focused – showing you are truly working for them
be likable – project an image of helpfulness and positive spirit
be authentic and honest – build transparency
be trustworthy – show you believe what they believe
use determination – a calm, confident, no quit attitude
create a positive, engaged presence on Facebook and Twitter
use an omnichannel strategy that focuses all effort and resources
communicate a clear, significant, personalized, unique value proposition
use a drip email campaign that adds value
follow up on leads in a helpful, information seeking and engaging style
With these in mind, here’s a winning Realtor’s plan of Action:
Target Persona: Build the best view of your target persona — you must know your target audience well. If you’re a North or West Vancouver, West Bay, Sandy Cove, Kerrisdale, or Shaunessy area realtor for instance, your ripest target is upscale, perhaps Asian, an investor, between 30 and 50. Your time should be spent studying your prospect’s lifestyle, beliefs, values, attitudes, personal expectations and what they don’t know.
The Real Goal: How will you attach yourself to their dreams? How will you establish yourself as an important, helpful person in their lives? How will you get them to let go of their “preferences” and hire you?
Relevant, Personalized and Persuasive Content: Before you can go big with advertising, you need highly relevant content – your content confirms to them that you believe what they believe. It also shows your expertise and commitment to hard work. Keep in mind that to them, you are your content.
MLS Property Listings – your MLS listings fed through your MLS associations listing feed is published into pages that your SEO guy can optimize. One top realtor has 8 million pages indexed in Google from his site. That creates a lot of visitors and they like looking at homes.
Big Promotion. Don’t spend your money until you have your content in place and you’re ready to engage them strategically via social media. And when everything’s ready, don’t get cheap with your ad budget – do Facebook, AdWords advertising, and local print news flyer sheets too. Top realtors have ad budgets well above $100k per year. Advertising works.
Powerful CRM and Lead Management Software
If you can’t afford a real estate webmasters account, there are other CRM tools you can use to help you engage your contacts and build your database of customer prospects. And, of course, you’ll have more time to personally engage with your prospects and customers, rather than struggling with digital marketing tasks.
The market for condos in North America’s hottest cities is heating up as housing becomes scarce. The low Canadian dollar is making all Vancouver and Toronto properties an attractive investment but condos are the hidden gem for investors. The market in San Diego too is also being driven by a lack of housing stock.
3 Cities Primed for More Price Growth
Vancouver is loaded with condos and Toronto has seen a huge growth in new condo developments in the last 5 years. San Diego’s condo market is poised for astonishing growth.
As this graphic highlights, the great recession barely affected rocketing prices in Vancouver since 2002. There is no more land in Vancouver which means the sky is the limit in Canada’s top city.
Explosive growth in the Canadian market is fueled by Chinese, Middle Eastern and US buyers. Vancouver is the main target of wealthy Chinese buyers. The strong Yuan and weak Loonie means Chinese millionaires are finding plenty of bargains to move into or to use as investments. Many of the units are sitting vacant but don’t expect to see them on AirBnb.
Toronto Sales Volume Rising Fast
Toronto’s condo sales volume grew 10% in August in the city and 23% in the region just outside Toronto. No housing bubble is forecast for Toronto.
BILD CEO Bryan Tuckey says many potential first-time buyers are being priced out of the market. He says there’s a limited supply of new houses because of a lack of development-ready, serviced land across the region, which means “homes are being purchased faster than they can be brought to market.”
Foreign Buyers Helping to Drive up Prices in San Diego
San Diego’s real estate revival is in progress. Realtors are just getting positioned for the coming boom. The graphic below from Jorge Castelon of Harcourts Pacific Realty in San Diego reveals the upward trend.
That’s an eye opening 50% rise in 5 years and the real estate market in San Diego still hasn’t taken off yet.
This graphic from August shows a shortage of units is lifting prices fast.
The US is the only country expected to excel economically, which means the US dollar will only go up. San Diego properties might be as good an investment as those in Toronto and Vancouver. As the world’s baby boomers begin looking for ideal locations to live the last decades of their lives, San Diego will be high on the list.
San Diego has 64 huge condo buildings and San Diego county has many more. The San Diego market is still marked by a high underwater rate so there’s plenty of hidden opportunity here.
The prices are outpacing wage growth, a trend that analysts say is only going to continue so long as the region sees its supply of housing remain tight. Mark Goldman, a loan officer and real-estate lecturer at San Diego State University, said home prices are appreciating faster than he expected — from the San Diego Tribue.
With mortgage rates remaining at such low levels, the condo market will be especially attractive. The average homeowner in San Diego spends $10,647 per year on their mortgage. And the average renter in the city will pay a whopping 44% of their income on their rent. Either for rental income or as a capital investment, condos and homes in San Diego look awfully good.
Of course, we’re talking about San Diego. The luxury market is even more attractive to Chinese buyers who typically only look for $1 million+ properties.
$11.78 billion: The dollar amount in home sales in San Diego County in the first half of 2015, up 13.2 percent from $10.4 billion last year — CoreLogic.
Prospective buyers around the world will see condos for sale like this one at right.
If this market potential doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what will. If you’re a San Diego, Vancouver or Toronto realtor with condo stock for sale, it might be the perfect time to do digital marketing right.
Note: the above content is not presented as a proposition for sales in real estate, nor advice about any realty investment. It is a commentary on economic and real estate conditions. All investors face uncertainty and economic factors beyond control and are advised to consult with a professional realtor before buying or selling.