Tag Archives: vancouver luxury real estate

Blogging for advertising

Blogging as an advertising medium?

It’s obvious that the internet and the marketing of real estate (including luxury real estate) have merged. You might be slightly out of touch to believe otherwise. It’s also okay if you do. If what you’re doing is working, why change? If the money you’re spending on advertising is not working the same as it did four or five years ago, there is probably a good reason for it.

As for why it’s not working, I’m not sure I have all the answers. In fact, I’ll bet spending 50 grand a year on gorgeous printed magazines will pay off. Of course, it may be more if you consider all the other marketing expenses (i.e., fee to your respective brand, fees for banner ads.)

As far as banner ads are concerned, you need not even click on this link about banner advertising efficacy:

Being a familiar name takes you miles closer to closing a sale. People like to buy from companies they’ve heard of.

It turns out that this is an overlooked benefit of banner ads.
Banner ads are fairly worthless in terms of generating clickthroughs… you have to trick too much and manipulate too much to get clicks worth much of anything. But, if you build ads with no intent of clicks, no hope for clicks… then you can focus on ads that drill your name or picture or phrase into my head. 100 impressions and you’re almost famous.

A household name. Not for everyone, but for people who matter.

That was a year ago, also. If this is true, and you’re not getting an ROI, doesn’t it make sense to stop spending over 50 thousand dollars a year hoping that it will start working?

One thing I’m absolutely certain of is that marketing your brand online is cost effective. And writing online for your brand is not as simple as a facebook status update. If you are writing online (or blogging, which I write with extreme caution because it has the tendency to be equated to the LOLcats or to a personal journal), and you do it everyday with the same idea that the 50 thousand dollars a year in ads you’re spending, you’ll probably save about half, if not more.

P.S. The reason I haven’t been maintaining this blog is because I’ve been building semantic sites for agents. Li Read, someone I admire as well as someone who frequently made brilliant insights contributing to this blog (in the past) is about to prove my point. It starts tomorrow. Watch.

Real estate agents need a new job description

Snowflake

If the point of social media is to completely blur the previous solid wall between our corporate presence and our personal selves, then it is not the immediacy of sales that is involved.

The long tail approach is exactly that:

a lengthy displaying of a long term approach, perhaps years in the making, not just months.

The internet has erased time and geography.  We are locked into a binary world rhythm (on/off, act/react, yes/no) in the post computer revolution moment.

In the 90s—and seemingly into the “oughts”—of this century, it appeared to be business as usual, with people trying to stuff the old model into the new, and to simply carry on as usual.  This is normal, of course. We all want things to continue the way they were. We like what we’re used to.

The hybrid moment is over.

Some things to consider:  a website is like a library. One can pop in, take out some information, use it or not, catch up on background—it’s sort of like an individual’s wikipedia, and is focused on what that individual “does.”

Conversation adds value to the platform

A social media platform is about introducing ourself to the global village. Yes, it’s ok to say what it is we do, but it needs to be about so much more. It’s a conversation that takes place regardless of time zones, and has an immediacy about it.  We get to share what we do, to describe where we live, to offer information about our neighbourhoods, our community, our concerns—to introduce it to those unfamiliar with it. It’s not a place to trot out all our listings, to comment only on statistical evidence for market trends—that belongs back in the library of the website.

A blog is one social media envelope, “mailed” to the readership.  In it, we are allowing our real selves to come forward.

We often hear about the need for differentiation, that unique aspect of ourselves that we need to bring forward.  I think if we are simply “ourselves” in our blogging that we will have done that. Just as snowflakes are unique, so are we. There is only one of us. We are already  “differentiated.”

Important: be authentic in our blogging, and to let our real selves “show.”

Time has also been erased by the internet’s immediacy. The point of Twitter is that it’s a microblog—a place to quickly note something, like one of those post-it notes we used to attach to our paper world.  If we’re in time famine, then a Twitter post is a great way to get a message out there.

Facebook is creating two parts: a personal connecting with our specific world and a “fan page” aspect for our business lives. They overlap, though. Not a wall between them, as used to be the case.

Video is the thing we all need to get creative with. People like to see each other. The voice, the body language, the laugh, the shyness or not. It’s all what makes us “tick”, and is who we are.  We respond to the visual world, so why not those we encounter?

Time erased…I back up a little. This is true, and yet there’s that long tail approach, again, which implies some space of time going by, before any impact will be felt. The business model now in play means that we have to spread out our real self, our “soft” message, and let it take root. Find a willing listener, who might actually ask a question, and then the dialogue of a sales process can begin. The consumer is in charge of the timing of that initial encounter, and it can be years, not months.

When will it change?

It happens when the consumer is ready for it to happen.

Wow! That means patience is required.

Now there’s the biggest difference of all from the “oughts.” We are used to our real estate lives being more in our control and with a more immediate outcome. Not so, anymore.

I can see that there will be a lot of unhappiness in a sales career if one is still looking for an immediate response to a message about a listing. It’s not about the listing. This is a people business, right?

Important to put ourselves in the shoes of a consumer, and go looking ourselves, somewhere outside of our own well understood area. What is it we notice?  Who is it that is talking from their heart as well as from their head? Who is it that makes us smile with their enthusiasm for their area?  What is it they do, that we could be paying attention to?

Whether it’s entry level or extraordinary luxury oriented property opportunities, the consumer is seeking the same thing.  A compatriot who knows their stuff, and who will listen to their desires. How to choose that person, in this global village environment, where we don’t choose off an initial personal contact?

Authentic presentation, maintained consistently, on a social media platform—it’s the language of now, never mind the future.

A Wealth of Opportunity

Times have changed in the world of publishing, marketing and luxury advertising.

It’s safe to say that we are all aware of the way marketing and advertising seems to work or ‘not work.’ This being said, there is still a need. Li Read writes:

Real estate agents are consumers of marketing options

This is true, indeed. In fact, it is our responsibility to create, develop and integrate useful platforms for the luxury agent’s brand identity. This has been the challenge for everyone whose occupation involves marketing and / or the marketing of real estate.

It’s easy to blame. It’s also easy to point fingers.

Hand waving and blame are terrible strategies especially in times such as this. It’s in the toughest times that the individuals with the most to offer always shine. This is, of course, our time—to shine. These times demand our specialty. We are your agents of marketing options. While you broker, sell and represent property, it’s our opportunity to bring to you the best solution to reach the wealthy demographic. We have been doing that for twenty-five years and will continue to do this for you.

This blog points to the changes that have either already occurred or are occurring now. This is part of the opportunity for us. And now we can help you along as we roll out our new platforms.

The luxury real estate agents who participate in this luxury blog are spreading their ideas are investing their time in the equity that is the our future.

Your contribution in such an unchartered and unknown territory is to be admired. You are making a difference while creating the much needed change for tomorrow’s market which deserves your stewardship.