When it comes to marketing in the world of real estate, this is the most important question you should be asking yourself and you better have a good answer because if you don’t, I will go with someone who does; hypothetically speaking of course.
All of your marketing material, including your website(s) should focus on convincing me, the home buyer/seller, to choose you instead of one of the other 18,000 real estate agents in the area. You need to be able to prove to me why I should choose you in a 30 second elevator pitch as well as a 15 minute conversation over gourmet coffee. This singular thread must be expertly woven throughout all of your marketing material because if done properly, you will create a tapestry of awesome that will help generate and convert leads.
Let’s assume for a moment that everyone has an attractive and functional real estate website (big assumption!!) that provides the listing data in an easily accessible format. What is going to fundamentally separate your website from everyone else’s? Let me put this another way, if everyone has the same data shown in the same way, why should I go to your website and use you as my real estate agent?
You could ask this exact same question to car manufacturers, “You all have 4 tires, a steering wheel, a gas petal and an engine. Why should I choose your car over another if they essentially do the same thing?”
The answer comes down to your brand. When I say brand I mean it in the grand scale of things (think flavour, genre, concept, etc) not a specific manifestation of your brand such as your logo or colours, even though they play a part. Your brand is the singular thread you weave throughout your entire business and is a manifestation of your personality, values, strengths and thoughts; or put more concisely your brand is the reason why I should use you as my real estate agent.
Every time you talk to someone you are marketing your brand. What you choose to wear in the morning is marketing your brand. The tone you use when you write the content for your websites homepage is very much marketing your brand.
Are you picking up what I’m putting down?
When people come to your website, they are not looking for a carbon copy of information they can get elsewhere; they are looking for your interpretation of the information and whether or not your brand sits well with them. If you try to create content and marketing that will please everyone, you will end up pleasing no one. Be confident in the fact that there is a different type of home buyer/seller for each type of real estate agent and play to your strengths.
Focus on what you will do for me, what is different about your service and what you stand for. What can your provide me that others can’t?
Now that I have been speaking about abstract concepts I’m going to really bring this back down to earth and give you some solid examples of how to achieve what I have been talking about:
- Don’t just copy & paste the real estate boards market reports into your blog because I can get them all over the internet. Read the report, digest the information and then provide me with an easy to understand interpretation. Imagine you are in high school again and writing an essay based on someone else’s paper.
- When writing about a specific area or sub area, don’t use the description from that areas chamber of commerce website or wikipedia. If you live or have lived in the area, tell me why you liked it so much. If you have never lived there, interview someone who has or read other peoples reports on living there and rewrite them in your own words.
- Provide more than listings, stats and market reports. While real estate information is important, people are not just buying a physical property they are buying a lifestyle, a set of experiences and a future. Give them information on activities, lifestyle, health, adventure, etc.
- Professional headshots area great but do they really represent who you are on a daily basis? Remember that you want to build trust and make people feel comfortable, not intimidate them or make them feel less beautiful then you.
- A large part of buying a home revolves around building a family. If you’re not catering to the downtown condo buying young and hip, show that you are a family person as well and possibly have a dog. Why would I trust someone to sell me a family home who does not have a family? On the flip side, why would I trust your word on a location being young and hip if you are 50 years old and have 6 children..
And remember to continuously weave your brand throughout everything you write and do because in the end that is what will convince me to use you as my REALTOR®.