1. I will take control of the Internet.
The days of redirecting your traffic are over. Any Agency that re-directs their traffic to a major portal/franchise is an Internet lightweight. Time to take control of your most valuable marketing tool – the Internet. It amazes me that agents still currently do this today, it just shows a complete lack of understanding of the Internet.
You do not own the Newspapers, TV, Radio etc, but you can own the Internet – and this will be your future of communication. Get it?
2. I will market my website online.
You market your website in newspapers, property guides, TV and even letter box drops. Time to market your website online. Search engine marketing will always be the king of promoting your website, why? Because that is where your audience is – online and you get the results you pay for. I can actually guarantee results immediately, it is that good!
Also take the time to look around your area for popular local websites where you can market your site and your brand, it is cheap and effective. (Banner Advertising, links etc.)
3. I will re-think my property marketing.
With over 50% of your sales originating from the Internet (and growing) from people all over Australia and New Zealand, the marketing spend is completely out of whack.
Still……. on average less than 10% of an Agent’s annual marketing spend is invested online – it is time to invest in your future. You include Internet marketing campaigns with print for vendors, but it is time to have pure Internet marketing campaigns for vendors.
4. I will promote my listings more effectively.
Every single property advertised in newspapers should at least have an ID number where a user can go to your website and place it in a box to retrieve more information on a particular property. Train your market to come to your website. Better still have a system that can automatically create a unique numbering system that can be placed after your domain name and directed to a property listing.
This is for the future, you want people to go to your website, why because it is cost effective and you own it!
5. I will automate.
I will automate, mundane office tasks and communicate more effectively with my vendors, tenants, prospects and buyers. I will create systems that will allow my people to spend more time where I make my money – with people.
I will value the service I provide to my vendors, buyers and tenants and create systems that give my people more personal time with these people. Too often customer service is given lip service by Grocery Chains, Banks and Telco’s…………people are so starved of real customer service that when they actually receive genuine service it stirs something inside of them.
PS: It also can make you money and lots of it.
6. I will understand.
Not understanding the Internet or the basic technologies is no longer an excuse for sales people and agency owners. Give them the time to learn about what is their most valuable marketing tool.
Seminars held by major real estate portals do not count – they know you don’t understand and they make the most of that lack of understanding to increase their profits.
Real Estate Institutes in the past have welcomed these speakers, time to reject them and work towards benefiting agents – after all – that is their role! You and your staff do not need to know everything but you do need to know the basics!
7. I will no longer compete.
Now that a couple of portals have pretty much total market share – they will need to keep double digit growth rolling. They will do this by beginning the competition phase, where you start competing with your rival across the road – premium listings, platinum listings – banner advertising. What next…. double…. even triple platinum listings? Complete and utter rubbish!
Save your dollars and spend it on marketing your own website. You need to be on the major portals but you do not need to get into outbidding your rivals on the understanding that people will buy more properties just because they are listed higher than your competitors or you are given some logo next to listings.
Side Note: Buyers.
Potential buyers do not only look at the top few properties they look at all properties. They research extensively – understand this and you will see why being higher is not cost effective and makes no real sense.
Side Note:VendorsThe only case for competing/upgrading is to attract more vendors, my argument is, take a different approach, instead of spending more with one portal, spread your marketing to as many potential buyers as possible on other portals, local directories, news sites etc. Then show your potential vendors what a difference you make and how your marketing reaches more potential buyers. After all the major portals only have the same visitors, they cannot have any more than they already have. (confusing… I know)
8. Quality content will be the difference.
Listing properties all in capital letters, taking 50 photos of each property, putting too little information with listings, putting too much information with listings, ugly images, speLLin mistakes.
Take pride in your presentation. Internet users don’t read text on the web, they scan it for information that will register with them. Every person that visits your website makes a decision about you and how you present your company, brand and your properties…. and they may very well want to sell a property one day, what impression will you leave on them?
Make sure every listing has a good range of images, sales properties, lease properties, everything, but make quality the key!
Making a clean and easy to understand website and have useful information laid out in an effective manner will be the difference!
9. I will understand what VOIP is and how it will save me thousands of $ per year.
VOIP is the future of telephony. It stands for voice over Internet Protocol and it is extremely cheap and sometimes FREE. Get your front office staff to test it by beginning communication with your staff.
It is simple to use and will save you incredible amount of money each year. All you need is the best quality broadband you can afford, download the FREE software and a good headset.
10. WIMAX & Other Wireless Technologies will change the way I communicate.
Get ready for wireless technologies that will allow agents to receive information at any time whether in the office or at a clients location. It is already here but in a reasonably crude – expensive form. However with Intel , Nokia on board creating chips that will allow this to happen for anyone who buys a new device, Wireless will grow up in 2005 and you will want to be ready for this revolution.