Recently, Century 21 announced it would be switching their marketing and advertising strategy from TV commercials to online. I thought I would follow up to see what exactly they have done. In Australia, not too much, but in America they have launched C21 Communities a new social media platform. From their press release:
C21 Communities is available directly from the company’s Web site, www.century21.com, and this new platform bundles a dynamic set of social media tools designed to enable online conversations between its agents and consumers, including:
• Talks, an online interactive advice forum,
• C21 Talk Radio, an online radio channel for consumers interested in real estate, and
• CENTURY 21® social networking sites on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube.
Although I am not too impressed with the web design, the foundations of the site are quite good. It centres around a tag cloud for the forum which enables the public to post questions about anything real estate and then view the answer(s) from C21 Agents.
I am not a huge fan of C21 radio as I would never use it but I am sure there are people out there who would. What is great are the social networking accounts they have established. Each account provides a plethora of information about C21, agencies in the brand, events, selling & buying information and lot of other helpful real estate stuff!
You might think WOW this seems like a lot of work and it is probably a full time job for someone in the USA, but this a small price to pay given the reach this online marketing strategy has.
- The forum is great as it allows users to make contact with a real estate professional and have their questions answered without divulging their details. Agents might ask what is the point to this? Well, when a user asks a question, get them to enter the suburb they are located in and then get a local C21 agent to answer the question. If the user is satisfied with the answer then instantly they have a relationship with a local agent in their area.
- They should integrate a blog into C21 Communities which will provide users with instant information and encourage online discussion.
- With Twitter whenever a new article is posted or a question is asked on C21 Communities a tweet should be created.
- Their Facebook account provides them with an unlimited opportunity to tap into a huge audience and is great way to promote the C21 Communities website.
- Their YouTube and Flickr accounts offer a great way for C21 to promote their brand, have a look at some of the C21 agent entries for the most innovative 2 minute house tours.
C21 Communities provides a good example for where a real estate agency, real estate portal or individual agent can start if they would like to commence using social networking to increase their online presence.