How Realtors Can Turn Around A Failing Online Marketing Campaign

Sam Mehrbod (Ph.D.) is a Top Producer Realtor, Investor, and CEO at Roomvu, an engine built for Realtors to convert their audience to leads.

In 2017, I co-founded a marketing platform for real estate agents. As a real estate insider and from my several years of experience as a realtor, I know agents’ pain: The business is rewarding, but it’s highly competitive. This is what makes effective marketing so important.

At the end of the day, I’ve found that many real estate agents tend to use Google and Facebook for advertising, just like any other small business. And every agent knows they have to educate their audience. In their online advertising, for example, they know they should elaborate more on the benefits of working with them and such.

But do people get the same impression from marketing initiatives like before? Seeing an endless stream of ads and content pieces each day has forced us to become more selective about what we want to focus on. As business owners, we know that we should be different, but we tend to follow the same footsteps as others.

Let’s face it: Not everyone actually wants to watch your ad. No one will give you their attention unless you truly deserve it. Just take a quick scroll on your Instagram: How many ads do you see? How many of them do you actually pay attention to? Are they worthy of your precious attention and time?

Having looked at many online campaigns (and after learning from my own experiences as a realtor and business owner), I’ve learned three lessons on why a marketing campaign might fail — and how to turn it around:

1. You don’t understand who to target or why.

Starting and owning a business is difficult. It takes a lot of resources to build up your network and establish trust. I get it: You are busy and feel you don’t have the time to craft a well-written message. But what happens when you don’t? You do what I call “spray and pray.”

In my experience, many campaign creators design a landing page, hoping that they can send the same message to thousands of people and get the desired results. But even in your niche audience, you need a well-crafted message that resonates.

Take the time to reflect on your marketing mix. Are you sending the same message to everyone? How can you differentiate your messaging according to your clients’ wants and needs?

For instance, I’ve observed that many realtors target local sellers in the entire greater area they work in and send a general message similar to: “Looking to sell your home? Ask me how I can help.” In this case, you are sending a general message to potentially hundreds of thousands of people with no clear action or differentiation. Instead, try addressing a neighborhood of your choice and tell them, “Did you know your rent of $2,500 per month could be your monthly mortgage for a two-bedroom home like this?”

2. You don’t understand the difference between direct marketing and brand marketing.

Direct marketing is easy. Brand marketing is hard. As Seth Godin described in his book This Is Marketing, we must understand the key difference between direct marketing and brand marketing. The fundamental difference is what happens after your ad is launched. In direct marketing, the sale happens immediately. And with brand marketing, you are hoping to plant a seed in people’s heads.

In direct marketing, every action is measurable. There are analytics dashboards to show you how much you’ve accomplished. With direct marketing, everything is a number. With brand marketing, however, you have to be patient because you are building a culture. Communication and support cannot be measured, and it takes longer to see an outcome. As Godin said, “If you can’t afford to be consistent and patient, don’t pay for brand marketing ads. If you want to do brand marketing, you have to refuse to measure.”

Ask yourself, are you focusing on brand building, or do you want immediate results? You must be willing to be more patient if you are focusing on brand marketing.

3. You don’t invest in creating engaging and informative content.

The goal of content creation is to offer value. Be a problem-solver. Grabbing your audience’s attention is a byproduct of creating engaging content. A 2017 HubSpot study found that more than 50% of people wanted to see more video content from a brand.

So, creating relevant customized content that really adds value is priceless. Once you determine your audience and your type of marketing (steps one and two above), you can start making your own visual content. Create attractive and relevant visual content to stay ahead of the competition.

What types of content are you creating right now? Are you solving any problems? Who is benefiting from your content? Is it visually attractive? Revisit your online activities today. What type of content are you sharing? Are you offering any solutions to real-world problems? Does your content matter? As an expert in your area, provide reports, stats, videos, infographics, etc. to share your knowledge, and ask your audience for feedback. This is the best way to start engaging with your audience, building your brand and broadening your reach.

This might seem a bit overwhelming at the beginning, but seeing the first results will boost your confidence and convince you that it’s worth the effort. Still don’t know where to start? Look within. Share your expertise with the world. Be authentic, help others with your expertise and empower them to be the best they can.


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