Hello, it is an honor to be here with so many leading minds in the real estate industry. Today, I’d like to share a few thoughts on how to market to today’s consumer.
Consumers are spending record amounts of time online - and, not just online, but on mobile devices and social networks. Now, I’d like to show you a few stats just to demonstrate the growth and power of these mediums.In 2011, 40% of Americans accessed social networks through their mobile device. I hope many of you are tweeting on your smart phones right now about this presentation…don’t forget to use our @Century 21 handle.According to Nielsen’s third quarter survey of mobile users reveals 62 percent of mobile adults aged 25-34 report owning smartphones. This also represents the largest percentage of first time home buyers.65% of adult Internet users now say they use a social network.And 75% of all social referral traffic is coming from Facebook.Incredible numbers which represent an incredible opportunity…
Today’s consumer is mobile and they have an increasing appetite for consuming information on the go.For brokers, it is incredibly important to have a mobile presence for your listings. According to a Google Study, 35% of home buyers used their mobile phone to complement their real estate research.1 in 6 real estate searches are mobile and in the next 18 months, 15 – 30% of traffic to your site will come from mobile.Only on mobile can you seamlessly search for nearby homes, view photos and videos, read school reviews, call a local agent, and more - all from the sidewalk.A few simple ways you may take advantage of mobile:Text messaging. How many of you in this audience will glance down at your phone and review a text before you will look at an email? It’s the same with your customers. A simple text message to a client that congratulates them on the new addition to their family is a great way to follow up and remind them that they may want to consider taking advantage of present market conditions to make more room for their bigger family.Text a link with details of a new home that just came onto the market.
Next, register your office and listings on a location based service like Four Square, Whrrl, Gowalla, Loopt or SCVNGR. Each of the LBS vendors mentioned, function somewhat differently from each other where the details are concerned, but the overall idea is the same. People with GPS enable mobile devices can use an LBS to identify businesses in their immediate vicinity, how many other LBS users are at that location and what they think of it. Great, instant feedback on open houses.Remember, the size of the audience using LBS is small, but the consumers who are taking the time to check-in are most likely very engaged consumers whose opinions carry weight in their own social networks.
Did you know that 73% of home owners say they would be more likely to list with an agent who uses video… And products that have videos as part of their marketing - are 95% more likely to be purchased.In my opinion, the production value is less important than providing an interesting overview of your neighborhood or community with minimal voiceover and a simple contact me for more information screen at the end. YouTube or a variety of other software packages offer very simplified editing tools that enable you to create video that consumers will find useful.Highlight the parks and recreational opportunities, shops and restaurants or availability of public transportation. Whatever it is that makes your community special should be front in center when attracting new home buyers and sellers will see it too.Shooting and posting simple community videos and posting them on your own web sites and social channels is one of the most cost effective and underutilized marketing activities available to you.
Be Yourself. Use Facebook to show prospects, clients and customers who you really are. I know…for some of us that may be scary, but it is important.Sure, provide value in your posts. Or link to an industry article as a part of your content strategy, but also share things that you are passionate about... Me, I grew up in Pittsburgh and I love the Steelers. Yes, Sunday was brutal, but we’ve had a pretty good run.My professional interests are specific to social media and its applications for the enterprise, but I try to mix it up with other interests.I recommend not posting too much. At CENTURY 21, we post twice a day.
Provide value to your niche and sphere on an ongoing basis.There are many ways to raise your profile online. I recommend that you register an account on Twitter and find a Twitter ID that matches your particular niche market. If you sell highrise condos in Miami, you may want to consider registering @highrisemiami. This will immediately establish your niche in the space and allow you to speak from that vantage point to others who have an interest in this market segment.Next, go find other Twitter IDs that market to your exact niche market. The greatest thing about Twitter is the openness of the platform. Go through and follow that account’s followers. Most will get an email notification from Twitter, because they never turned off email notifications, telling them that you just followed them. Many will click through to your Twitter profile, check it out and if they’re interested, they’ll follow you back.Be personal regardless of how many followers you accumulate over time. It may be impossible to DM every follower, but re-tweeting only takes a second and it is always appreciated.
One essential marketing element for any small business is developing a strong list of qualified leads. Collecting names and emails is critical to any small business because it enables you to communicate with your target audience on a routine basis. Consider creating an opt-in strategy on your Facebook business page. To keep it simple, use iFrames to create a custom welcome tab. On this tab you can create a 2-step process called a “reveal tab.”Step #1: Include a call to action to encourage non-fans to click Like and become a fan.Step #2: Once you get the Like, offer a valuable giveaway in exchange for name and email.With this model, you are increasing your audience and grow your lead list at the same time. At CENTURY 21 our sales professionals were telling us how they were taking their off-line conversations online and social through Facebook. To capitalize on this trend we developed the CENTURY 21 Customer Connections App for Facebook. Bottom line: Facebook takes the conversations you are already having at the coffee shop or the salon and puts them online in an environment where you may expand on the subject with multimedia and links.
In fact, I don’t know if you saw the write up in Fast Company, but a $1.1 million sale was recently reeled in by Justin Robbins and Tiffany Hampton of Century 21 Samia Realty in Westbrook, Maine. The transaction started with a note from a lead on their competitor's Facebook business page.Engaging consumers through social media platforms provides an incredibly cost effective way for REALTORS to grow their sphere of contacts, develop relationships and as the sale in Maine proves, conduct more business.According to a recent study by comScore, for every five minutes spent online, at least one minute is used to view social media sites.
Be Consistent with your social media persona and your content calendar.We are all creatures of habit, I visit the same google reader front page every morning to see what is happening globally, in the real estate industry and locally.If you post about new listings on Tuesdays, then do it every Tuesday. If you provide the day’s mortgage rate at 9 a.m. every morning, then make sure you do it every morning.As a sales professional who has made a commitment to market via social media channels, you may not realize it, but you have made a commitment to be a publisher and just like the New York Times or the Dallas Morning News, your audience will begin to have expectations. Do not disappoint them. That is why it is so important not to bite off more than you can chew. Many if not all of these tips may be completed in less than one hour a day, but you have to do it every day, so make sure whatever content you plan to create is something that you feel comfortable doing, is enjoyable for your audience and is something you are prepared to do over and over throughout the year.
One of the most important aspects of marketing via social media channels is giving back to your audience. As we’ve talked about, it is important to share some of your personality with your audience, but it is also very important to respond and recognize your audience. By retweeting content, sharing or liking posts by your friends on Facebook, you are doing the same things you do offline. If my friend tells me a funny joke, I’m very likely to tell it to my friends or if someone in my industry shares a valuable tip, I will talk about it at a meeting with my peers.It shows interest, it creates a soft touch point for you to let your consumers know you are listening and that you are about what they are doing and what they have to say.
Who are you online?Have you ever googled yourself?Is the image you portray online what you want it to be for your target audience?Here are a few tips on what not to do when considering your online profile image:Don’t take a picture of yourself or of yourself in the mirror.Don’t take it with half of another person cut off.Glamour photos are okay, but I would rather see how you look in a more natural setting.Your Social Media Profile Photos display different facets of your personality and speak volumes about the kind of person you are. Is your social media avatar the real you or just a vision of what you imagine yourself to be?Be natural.Have someone else take the photo in a well lit natural setting. This is not a mug shot.Dress how you would like to be represented. Remember, this is for business social, not match.com.Your image is everything, it helps to sell you to your target audience within seconds.
Social media has been on hyper-speed for nearly seven years now. You cannot learn everything about every social network; otherwise, you would have no time to market and sell real estate. Find the channels that you are comfortable in and optimize your marketing efforts in those channels.That doesn’t mean that you should lose your curiosity in this space because there are new things that are worthwhile popping up every day. I’m sure you will see some of them here today, but the basic building blocks from my perspective are:FacebookLinkedinTwitter andYouTubeSo, let’s quickly review.
I want to thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to speak with you.Thank you.
10 Tips for Marketing to theMobile / Social ConsumerPresented byMatt Gentile, Director, PR & Social MediaCentury 21 Real Estate (@mattgentile)
Reach the Mobile/Social Consumer 2011PERCENTAGE 90 75% 80 62% 65% 70 Percentage of 60 50 40% OF ADULTS Social (AGE 25-34) 40 ACCESS USE A Referral 30 SOCIAL MEDIA OWN A SOCIAL Traffic from 20 VIA SMARTPHONE NETWORK Facebook 10 MOBILE
Turn “Likes” into LeadsThe Story of the $1.1 Million FacebookReferral and CENTURY 21 Realty’s New SocialMedia Era84% of Realtors are currently usingsocial media. CENTURY 21 is leveragingFacebook to turn those conversations intosales.