real estate agent

Has Online Marketing Peaked?

by Victor Lund on April 1, 2015

In one of my favorite articles from 2008, WAV Group suggested that newspapers are like nursing homes. At that time, newspaper advertising was in a steep decline as a result of the emergence of more affordable online options that promised better reach. My argument was, “This obsolete technology sucks millions of dollars away from more cost-effective marketing tools while delivering less every year. There are better uses for your budget, especially if you market goods and services to people who don’t remember the Truman Administration.” Job seekers go online to Craigslist, Monster.com, or Careers.com to find employment. Consumers go to Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Homes.com, and HomeFinder. Want a date? There is a website for that too! Unfortunately, the economics of the online sphere are catching up with the economics of the newspaper economy. Affordability is becoming an issue for online marketers. The price of online marketing is going up, and the number of publishers is increasing. The effectiveness is also going down as more listings are advertised. Remember the good ol’ days when you just had to get your few lines of text in by Thursday at noon? In some ways, I am pretty sure that marketers pine away for that process again. Just one high-res photo and a few lines of text for your Homes & Land ad. The goal was “make the phone ring,” and ring it did! In truth, online marketing is far more complex. But print marketing was not easy either. It took administrative and marketing staff hours to do ad copy collection. It still is hard. Online marketing is hard, too! Listing syndication is complicated and feed trumping often has unsettling outcomes for how your listings are displayed. Moreover, you need to be concerned about who else is advertising on top of your advertisement. There is some good news. Once you have listing syndication configured correctly it will work for your business. Sure, the price is going up but even if it doubles, it is a relatively efficient marketing strategy. More importantly, it is much easier to get sellers to “buy into” your online marketing strategy than it ever was with print. There will be endless discussions about the volume and quality of leads. Since more than 50% of leads go unanswered, I have resigned myself to the fact that a lead is only as good as the person who gets it. To me, all […]

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It’s a Kid’s World – Are you ready?

by Marilyn Wilson on June 12, 2013

Real estate concept.

I just watched a fascinating documentary called Consuming Kids highlighting how advertisers are tapping into the ever-growing purchasing power of children under the age of 12. According to the film, children directly control $40 Billion in spending and indirectly influence over $700 billion in spending. The documentary goes on to talk about how brands are trying to create relationships with kids as soon as they can to create life long relationships. They are trying to create young “super” consumers that will be committed to purchasing their products throughout their lifetime. In my days at Fisher-Price, we never thought about the purchasing power in as crass a way as the documentary I watched describes. However, we were clearly focused on capturing the interest of parents and their kids as soon as we could. There’s another VERY important change in family dynamics that needs to be considered too.  Children are much more involved in family decisions than they were when I was a child.  Our daughter has an influence on what we eat, where we shop, where we travel and even what car we purchased.  Victor was all about buying a Porsche until our daughter went in the tiny back seat and started screaming when the speaker, located right next to her ear, was blaring. She did not influence the purchase of our current home, but then again, she wasn’t alive yet!   When we talk about moving now, the first things we think about are her needs. What school would she go to?  What dance studio would she attend?   Would she like the backyard?   Would it be safe for her to ride her bike in the neighborhood? When I started thinking about it, I realized that I have not seen a lot of programs catering to building brand awareness with children.  What broker website has any information that is interesting to kids?   What materials do agents bring with them that could entertain kids to help them understand more about why they might like the neighborhood?  What companies have offered apps that engage kids in the real estate process?   It’s an area RIPE for innovation and for new thinking. Even more importantly, are we involving kids in the actual process of looking at homes? Do we ask kids’ their opinion about what kind of a room they would like or what activities are they interested in?  Do we have information about where the […]

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Turn Social Networking into a Lead Generation Engine

by Marilyn Wilson on July 21, 2011

social bios tn

While social media has become a very important part of the real estate sales process, many agents still struggle with how to leverage it effectively. They don’t know how to keep up with Facebook, Twitter, etc., and they definitely don’t know how to use the tools for lead generation. Move, Inc. must have recognized this challenge that agents are facing, and they have come up with a solution to help agents deal with this problem. The company announced this week that they have purchased the SocialBios platform. SocialBios allows individuals and companies to create one social hub for their online profiles through an interactive ‘About Us’ page.  The tool simplifies the discovery of shared connections on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursquare and Google without sacrificing the consumer’s privacy.

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