You own a real estate brokerage firm in town that has been established for years. You have a full Rolodex of clients. Plenty of referrals. Brand name familiarity around town. Agents immersed in the community and working every networking group out there.
Life is good.
For a new brokerage or real estate agent to crack into your market, it will take some doing. They will have to wear out lots of shoe leather. Perhaps look for tiny niches. Find buyers and sellers on the periphery.
You think your market share is like a fortress.
That type of thinking might have been okay 20 years ago. But as anyone who has checked out their iPhone lately, things change very, very quickly today.
Sure running a big, expanded real estate operation is a good thing. But we know technology today is a game changer. Just look at how Amazon grows versus Sears, Netflix knocked out Blockbuster.
And that’s how your competition is going to gain inroads into your marketplace—with technology.
With the “Big Data” capabilities out there, new brokers and agents are going to equip themselves with the latest real estate data tools to penetrate a marketplace, generate leads and raise brand awareness. The mega-real estate sites like Trulia and Zillow do that now.
Today, there is an incredible amount of real estate content that is available to local brokers and agents that they can now host on their own websites.
Real estate content is a major weapon in the marketplace. No longer do people have to visit data-specific sites for home sale trends, school data or geographic data. They can find that valuable information right on a broker or agents site. These are decision-assisting tools that are super valuable in a world where consumers today are faced with so many choices.
Those tools are incredibly powerful for attracting buyers and sellers. It can be very effective for generating online leads and phone calls. Think of them like the catapults that were once used to conquer castles.
For example, an agent can run a post on Facebook about the latest uptick in home sales in a particular market. That post will certainly catch the attention of their followers. Many of those followers will share that post with their followers. Those followers will share it again…and so on and so on.
All of a sudden, this one post is running like a F-14 jet zooming all over Facebook. Prompting people to click on a link to the agent’s website for more information.
Oh, you might say, my competitors have small followings. Well, Facebook accepts ads as well. For just a few bucks an agent can boost a Facebook post. They can target that post to a certain geographic region and choose the age group, whether they want to target males or females (say men for golf courses) and if they want to appeal to people with certain interests (people who belong to golf groups).
All of a sudden, that one agent is all over your territory.
Here’s the kicker. Hyper-local data might be like the bullets that can go far, but the fact that the agent has this real estate content ON THEIR WEBSITE is the lasso that is going to rein in customers.
For example, home sales data shows consumers the direction of the market. Buyers will see that all of a sudden, they need to get off the fence. Sellers will be nudged to perhaps pick up that phone and finally check out whether they should be listing their property.
Today, a broker doesn’t have to refer a person to a website for this information. They can offer this real estate content right on their website, and they now have their own data to promote.
Posts can go viral very quickly. Check out the top posts on YouTube or the trending posts on Facebook. Some of the numbers of likes and shares are astronomical.
They don’t have to be astronomical in your marketplace. With the right real estate content, a competitor can pull away that small subset of buyers and sellers available at any given time in a neighborhood.
As the famous baseball player Satchel Page once said, “Don’t look back, somebody might be catching up to you.”
Believe it. With all the new digital advances taking place in business, you can be sure your competitors are looking for ways to wedge themselves into established markets.
The best thing you can do is embrace that same technology to reinforce the walls of your fortress. It’s not that difficult to do and real estate data companies such as Home Junction can help you out.
The worst thing you can do is sit back and smugly do nothing. In this rapid-changing hyper-fast digital world, that is no longer an option. Someone WILL be catching up to you. Store that hyper-local real estate content inside your fortress.