Real estate might be about property, but in this day and age every agent is in the business of digital attraction, says real estate coach Sherrie Storor. As part of a six-part Mastermind Program, Sherrie looks at how agents can build a digital attraction business by looking beyond the industry for best practice.
Whilst our role as real estate professionals is to list and sell property, our responsibility first and foremost to ourselves and our businesses, is to build and grow a profitable model and a great driver in doing this is to create a digital attraction business.
Why do I say that? Well, in a digital age where social media is in the palm of your hand and the internet is at your fingertips, cold calling and prospecting are rapidly becoming outdated.
Instead, garnering business is about building an attraction business in the places that your prospects frequent the most. And in this day and age, by and large that marketplace is the digital spaces your buyers and sellers occupy.
In fact, I believe building a digital attraction business is so fundamental to real estate success, it is one of six focuses in my Mastermind series, where we invite CEOs, sporting and business titans from beyond the industry to share their expertise.
Over the coming months, I’ll be sharing some of the best insights gleaned from Mastermind, kicking off with Urban List founder Susannah George, who recently joined us to talk about building a digital attraction business.
The Urban List and the art of digital attraction
Now considered Australia’s largest independent media company, The Urban List was started by founder and Chief Executive Officer Susannah George in 2011, when she landed on the concept of offering an audience a curated list of the best things to do and eat locally.
From humble beginnings, The Urban List has become one of the fastest-growing media companies in the country, connecting with over three million people a month across 12 markets.
Instead of spending money on marketing, Susannah focussed on delivering useful, informative, and entertaining content that meets the wants and needs of the Urban List audience.
She had some great advice to offer at our recent Mastermind meet, so let me share the top takeaways of her session…
Get the ratio right
We know the importance of marketing, PR and social media when it comes to promoting listings and we also need to apply this to our own service offering as agents.
It’s then critical to appreciate there’s a formula for great content. If yours is 100 per cent ‘just listed, just sold’ you’re missing an opportunity.
As Susannah explained, the formula for building her incredible audience revolves around 40 per cent education, 40 per cent aspiration, and 20 per cent engagement.
So how does that convert to real estate? It means taking the time to understand the type of topics your audience might be interested in, including the questions they have and the issues that spark a conversation.
If you’re looking for a good place to start, look to Facebook groups in your local community with a real estate focus.
Are there pain points that you can help reduce, issues you can explain, or common questions you can answer?
Start with what you’re asked
If you’re seeking a solid way to start creating content, then look no further than the questions you’re frequently asked.
Content focused on pain points and common queries provides value for your audience. Better yet, if you’re asked a question on social media or your site, take the time to answer it as part of your content plan.
This creates engagement with your audience and establishes a two-way relationship where your audience feels valued and heard.
Susannah suggested kicking off with three substantial pieces of content focussing on the things you’re asked most.
Keep it light, make it fun and enjoy the process without making it too big for yourself.
Great content is great storytelling
Content is all about building a relationship with your audience, and that involves great storytelling.
Too often social media is all about perfection, but the less shiny version of events is far more interesting and authentic.
Sure, you might have sold multiple properties for suburb or street records, but what about that unusual home that was far harder to get across the line?
Or the property you took to auction which didn’t sell under the hammer? The story of what you did next, the strategies you employed or the obstacles you overcame is far more compelling than the simple shout out of “here’s what we sold!”
In the process you provide your audience valuable insight that they might find useful along with quietly demonstrating your expertise.
And don’t forget, people are far more likely to relate to someone who is real rather than perfect because they understand who you are.
Consider your tone
Tone is hugely important when it comes to the content you create. As Susannah noted, speaking with your audience is like engaging with a valued friend.
Her tone sees her engage with her audience as an equal rather than coming from a place of dominance and authority.
So, ask yourself this, if you were chatting with a friend at a barbecue, how would you explain an issue, recap an event, or answer a question?
Once you find your tone, embrace it, this is how you show who you are and create an authentic relationship.
It’s not all about blogging
Mention the word content, and thoughts often turn to blogging, but valuable information extends far beyond the written word.
By now, many of you probably appreciate the value of video. After all, it comprises 75 per cent of the content currently consumed on the internet.
Aside from video, there’s checklists, images, calculators, polls and so much more.
Like the perfect meal, balance the recipe of your content with a mix of different ingredients that are designed to engage.
Which brings us to the next point…
It’s about engagement not followers
As tempting as it may be to take comfort in the ‘likes’, truly valuable content creates engagement not vanity metrics.
It doesn’t matter if you have 10,000 followers but only 1 per cent engage. Instead, 1000 followers and 10 per cent engagement is a far better return on content investment.
Why? It means the audience you’ve created is turning to you for education, inspiration and they’re coming back for more.
It’s also important to remember, it is far more cost-effective to run a targeted advertising campaign to followers who actively engage.
Seek a little inspiration
You don’t have to navigate this turbulent digital world without a flight plan. As Susannah noted, it’s about finding inspiration in others then adding your 10 per cent.
That inspiration needn’t just come from within real estate either. Look beyond to other digital experiences you enjoy, borrow a little and add your own mark.
Have a plan
And speaking of flight plans… great content doesn’t happen by mistake. It is planned in advance, with Susannah recommending a 90-day plan.
A portion of that content is evergreen, meaning it applies all year round in any situation.
Some of it is nimble and responsive, but all of it is created with that ratio of 40 per cent education, 40 per cent aspiration and 20 per cent community engagement front of mind.
Mastermind with Sherrie
Susannah George was a keynote speaker at this year’s Mastermind with Sherrie.
Designed to bring together the brightest minds from beyond the industry, Mastermind is a place of high-wisdom, extreme expertise, and inspiring insight to help you build your best life.
Over a six-month period, Mastermind attendees meet once a month at the Calile Hotel in Brisbane where we hear from different guests and share our collective experiences.
It’s about high-level coaching but also community and friendship and it’s a truly joyous experience.
Mastermind with Sherrie will return in April, 2022. Only 20 positions are available, and you can register your interest here. www.sherriestoror.com/mastermind