In 2002, my wife Shelly and I bought a townhome shortly before we got married. It was a great starter home and exactly what we needed back then.
Fast forward to April 2019; we bought the model home in our neighborhood after my son transferred to a different high school. It’s bigger than our first home and has everything we need with a teenager around.
Sandwiched between our first and current home were eight more. Life has brought us circumstances that have caused us to move as often as we did.
Over the last twenty years, we have lived in ten homes, with a combined value of $4 million. When you consider each move required a buy and a sell, you end up with twenty transactions with a value close to $8 million.
With one exception, we used the same real estate agent: Jane Herrick Corder, an award-winning Chicagoland Realtor with 30 years of real estate expertise and has sold over 600 homes.
We met Jane through an advertisement she placed on a shopping cart at the local grocery store. Considering the commission she made through all of our transactions is easily six figures, the ROI on her marketing strategy paid off.
But that was twenty years ago, and a lot has changed.
Amazon (and other online delivery services) have engulfed the grocery store experience. Shopping carts no longer have advertisements on them, and to be perfectly honest, our attention span to details like that aren’t what they were back then anyway.
Are You Digitally Discoverable?
Given the seismic shift that is taking place in the real estate industry due to the pandemic, agents and teams have had to be creative with their digital marketing campaigns.
Strategies that have worked in the past are no longer effective, and the amount of effort it takes to land new clients has significantly increased.
Yet the million-dollar question remains—and it’s one that in 2021 could make or break your real estate business: Are you digitally discoverable?
According to Cambridge’s online dictionary, the word discoverable means “possible to find or discover.”
Pair that definition with the word digital, and it’s quite clear what this means. To stand a chance, you must prioritize your digital presence, and you should be spending as much time building and growing it.
Here are three things to consider as you establish your digital discoverability:
1. Diversify your digital portfolio.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any surefire strategies that will work in any given industry—especially when it comes to real estate. Being partial to a specific one could not only put you in a less-than-optimal place, but it could put you out of business.
While the paradox of choice is still a thing, it’s a good idea to consider marketing across mediums such as paid advertising (which, of course, means online and not on the front of a shopping cart), social media, and investing in a beautifully designed real estate website.
Several agents have seen that deploying an army of several digital experiences to be fruitful. Perhaps you have a dedicated website for each of your listings, one that is information and demonstrates expertise in your local area, and one that serves as an online business card.
2. Try new things—digitally speaking, that is.
We all know the adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Conversely, another saying responds, “If it is broke, fix it.”
If your efforts for being discoverable—digitally or otherwise—have fallen short, it’s time to turn things around and try something different. After all, the last thing you want to do is pour your hard-earned money into a sieve.
Social media can be daunting for some, but if it’s a marketing strategy you have yet to entertain, perhaps it’s time. If you don’t understand how it works, maybe a friend, colleague, or family member can help you see the light.
While brokerages have traditionally supported their agents, times seem to be changing. Many agents these days are starting to feel that, and some even consider themselves independent contractors.
Embrace this freedom, and do whatever it takes to stand out—even against those who work in the same office or under the same roof. Remember, it is your business or team that should matter the most.
3. Overcome your fear of the unknown.
The Internet continues to evolve and shows no signs of slowing down. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that things never stay the same and, when it comes to business, requires ongoing effort and energy.
When it comes to digital marketing, technology continues to present new opportunities and techniques. Some are simple, some are complex, and most fall somewhere in between.
It might feel like it’s “Lord of the Flies” out there to some real estate agents and teams—and they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. However, it’s essential to overcome the challenges and uncertainty that the business world presents—it’s survival of the fittest, if you will.
But on the other side of the proverbial island, abundance exists. It’s a place where those who have mastered the art of digital discoverability are eating plenty and reaping the rewards for their bravery.