Megan Spray is vice president of training at real estate technology firm CINC and has worked with real estate teams across the country for more than a decade. Visit www.commissionsinc.com to learn more.
How Teams Beat Single Agents at Marketing
It’s not just because they have more hands on deck.
January 3, 2017
The real estate business has become increasingly complicated for individual agents. Being responsible for all aspects of your business — including administrative duties, lead generation, face time with clients, meetings, home tours, and more — consumes all of your time. Nearly half of all agents, including those who do not intend for real estate to be a full-time job, report working 40 hours or more per week, according to real estate digital marketing firm Placester.
Undoubtedly, that’s why more agents are opting to join or create real estate teams — so the flow of the real estate process doesn’t rest on one person’s shoulders, thereby reducing chances of disruptions for clients. So what can teams do better than individual agents? Here are some points to consider.
Take Digital Advertising to New Heights
One of the most economical methods for any practitioner to drive leads is pay-per-click advertising via Google AdWords, banner ads, and mobile ads. PPC charges you only when a visitor physically clicks on an ad, making it cost-effective to narrowly target ideal buyers, sellers, and home owners. However, it is important to keep in mind that PPC’s effectiveness depends on market expertise, and that’s where teams have a significant advantage over individuals.
Team members can complement the strengths and weaknesses of each other no matter what they are. Teams will be well-rounded in their skills if the team leader made astute hiring decisions. With teams, leads that are generated via PPC can then be distributed to members for follow-up based on their expertise, availability, and criteria.
Developing a digital advertising message can take hours and requires close monitoring several times each week to be successful, including testing different strategies, changing keywords, and redistributing funds to target different markets. Teams have a clear competitive advantage over individual agents because they have more hands on deck to appropriately follow up on conversions and manage campaigns on a regular basis.
Capacity to Expand Social Media Engagement
Like PPC, social media requires consistent updating for it to be successful. Many individual agents simply cannot carve out the time in their weekly schedules it takes to market effectively on social media. With dedicated team members accountable for keeping social media up and rolling, teams have a larger benefit over individual agents who must manage channels on their own.
Teams aren’t just capable of posting more often; in fact, the real estate industry had the highest frequency of posting on social media among several business types — but earned the lowest engagement rate, according to HubSpot’s 2015 Social Media Benchmarks Report. Real estate professionals need to provide more relevant content to their audience, and unlike individual agents, teams can distribute more applicable thought leadership, industry news, and personal content based on multiple members’ expertise.
Power to Leverage Multiple Spheres
Real estate is a relationship-driven business, and tapping into a sphere of influence is the oldest and most effective way to drive leads. All agents, no matter whether they’re individual or part of a team, have a sphere of influence. The difference with teams, however, is that it’s easier for agents to consistently mine and build their spheres because they’re no longer responsible for the entire sales process.
In team environments, one agent may help a buyer sign with the team, and then hand them over to another agent to begin setting up showings. This ultimately allows all team members more time to go back out and work their sphere to bring in new leads. With every team member working their sphere at the same time, real estate teams increase their chances of consistently obtaining and converting leads over individual agents.
Adeptness to Own Third-Party Sites
Every real estate agent has heard of realtor.com®, Zillow, and Trulia. These sites can provide quick ROI with minimal effort because a majority of buyers and sellers who use them have already spent time searching and are ready for immediate action. A common misconception is that teams should not worry about third-party websites because individual agents use them the most, but no team should ever rule them out.
Today’s third-party sites rely more on pay-to-play opportunities, and teams have more revenue to invest than individuals. But the biggest advantage for teams using third-party sites, however, is timeliness. Contacting a lead within the first five minutes makes conversion nine times more likely. An individual agent who is at a showing may not be able to step away and contact a lead right away. Teams, on the other hand, often have dedicated inside sales associates doing initial lead contact, thereby guaranteeing timely responses.
Proficiency to Go All In With Farming
Even for teams, farming a certain neighborhood is incredibly time-consuming (it will likely take a year before to see results) and expensive (think about costs for mailers, creating websites, attending events), and it has the lowest success rate of all lead-driving tactics. However, teams are more likely to succeed at it.
Farming is a market-share play. Teams are more prepared to approach it with the mindset of “Together, we are going to dominate this area.” Teams that farm are also at an advantage because they can have multiple members with varying expertise and can more frequently be out and about in the community.
For instance, a successful team can take the time to put holiday flags out at every house in their farming area for Fourth of July or be in attendance at local festivals and events. Individual agents are not scalable, making it nearly impossible to successfully complete these tasks.
Though all agents can use time-tested marketing tactics, their time-consuming nature becomes unmanageable to handle alone. With teams, agents get the best of both worlds when marketing for leads: the knowledge and manpower as well as the expertise of multiple agents to handle all of the logistics. This ultimately produces better results and showcases why traditional and digital marketing methods work better for today’s real estate teams.