These days, being a great marketer is harder than ever. Rather than spending their days driving through neighborhoods looking for “for sale” or “open house” signs, most, if not all buyers have turned to the internet as their main source for information. In fact, according to NAR, 90% of home buyers search online during their home buying process. So, what do you do? Jay Baer, author of Youtility for Real Estate, suggests a new concept for online marketing – “Stop trying to be amazing. Start trying to be useful.” Baer calls this concept “Youtility.” By creating marketing content that is useful to consumers, agents are able to foster relationships with potential clients before they’ve even met.
Living in the age of technology, consumers today spend more time on phones, tablets, and computers than they do watching television. Because of this, it’s crucial to have an online marketing plan that positions you in the best way possible. With immediate access to all kinds of information, there has been a massive change in consumer behavior. According to NAR, younger buyers are more likely to want their agent to help them understand the home buying process, as they are more likely to have never purchased a home before. “People are turning to information instead of relationships” (Baer). By providing useful content through social media, videos, blog posts, etc., top-of-the-funnel buyers will be able to find the information they need, and then keep you in mind when they’re ready to begin the home buying process.
Another reason online marketing is harder than ever is that immediate access to technology has made the internet world passive-aggressive. Rather than discussing problems with a business owner or manager, consumers leave negative reviews on Yelp or post a “complaint tweet” on their Twitter feed. Because of this, reputations are made (and ruined) in real-time. This can prove problematic, since “79% of Americans trust online reviews as much as friends and family” (Baer). Additionally, younger buyers noted that an agent’s honesty and trustworthiness is highly important. If they stumble across a negative review in their online search, chances are high that they won’t be contacting that agent. For this reason, it’s important to continuously monitor your online reputation.
Finally, in online marketing, there is enormous competition for attention. As Baer notes, online competitive attention is different from normal competition. In social media especially, rather than competing with other agents or brokers, “you are competing against people that social media users actually love” (Baer). A buyer’s newsfeed will most likely be made up of posts from family, friends, celebrities, and other businesses. By posting helpful content, you’ll stand out to your followers as a source of trustworthy information. When it comes time for them to select an agent, you’ll be top of mind.
Youtility is a process, not a project, that should involve a long-term plan. While it creates relationships with clients you’ve never met, these relationships convince buyers that you’re the right agent for them based on the quality of information you’ve provided online. Youtility isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort when the results will help your business grow.
If you need help managing your online presence, Homes.com is here for you. Through Homes.com Social, we’ll post useful content on your social media pages and monitor your online reputation, all while providing you with online support.
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