Recently, we sat down (Zoom called) with Scott Richardson from Elders Newcastle & Lake Macquarie to discuss their recent win at the Elders NSW/ACT awards. Scott and the team won the 2019 award for Digital Marketing. So we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to discuss all things marketing with him including why their office 2 years ago made a shift towards digital marketing options and how they are thriving despite the unprecedented times.
With 20 years experience in architecture, Scott made the change to real estate just over 2 years ago. Born and bred in Newcastle he has a passion for finding perfect homes for locals.
While speaking with Scott it was largely evident that real estate was more than a job for him and I could tell his sentiment was something that was carried throughout the whole office and their marketing.
In the last 2 years the office has gone from zero to 100 when digital marketing is considered and their recent win substantiates their hard work. Here are 3 takeaways from our discussion with Scott.
1. Build a social community within your local community:
Every real estate agent and office should be using social media to grow their personal brand and an online community. Social media is more than a transactional tool when it comes to real estate. It provides a platform to demonstrate expertise, personality, and promotion for agents and offices alike.
“It not only allows people to follow us, it is also an informal method of attracting new clients and keeping our name at the forefront of people’s minds. We regularly boost property posts on Facebook and again it’s an informal method of potential buyers seeing a property they may not otherwise have been looking for.” Scott said.
While social media can help identify potential buyers and sellers, building a strong sense of community on social media is a great way to demonstrate who you are as an office or agent. In fact, Scott and the team also took home the Elders NSW/ACT award for Community Relationships.
“We regularly use Facebook for marketing campaigns including charity awareness, giveaways and community events. We are passionate and committed to ensuring we work with, support, and better our community. Our own initiative has raised over $40,000 for Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.”
2. Engage your database to create long-term relationships:
While email is a tool every office and agent use daily to stay connected with each other and their clients. Sending sophisticated email marketing to their database is something that not all agents take advantage of.
“We have 9000 people on our database and we weren’t really touching them with any regularity. Claire [Scott’s account manager] sent out our monthly newsletter yesterday and we have already had 60-70 leads generated in under 24 hours. It doesn’t mean we are going to instantly get 60 more listings but at the end of the day those people are engaging with our newsletter and when they are ready they are more likely to come to us.”
“We are committed to helping the community, and email gives us a platform to promote, raise awareness, and update the local community about upcoming events. We have had some great feedback from locals that our newsletters are professional and informative.”
There will be people ready to buy or sell, but others have to see and resonate with your marketing content 8-10 times to remember you when they are ready to make a move. It is all about consistency and regularity whether it be on your social media or via email.
When asking Scott how their digital marketing methods stack up against more traditional forms of marketing, he answered.
“Other forms of traditional marketing can take up large chunks of time with limited success, but these digital options allow us to reach thousands of people at the click of a button.”
3. Forget cold calls:
Scott mentioned to us that cold calls were never part of the office’s agenda. So we delved into that a little further and it was simple. While cold calling was never a preferred method for Elders Newcastle & Lake Macquarie their strong digital marketing assured there was no need to do so.
“Real estate is more than just monetary, we want people to see us more as friends than someone that sold their house.”
Activating their database through iRealty and regularly posting on social media meant they had a strong understanding of who was ready to make a move in the market, and in some cases people were even reaching out to them due to seeing their relevant and personalised content online or in their inbox.
We are currently faced with an unprecedented climate. Now more than ever digital marketing is imperative for real estate. Agents and offices that previously used digital marketing as part of everyday business are less likely to feel the effects that social distancing has placed on Real Estate.
“In general our marketing strategies already incorporated digital methods but current conditions have meant we have had to look closely at what we do and how we can provide new options for buyers to view a property but limit physical inspections. The technology is there, it is now just a matter of making the most of it.”
Over the 40 minutes we spoke with Scott it was clear that the office’s passion for creating strong relationships in the community was their number one incentive for digital marketing efforts. An increase in brand awareness, and ultimately sales were a positive bi-product.
Scott attributes “Raised brand awareness and traffic to our website and Facebook pages has increased dramatically.” With the use of email and social media marketing.