Borrowing from Real Estate Cousins

Location, location, location is, and always has been, the mantra for real estate which applies to every sector of the industry.  It speaks to convenience, present and future value, proximity to people and places and preferences.  That’s why residential real estate can borrow from retail and resort sectors, senior housing can borrow from residential and industrial can borrow from office.  And, we can all borrow from each other.

So how are residential real estate agents marketing their products to weather the financial storm?

We all recognize that the real estate housing market was a critical factor in the recent demise of our economy.  If affects all real estate sectors but when it comes to where we live, it really hits home.  The classic:  a sign in the yard, a pictures on the church bulletin, an MLS listing and broker specialties, such as “specialist in senior housing” still anchor the real estate market.  However, successful agents showcase their product to the internet via interactive websites, video tours with lifestyle components to them, online classified ads and social media.

New technology allows agents to really give a personality to their listing, just like this video from Planomatic (http://photoplan.planomatic.com/viewer.php?propertyTourID=3275).  There is also a considerable amount of detail about the property that is right at your finger tips.  In fact, you can make your Planomatic video and property information an app on your iPhone.

Twitter and mobile media are good tools for urgency.  If a property is just up for sale, just reduced, just received a bid or has been sold, the real time status is just a click, ring or buzz away.  Could this be used by sales people everywhere to create urgency for your sought after product, service or property?  What’s happening in the community right now?  Let the prospect ponder, “What would my life be like if I were there?”

Senior housing specialists have never considered their products to be real estate but rather lifestyle.  Clearly, it is a complicated sale with that nagging sense of finality to it.  However, generally speaking, consumers still fund their housing with real estate.   An online classified ad might bring that all important lead, especially if you have a great story to tell to go along with the real estate.  Twitter or Facebook are options to bring news to people where they get their news, especially as we talk to the adult children of older adults.

Residential real estate agents are quick to let people know what is conveniently located to their listings.  Savvy agents also add local calendars, real estate values, links to different events and locations that give someone a sense of place.  This is added to their interactive websites, Facebook with links to Twitter, LinkedIn and other relevant groups that can either assist with the sale of the product or the potential end buyer.

According to the Inman News Company (http://www.futureofrealestatemarketing.com/), which is a wonderful resource for residential real estate brokers, social media rules apply for real estate, just as they do for other industries.

Rule 1)  don’t just talk about yourself.

Rule 2) Post great content along with your listing.

Rule 3) Never claim someone else’s content as your own.

Rule 4)  Don’t give out too much information.

Rule 5)  Learn the language of the network, group, constituents you are taking with and use it.

We couldn’t agree more.