Real estate is changing.
While many real estate agents are still using business models that thrived before the dawn of the internet.
Those methods are becoming less and less effective while online marketing begins to take over.
In this article, we’ll discuss what is changing in the game of real estate, especially luxury sales, and how over the next decade, the shift will turn real estate into an online-based business.
Technology is Winning the Battle
Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft.
The giants of our generation.
What do they all have in common?
They build sophisticated online platforms and powerful devices to utilize them.
They’ve built the online world we live in today, and they aren’t going away any time soon.
You may ask, “what does this have to do with real estate?”
We’re Engulfed in Online Media
Google receives 63,000 searches per second.
As a luxury real estate agent, it can be difficult to sell multi-million-dollar houses.
If literally everyone is online (63,000 of us per second), then why on Earth would we as real estate agents, not make a digital footprint.
It’s naïve to think any business based on consistently getting clientele can survive in this new era without having an online presence.
Realtors need to recognize this, put down the phone for a little while, and start building their online profile.
Otherwise, in a few years, they’ll be extinct.
Buyers are Making Purchases Based on What They Find Online
The National Association of Realtors conducted a study that found 50% of buyers found their home online.
Realtors cited that the most effective online tool they used for lead generation was social media.
This means that if an agent posts a listing to their Facebook, it could absolutely bring forth a buyer.
However, an unfortunate finding suggested that only 11% of real estate agents have a blog.
In terms of luxury sales, if an agent plans on converting into the luxury real estate market, then they need to do more, they need to create content.
Content drives the economy at the moment.
The most successful businesses and influencers all create hundreds of pieces of content a month.
The easiest thing you could do as a luxury real estate agent is simply create a blog like this one.
Or, film videos, or better yet, do both.
The video below is an example of how you can rank your website on Google with blog articles. Notice I’m using a video to talk about it.
Just make sure you post consistently, and the content is worth reading or watching.
What Creates a Successful Online Real Estate Business?
The best thing about real estate is how visual it is.
Luxury real estate is even better due to how appealing it is to look at beautiful homes.
The success of a real estate agent comes from how well they can capture these visuals.
Video is the Winning Play
Video is king in the online marketplace.
It’s statistically more engaging, more impactful in attracting a buyer, and the most visual one can get.
A smart businessperson knows that implementing video in their bag of tricks is going to reap huge rewards.
Google even ranks video higher in terms of search engine ranking. Which if you don’t know, playing the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) game is very hard and stressful.
One of the primary reasons for writing a blog is so that I can rank higher in Google’s search algorithm.
I rank for keywords like “luxury real estate”, which means the more I mention it in my articles, the more likely I’ll be closer to the top of the search page.
However, if video marketing is implemented into your digital strategy, the simple fact that it’s a video can help you bypass a lot of blog articles needed to rank.
Post videos and articles consistently across multiple platforms like your website, YouTube, and social media outlets and there’s a chance you could dominate your local market if there isn’t a lot of competition.
Visualizing a Lifestyle
In luxury sales, we use staging to portray a lifestyle that a buyer could have if they purchase the home.
Staging will always be necessary; you can read why here.
But before staging can work its magic, we must first attract the buyer.
Well written descriptions of homes are useful, sure, but let’s be honest.
That’s boring and hard to remember among the other thousands of descriptions.
The solution? Show the buyer the lifestyle rather than writing words.
You can do this easily with video. You’ll drive engagement, create a conversation, and strike the chords of buyers who aspire for the lifestyle you showcase.
You can do this with great pictures of the home as well, although it won’t be as effective.
There are also technologies that allow virtual tours of the home, which is extremely powerful, but only effective if you’ve done enough of the groundwork to draw the buyer in.
Once again, the driving point in this conversation is that video is king.
Online Business Yields the Most Reach
Business was once a local-based operation. Then it evolved to a point where you could conduct business regionally, then nationally, then cross-nationally.
But it was always physical, whether in-person as an agent of the company, as a brick and mortar storefront, or an agent on the phone.
That was until the internet was created.
The World Wide Web made it possible to connect with consumers no matter their location without speaking a single physical word.
For some reason, the vast majority of real estate agents still believe it’s necessary to contact people that don’t want to hear from them via phone call or door knocking.
The power of a successful real estate business is based on individual relationships. I will not discount that.
However, my business model is built around large-scale marketing targeted at a specific niche of clientele that reside in homes at a price point I want to operate in.
Thus, giving me the most powerful reach to that very specific subset of consumers.
Clients come to me because they want to sell their home, not because I convinced them to sell their home so I can make a quick buck.
That’s why I made the business decision to completely disregard the training and advice the real estate agents in my marketplace were giving to me (cold calling and nonstop prospecting) for a more creative, modern, online company that markets specifically for high-end residential sales.
It was one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made in my life.
My platform has far more power, credibility, reach, and potential, than almost every other real estate agent and team in Asheville, North Carolina.
In a few years, I’ll have the ability to expand my business from North Carolina to various states in the Southeastern United States, then eventually the East Coast, the whole nation, and beyond.
All because I recognized an upcoming shift in real estate as a new agent with fresh eyes and decided to take the road less traveled and go against the grain.
Technology removes barriers. Everyone is accessible. Start realizing that.
The Power of Social Sharing
Perhaps one of the most powerful weapons of social media is sharing.
When you post a new listing video and it tugs at the heart of a potential buyer. They might share it.
When they do, your listing goes from being exposed to just your audience, to now the friends and family of the buyer who shared it.
Because humans tend to associate with humans they have things in common with. Odds are, there is a very similar person who also really likes the property and shares it.
Let’s say all of this happens within a matter of an hour.
Within sixty minutes, the home goes from being seen by your 1,000 followers, to perhaps 3,000.
Remember, we’re still in hour number one.
By the end of the day, the total amount of impressions (people who have seen your post) may have reached well over 10,000.
Many of them are probably going to find their way back to your page, then to your website, and potentially, buy the home, or better yet, become clients.
How do you create this chain reaction?
I bet you already know what I’m going to say.
Use video to showcase a lifestyle.
Just start using video already.
Online business and its relationship to real estate sales is an extremely deep and diverse topic. I could probably write a hundred articles on it.
Let me know if you’d like more on the subject.
The key points from this are that online business models are winning for real estate agents and luxury agents alike in 2020 and it’s only going to get better.
Video is and will be the ongoing powerhouse of digital content for the rest of the decade at the very least (until holograms take over).
Social sharing is the way to win the game, powered by, of course, video.
Real estate agents need to understand that the days of cold calling and other traditional methods of prospecting are on their way out.
I’ll get a lot of slack for this, but I really don’t care. It’s the truth.
Either adjust to the times or lose your business. I didn’t even discuss Zillow and iBuyers yet but I’ll save that for another article.