I’ve been working on a Blue Ocean Strategy presentation for The Executive Connection (Vistage) in Australia and caught up with the head of their local operation – Andrew Nelson to talk all things BOS, social and we got caught up discussing how innovation often emerges in unexpected ways and sometimes without preplanned action.
One of the innovation trends we were discussing was around the power of social media and user generated content and how this was starting to create some really interesting opportunities in the residential real estate market. Whilst I’ve discussed this in the past– I think it’s worth looking at this more holistically, specifically:
- What can agencies do
- What can agents do
- What can sellers do
When we look at the opportunity social media presents, we start to see how the nature of residential property sales could change.
1. The Real Estate Agency
As I’ve noted in an earlier blog post, agencies need to rethink how they market and engage with buyers and sellers. If agencies want to break the stranglehold of listing sites like RealEstate.com.au and Domain.com.au etc, then they need to start embracing change and looking for ways to create a more personal environment in which to cultivate sales.
2. The Agent
I’m sure this is common but one thing I’ve noticed in Brisbane is the rise of individual agents as their own brand. I don’t think this is new, but the implications of this is worth discussing. An agent can now build a comprehensive online personal brand using blogs. Twitter, YouTube etc and have a portable digital footprint that will allow them to build a significant degree of local authority – and this personal online brand can be portable – moving with the agent should they change agency.
Agencies need to understand this and work out a model that is mutually beneficial.
3. The Seller
Aside from the article I referenced in an earlier post – I was also talking to a colleague in New Zealand who’s implementing a specific social media strategy – as the seller – so they have better control over how the property is presented – sellers are turning to social media to market their properties due to frustration at agents inability to understand value or sell a property.
I can only see this phenom continuing (with wildly mixed success) ranging from sellers who set up a simple Facebook fan page through to others who take a more holistic approach – blogging about the property, local area, pros and cons, through to video and twitter as an awareness tool.
This isn’t hard – a seller can quickly set up a WordPress blog, YouTube channel, Twitter, and G+ profiles and then undertake their own awareness program. The seller now has their own digital platform to create awareness around their property.
A Coordinated Model
Lets take this a step further. Why wouldn’t a progressive agency understand what a seller model is and then offer this as a value add service? If they’ve got a seller who wants to be actively involved – have a service or offering that allows them to help meet this desire.
I see lots of positives – the agency starts creating traffic away from the listing giants – they start taking back control, and sellers have the opportunity to potentially realize a higher sales price for their property.
The challenge of course is whether any agency is prepared to get their head out of the sand and do something different and innovative. You can view an outline of how I would propose to deliver this type of course on The Transfer Station