The real estate industry has always had a reputation for being slow to adapt to new technology and marketing trends. While traditional marketing methods like signs, flyers, LoopNet listings – or even your own network – may have been effective in the past decade, the efficacy of these methods in the 21st century is rapidly deteriorating. The average American, aka your buyer or your seller, is spending nearly 7 hours per day looking at some sort of computer screen. They’re accessing their bank accounts or trading stocks on their phone, finding their new home on Zillow or CRE on LoopNet, applying for mortgages with RocketMortgage, and even signing most of their documents through Docusign.
Knowing all of this, why don’t more brokers focus on marketing digitally?
First, hiring the right person to bring your marketing up to speed from a digital perspective is really difficult. Retaining them is even more difficult. Would you know where to begin when hiring a marketing professional? I challenge you to go to a job board and try to find someone with over a decade of Google AdWords, PR, asset-based marketing, digital branding, email and call campaign experience specifically in real estate. I’ll save you some time; you’re not going to find them. But even if you do, over 21% of Americans changed jobs within the last 12 months, and the person you’re looking for, well, they’re in high demand in the hottest markets.
Second, it’s expensive. A marketing professional with even a quarter of the experience laid out above is going to cost well over $100,000 per year. While marketing makes a tangible difference, can you imagine paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for only a fraction of what you want? Not to mention that is one more person to manage, and chances are, they will have expertise in one area rather than across multiple disciplines.
Third, and lastly, for a lot of organizations, it’s an unknown-unknown. A lot of organizations don’t realize the benefits of marketing online. It’s a global market here in the 21st century. I’ve found a Chinese national living in Canada as a buyer for a vacant YMCA in suburban Chicago. Helped a wealthy New Yorker buy a multifamily complex in Kansas City, and procured a foreign government to purchase a manufacturing facility from a Fortune 500 company. With modern technology, owning real estate from a distance is easier than ever, and people in expensive markets domestically, and unstable markets globally are searching in droves for yield in the middle markets of America.
These are just some of the reasons we decided to start Proptitude. We recognized that most brokers don’t have the opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competition on this level. I’m sure there are some of you who will say “well it’s worked fine for me,” or I did X sales last year. I can say with utmost certainty that this was the mentality in the boardroom at Blockbuster in the early 2000s. I can get from Point A to Point B by walking, but in the central Texas summer heat, driving is a significantly better experience. I think that’s something we can all agree on. Proptitude allows you – the broker, the owner, the developer, to brand and market in ways you could only dream about 20 years ago. Our Principal owners are all seasoned real estate and marketing professionals, and we employ a mixture of full time and contract employees to help bring custom marketing solutions to the table for each and every one of our clients. You may have a local network, but how much more business do you think you would win if you could tell your customers that you’ve got global reach?