Last month, as I was trawling Twitter, I experienced one of those moments of truth that often lead to a blog post. “Stop the Madness! Why do we spam the crap out of each other #CRE?” It was an excellent question from @TenantAdvisor. His screenshot (above) showed a whole bunch of emails from the real estate world; no doubt property listings or announcements about recent transactions.
This is especially true in the brokerage community, where deal flow means everything, competition is fierce, and an old-school approach to marketing is pervasive. But when everyone else is doing lead generation the same way, namely by email and even cold calls or printed fliers, it is simply not effective, as I explained in a previous post.
What buyers and sellers and landlords and tenants truly want when selecting a broker is insight. Is now the right time? What is the right price? What else is happening in the market? What does the future hold? Certainly, many brokers produce regular reports that track market data; but those reports can also be dense. The trick is that individual brokers should be marrying their own insights and experience with current data and listings. They should be sending out content that recipients don’t want to delete but that they want to share through social networks because it is compelling – either entertaining or informative or, frankly, it just looks different. I typically hear from commercial brokers that many of their peers don’t use Twitter, Facebook or even LinkedIn. That may be true, but young, aggressive brokers are; the CEOs of tech companies that so many brokers are targeting are; the twenty-somethings who are looking for an apartment or a starter home are. And they can all smell spam from a mile away.
The solution? Stop pushing out glossy pictures that mean little without context and start pulling in prospects who are intrigued by a perspective or advice.