The Value Performance Advertising Plan

Big data and social media have come to big business in a big way. Recently, the two billion dollar company, Meredith Corporation made two big moves. First, they purchased Better Homes and Gardens for its largely female readership. Secondly, knowing the importance that sites such as Pinterest play in funnelling customers, they launched a dedicated Pinterest team. This team exclusively work on creating content for Pinterest across the media company’s publications to drive audiences to their companies’ websites. The team created a post in Pinterest about a fire pit from Better Homes and Gardens. It was viewed almost 11 million times and saved 222,000 times. The audience loved it, engaged with it and went to the Better Homes and Gardens website in droves.

Sometimes real estate looks like it’s 1998 and it just won’t cut it anymore. We have to market to the new digital real estate customer and become cleverer with how we engage with our customers and social media. We’re not competing with the standard agent anymore. We are competing with the service delivery of Uber, Netflix, Airbnb and Amazon. Like them, we have to use data. We have to look beyond the single transaction and think long term. We have to know how to use social media to attract audiences and drive traffic to our websites to capture precious data. Dick Karlsson knows how to play against the big guns and big data. 

Dick is the co-founder of DIAKRIT. With over 2,000 real estate clients worldwide, DIAKRIT is the world’s leading provider of digital visualisation solutions and associated data. They create interactive features such as enabling a buyer to go through the property virtually, to configure the property and furniture a property so customers deeply engage with brands. These products provide an enhanced customer experience, promote engagement and most importantly, allow agencies to capture data and then market directly to interested parties.

Dick explains how advertising and marketing works now. He says, “If you have engaging content and interactive solutions where people engage and leave their footprints and tell you what they’re interested in on your website, you then know what your audience is interested in. You can then invest in your social media to drive and find the new prospects of buyers and vendors, and you drive them back to your website.” You have to have a Value Performance Advertising Plan. 

Value Performance Advertising Plan

1. Branding

Your first task is to create a strong brand. Your brand is an opportunity to give your customers an experience they can’t have anywhere else. You must emotionally engage and connect buyers with your properties and sellers with your brand. You have to create and build engaging interactive, high quality content on your website. It is your opportunity to capture data, interest and leads. Frequency of revisits to your content builds trust. Your website is not a website. It is a web business and the biggest database collection bucket. 

Dick says, “Look at Barfoot and Thompson’s website in New Zealand. They use their website as a buyer funnel. What kind of depth do they have? What do they do? Where do they engage? They tweak that website, they improve it constantly and they dominate their market. They have stories, they have the best decorated kitchen. They reuse their listings and all that material to attract and inspire, not just when you buy and sell. Buyers come there for inspiration.” 

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2. Measure all engagement

We need websites that measure and collect data. The best opportunity to attract buyers and capture data is to list properties with the most attractive images and data catching features. A company like Dick’s helps you create such content and collects the data as well. Dick explains how the process works. He says, “We have roughly 500 very professional photographers. They are not just photographers. They are artists and professionals that support the agent on the ground. They do measurement, they do data collection, they do drone, they do video and they service the agent on site.” 

Once the images and information are captured, Dick says, “We as a business then collect those data points, which may be the measurements, may be raw photography – and all of that is then sent to Bangkok where we have roughly 500 staff who cut and develop that data and raw material into different units of visuals, content, interactives or videos that really display the property. We create the 2D and the 3D views, the interactive floor plans, the photo panoramas, the kitchen configurator. These assets are then handed back to the agent to be displayed on their website, in their social media, in their print, if they want to put it on the portal and so on. All those assets, wherever they want to find a potential buyer, in whatever format – we supply that.”

So the stunning imagery and the visualisations from interactive content floor plans and the 2D and the 3D views are in fact hooks. The beautiful technology underpinning the interactive solutions captures all the data of every click of each person going through and allows agents to see what people actually like and what they actually want to potentially buy. 

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3. Use that data to use social media to find new potential buyers, new vendors and engage with them and drive them back to your website

Clicks therefore are data and measures. Dick says, “We see people spending 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes in the interactive solutions, walking through the property, changing the colours of the kitchen, going out to the exterior, changing the tiles, looking at the windows, changing the roofing and putting in furniture. This shows the agent that there are 5 to 50 people that are spending between 15 to 20 minutes on the website. All of these are potential bidders. That data is then provided back to the agent selling that property, to engage even better and live up to the expectations of that potential buyer. The agent can then retarget these people in their new social plans or their multimedia programs for lead generation. That can all be done with this technology.”

Marketing therefore is an opportunity to hook, engage and collect points for data about interested buyers. Your CRM database and your customer database is key. It is through the CRM database and data points that you can provide increased service levels.

4. Value data and build customer relationships 

You need to step up your service level. You have to live up to the expectation. You have to be available 24/7. Dick says, “There are not many agencies that really do that, but when you do that and you do it well, the return on investment on that is that you stand out. That doesn’t mean that you as an agent don’t sleep. That doesn’t mean that you as a director have to have your phone on your night desk every night. It means you set up infrastructure so that you as a brand can service your customer when they want to be serviced.”

This means that you will have to set up a chat bot in some times of the night or hire an outsourced company that works with you in Australia or overseas. There are solutions here. 

As you can see, we have to look beyond the single transaction and think long term. We have to know how to attract audiences and drive traffic to our websites to capture precious data. We have to take the action, build the engine, understand the importance of consistency, content, the website, the social. You are not alone though. Start putting tReal Estate Academy, DIAKRIT, Facebook and Google together to work for you. If you put all these things together, you’re as big as anyone. And remember one thing that never changes is that people buy off people. The biggest strength you have is you have a face, a voice and connection.

Value Performance Advertising

Purpose: To attract potential buyers and sellers to drive them to your website for an experience that is better than anywhere else. This will enable you to capture data analytics, interest and leads. Think about your audience and your branding – what will attract your market? Buyers are buying a location and space to live in and want access to information 24/7. They expect personalised service. It is one of the biggest investment decisions of their lives.

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The Exemplary Mäklarhuset Customer Experience

Mäklarhuset is Sweden’s largest privately owned broker chain with over 100 offices and 500 employees across the country. They are very clear about their brand and the role their website plays in building the brand and customer experience. They work with DIAKRIT to enhance the customer experience. Dick explains how they use their website. 

Data from their website drives tremendously successful social media strategies which then drive people back to the website to continue to engage with their brand. Every year, out of the 10 million people in Sweden, roughly eight and a half million of them use this website. For eight years in a row, they’ve been voted the best customer experience in Sweden for real estate. When they launched their website, they were rated the third best website in the whole of Sweden. This is how they did it.

1. Appeal to and attract your market

Research found that attracting the female audience was extremely important. Mäklarhuset therefore shifted their look and feel of the brand. They adopted softer colours – a bit of a pink, a bit of a purple and used large inspiring images. It made a splash into the market and attracted a female audience looking at real estate. 

2. Have a consistent look and feel for every property 

They built a website with the ambition not just to be the best in real estate, but to be the best customer experience. They have amazing photographs and whatever information you want, to the level of depth you want. 

3. Connect it all on the website

They use interactive features for customer engagement. All the interactives, such as touring the apartment, refurnishing your kitchen, configuring your full apartment, are on the website. Interactive questions come through the website as well. Questions such as: Hey, do I want to chat with somebody? Hey, do you know what? Do you want an appraisal? Do you actually want to talk to an agent? Subsequently, every year they get 15,000 appraisals booked from the website. 

4. Facilitate a higher level of service than any other agent

The research shows if you get back to a customer within five minutes, it’s a 95% probability to win the business. That means it is essential to provide a high level of service. Mäklarhuset has 110 offices, but they have a very small head office, so they have to be efficient. If somebody has any questions they respond within minutes.

5. Have a brilliant CRM

They track everything that is done on the website. On average people spend 14 minutes accessing content and interactive tools. All activity is tracked and then data matched which then enables offices and agents to offer a great service based on that. 

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