How do we keep from going extinct as brokers when companies like Zillow and other large companies are shutting out the traditional broker?
Brokers are essentially funding their own extinction by providing their information to Zillow and other similar databases and portal sites. As these sites continue to grow, it can feel like there’s no other option than paying to play through these portals. The good news is, it is possible to create your own success without caving in to using the big sites. Ryan King shares his tactics for staying competitive with big online real estate market places like Zillow and Trulia.
Ryan is no stranger to creating opportunities in a market place that seems impossible to gain momentum. Ryan grew his business during a big dip in the market when many people were bailing from the real estate business. While trying to market his company, he realized the ads he placed in larger industry magazines were getting lost in a sea of other ads, making his company just blend in with all of the other brokers seeking new business. Ryan decided to get in front of the marketplace by creating his own magazine featuring foreclosed homes. Once he launched his own magazine, he no longer had to worry about competing against all the other ads, because the entire magazine pointed back to his company. He had the magazine distributed in popular grocery stores and made himself a leader in the Las Vegas foreclosure market.
Now the challenge is in keeping brokers and their businesses afloat as big real estate portals and websites threaten to completely dominate the marketplace. But once again, Ryan has found a solution to keep his company out of the shadows of these companies. Ryan has positioned his company and his agents so that they remain relevant and competitive and continue to thrive even with the growth of websites like Zillow. These are his tips for how you can do the same.
Don’t Fund Yourself into Extinction
Ryan’s message to the real estate world is that you don’t need pay money into a database like Zillow to keep leads coming and your business growing. In fact, by buying in, you are actually setting yourself up for extinction. You are literally paying another business to use YOUR information. These companies are putting YOU out of business, and you are paying them to do so. They utilize the data that you provide to them, they then sell your data back to you, but you don’t ever truly benefit from sharing data because your company information is buried in all of the listing agents and information in their site.
That’s insanity! Instead, focus your efforts and your money into building your own website that is full of information, creating your own content, and establishing yourself as the go-to expert in your community.
The key steps in this process:
- Hire a credible tech team to build an impressive website. If you want your website to be competitive with those other businesses, it has to match the level of usefulness; it has to be comparable. Rather than paying money into another business to share his data, Ryan hired a team to build a competitive website. His site, vegasdata.com is incredibly successful, but his team works round the clock to keep it competitive. He is constantly building out the site and adding relevant information, so that it’s a website visitors do want to spend time on and return. For example, they have created community videos for nearly every community in Las Vegas, which is great for his site and it ranks well on YouTube as well. Additionally, his team set it up so that if a visitor goes to a civic property and the property is in a community where we have community video, that video is also included on the listing in the details page. The consumer is getting more information and we’re sending visitors to OUR content rather than paying a site like Zillow to make even more money.
You can compete against these big websites, but you have to go above and beyond with your data~Ryan King
Stop sending money to big real estate websites and invest in yourself instead. Build your own media company. Spend the money you’d be spending on companies like Zillow to grow your own database, content, and marketing.
- Create and leverage your own content by adding value
How do you add value to your community? Start by building relationships and finding out what people want and need. Provide that information to them. Know your community and brand yourself to that community. You must become the go-to source of information in your community for real estate.
Ryan suggests you play to your strengths and create content based on that. Find your unique value and hone in on that. What are you good at? Are you a writer? If you love to write, write! Write reports, blog posts, other relevant content.If you like video, make videos, and put them out to the community in a very strategic way. If audio is your thing, create audio downloads. Find your areas of strength and pump out content. Make sure your website is full of content and full of the data that you have on your communities and market place.
Once you’ve created unique content, you’ll need to leverage that content to drive traffic to your website, through a solid marketing strategy.
- Get in front of the consumers – all the time!
What are you doing to stay in front of your prospects? Marketing should be a constant focus. Ryan is always getting in front of his potential clients and ensuring people know what his company is about and who he is.
Commit to spending time, energy, and money on your marketing efforts. There’s no part time in success. You’ve got to be able to market in ways of 2018, which means you need to be effective on Facebook and social media to helpyou get in front of the right audience and build those fans that will become your customers and refer others to you.
You’re going to have to get good with social media marketing. You have good consistently posting, learn what’s going to make you rank higher on search engines or on social media. Know your value. Some agents are investing as much as $10,000 to $20,000 a month with the online sites. Imagine what they could do for their own website and marketing efforts with that kind of budget! You don’t have to rely on Zillow to build the database and media. You can do it yourself.
- Build a memorable client experience
What will make the home buying experience more fun? A really memorable closing. And how will you use that to gain more clients? Show your audience how you are different than other agents. If you literally roll out the red carpet for closings, record that experience, and share it. Your current clients will be impressed by how they are treated, and future clients will eat that up too. People want a memorable experience. It’s easy to share fun videos of clients entering their homes for the first time. It creates a desire that others want as well.
The Time for Action is Now
Ryan believes brokers and agents will continue to be devalued as companies like Zillow or Trulia continue to grow and unless you take the steps to create your own opportunities, build your own databases and content rich platforms, and get in front of the right audience on a regular basis, you will struggle. Companies like Zillow will only continue to try to push the envelope and grow their influence in the marketplace. Invest in technology, invest in training, invest in building your own content and in getting that content in front of your target market, and you’ll not only survive, but you’ll thrive.