It happens every single day in my Facebook feed, another agent posts a property listing with a link back to one of the portals.
There is no better way to shoot yourself in the foot in the real estate industry than to send traffic to one of the portals instead of your own website.
There are a number of reasons, you don’t want to be sending traffic to the portals instead of your own website, firstly the portals use their traffic statistics to justify an increase in what they charge you each year. So by sending traffic to the portals, you’re essentially helping them charge you more.
But that’s just the tip of the ice berg. The biggest reason you shouldn’t be sending people to the portals is because when you do, you lose control of the data.
Now I get for many, data may be something that you really don’t care much about, you may even see it as belonging to the realm of the geeks and nerds – after all, that’s how it has always been.
But times, they are a changing.
Moving forward, your profit (and I mean your REAL profit), is no longer in your product or service, it’s in your data.
Take for example the situation spelled out in this recent blog post.
The example spells out how when you post a property listing or video on Facebook, you can then re-target any person who engaged with that listing/video and market to them with any other relevant property and in time, turning them into a seller or buyer. (Hell if they clicked on a property on your site, you could put EVERY single property that you have listed in that same suburb in front of them – it’s incredibly powerful).
Had you directed that person to one of the portals, you would have lost that data. Actually it’s worse than that, you would have willingly handed that data over to one of the portals and instead of you re-marketing to those people with your properties, the portals could instead re-market your competitions listings to the people who were initially YOUR potential buyers.
Now for the double whammy…..it’s not just buyers who check out property listings and videos on your website and Facebook, it’s sellers too.
So that data that you’re handing over to the portals could very easily contain your next potential seller, hell it could contain your next 10 potential sellers. But instead of you being able to re-market to them, establish your brand, stay top of mind and become the obvious choice for those sellers, you’ve handed them over to one of the portals to do with what they will.
Coming back to the “data is for geeks” sentiment above, it’s important to note that is no longer the case. With a few clicks in your Facebook ads manager, you can actually create all the tools you need to manage and use this data rather than be handing it over.
One of the best things Facebook has done, is created a straightforward platform that enables everybody to take advantage of their own data without having to wear inch thick glasses and have a degree from MIT.
It’s this alone that puts the power back into the agent’s hands.
So please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t post links from the portals – use your own website links instead.