Right now there is one word that can induce a Harley Quinn, baseball bat swinging, homicidal rage in me like no other……”Disruptor”
It’s not that real estate isn’t “ripe for disruption,” it is. In fact a blind, deaf, mute hedgehog can see that real estate is ripe for disruption.
It’s that every time we see the word “disruptor” or one of it’s variants in use in the media, it’s attached to a new portal or real estate brand launch that is supposedly going to do things “differently.”
Then comes the (now compulsory) mentions of Uber and AirBnB…….but EVERY. SINGLE. TIME both the media and the “new disruptor” completely ignores what Uber and AirBnB did…..they took the two sides of a transaction (supply and demand) and made it easy for the common individual with supply, to meet the demand of another common individual.
They essentially became a facilitator, a hands off middle man, who got paid for making the introductions (and paid well).
So it should go without saying that a new “cut price” real estate brand is NOT a disruptor and nor is a new portal.
With this in mind, it’s only reasonable that the next question would be “what would a disruptor in real estate look like?”
Well it depends on which side of the real estate transaction you’re standing on.
If you’re a homeowner, then a disruptor will be something that will allow you to buy and sell your house, completely online with everything from offers through to legals through to settlement being handled in a completely digital manner and most likely from your mobile phone.
(Now if you’re an agent reading this, there’s a good chance you’re rolling your eyes and chuckling to yourself, maybe even muttering “like that will ever happen” – fair call, real estate is a messy transaction business – but checkout https://www.marketbuy.com.au/ – they’ve got the online buying and selling part down pat, how long before they expand that to cover every aspect of the transaction?)
If you’re a real estate agent, then a disruptor takes on a very different look. In fact for sometime, there has been ground swell in the industry from agents, pushing for the type of disruption that would see the two big portals fade into oblivion. Consistent price hikes, oppressive contract clauses and a general lack of “win-win” offerings being the main drivers of such feeling.
It’s fair to say then, a disruptor for agents would be something that unseats the portals from their respective thrones – essentially cutting out the middle man. Currently, the portals are the main conduit to buyers in the market and therefore a service that would remove the need for agents to depend on the portals would certainly cause disruption.
Does such a service exist?
Actually it does and here’s the delicious irony of it. MOST AGENTS are using it every single day, they just don’t realise the power it has.
(Now before you light torches and gather up the internet trolls, hear me out, yes I’m a Facebook marketer, but that doesn’t change the fact that Facebook can get you directly in front of your buyers and sellers without the need for a portal).
Let me be clear from the outset though, I’m not talking about marketing to your “Friends list” and, “boosting” your listings only forms a VERY small part of the equation. In fact boosting without understanding what a boost is designed to do, is one of the biggest mistakes agents make on Facebook, but more on that another day.
Allow me to demonstrate just one small facet of this monolithic marketing behemoth.
Look at the URL (web address) of this post, up the top of your browser – you should see the word “hogswash” in the web address of this post. Based on that word alone, you’re now going to get re-marketed to by me. In fact, because you’ve visited this page and read this blog, I’ll be able to re-market to you for the next 6 months even if you don’t engage with any other content I produce in that time. Everytime you do engage with new content though, that 6 months restarts. So long as I keep putting out content you engage with, I’ll be able to continue marketing to you.
Now, that all sounds a little bit scary, so lets apply it to your business and a listing.
You put up a new listing, with a video and a link to the property listing on YOUR website (make sure it’s your website and not one of the portals). Any buyer or seller who watches that video or clicks through to the link, now becomes part of your digital farm area and you can re-market to that person again and again and again until they stop watching your videos or clicking your links.
Just let that sink in for a moment: a buyer watches the video or goes to the site but that listing isn’t for them, instead of losing them to the ether, you can now make sure that every other similar property you have listed gets in front of that buyer and every other buyer who engages with the video or listing.
And there is not a portal in sight.
Here’s the kicker, that’s just one small part of the Facebook marketing engine.
I’m not going to claim it’s the Uber of real estate, but what I will tell you, is that it’s just the basics of Facebook FOR real estate and if you’re an agent, don’t you think it’s about time you learned how to use it?