WAV Group works with a number of different company types. We work with large brokerage and franchise organizations, technology firms, MLSs, and Associations of REALTORS. Our specialty is enterprise strategy and enterprise systems. For a long time now, we have seen our customer segments struggle with communications.
“Agents Don’t Read”
The chief complaint with communications in our industry is that agents don’t read. At WAV Group Communications we call that stinking thinking. Agents do read, but only things that they consider to be important to them. Most communications strategies are deployed through bulk email with open rates that rarely go beyond 50%. Either the quality of the communication is undervalued, or the communication channel that you are using is flawed.
One of the best strategies for reaching real estate agents today is through social media, or specifically Facebook. Agents spend hours a day on Facebook and now you can direct your communications directly to them and only them.
Did you know that you can pay to display Facebook messages directly to people if you have their email address?
When you have a message that is critical to communicate – be sure to use more paths than just sending a bunch of email. Direct Mail, Office Meetings, System Messages, Social Media messages, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and phone calls create a pretty comprehensive assault on every channel of communication to the agent.
B to B to C
Many brokerages and Associations of REALTORS have a deeper challenge. In marketing, it’s called Business to Business to Consumer. If a broker or an Association wants to reach the consumer, they can either go direct to consumer or go through the agent who has developed a trust relationship. A company called Reach Communications has been delivering B to B to C solutions for a long time now. http://www.reachcommunications.com/ – I have not spoken to Lois Landau in a long time, but I think that Alain Pinel and a number of other large firms use the solution. It creates a newsletter that is sent to the agents. In turn, the agents edit the newsletter or just hit the send button and it goes out to their customer database. Agents don’t share their customer database with their broker, so this solution fixes that problem.
Yesterday, Hootsuite launched a product called Hootsuite Amplify. If you have a communications manager, or hire a firm like WAV Group Communications you have probably heard of Hootsuite. It is one of the top solutions used by social media managers that hit a feature-functionality-value point that satisfies most strategies and budgets. Hootsuite Amplify is a mobile app that pushes communications out to agents who can in turn, relay those communications across their social media networks. Sound familiar? It’s like Reach Communications but for social media (Reach Communications does work on social too – but differently than Hootsuite). The big benefit with Hootsuite Amplify is that agents will not need to copy and paste!
We have learned that no matter how hard firms try, getting agents to like or share content is a fools labor. Coldwell Banker only has 178k followers, Weichert has 25k, Long and Foster has 21k, The NAR has 225k, California AOR has 30k. These numbers don’t eclipse the number of agents in their firm. Surely agents like the companies they work for, right? The California Association of REALTORS expo was last week and the social media buzz was barely a whisper – with most posts using the hashtag #carexpo hardly eclipsing 60 likes.
We need to do a much better job as an industry at communications. We need to build a tribe that works together. Perhaps in some small way, our industry advocacy initiatives will be better if we can drive some technology adoption. If we can leverage the collective voices of our REALTORS, 1.2 million strong, our industry would have enormous leverage. Even if a broker of 500 agents could string them all together, their collective voice would be overwhelming.
P.S. Sparkles Lund is 12 years old. She has more subscribers on Instagram and YouTube than just about any brand in real estate. Her friend Jordyn Jones is 14 and reaches an audience of over 1 million on both Instagram and YouTube. Does your brand reach that of a 12 year old today? A 14 year old? An important note here is that tomorrow’s consumer is not likely to use Facebook, but today’s consumer does.
Ever heard of Pozify? It is a social media network that spreads positivity. When I loaded the app last night, nobody in my social media networks has tried it. Perhaps our industry could adopt it. I think that we will all agree that we need some Positivity.