Three Ways to Apply a Modern Mindset to Real Estate Marketing

There are many ways to market your real estate business, but a modern approach really boils down to three basic principles, explains marketing expert Sepy Bazzazi
Sepy Bazzazi
November 14, 2016

“Characterized by or using the most up-to date techniques, ideas, or equipment.”

I wanted to start by highlighting the Oxford Dictionary’s above definition of the word “modern” so we are on the same page as you continue reading.

I promise not to bore you with a bunch of technical jargon and marketing to-do lists. Instead, we’ll focus on some core principles associated with what I call the “Modern Mindset” in real estate marketing. Principles that will shift the way you see your real estate brand’s marketing strategy, overall.

If this were an article about the modern food mindset, I’d likely be preaching healthy eating and a scientifically proven, balanced diet, rich with all the nutrients that a human needs to thrive. I would not be explaining “Six fun ways to eat kale.” The truth is, 10 years ago nobody knew kale was such a healthy ingredient or why – some people still don’t know today.

Many REALTORS® know the importance of the modern marketing mindset already (especially those who read our real estate marketing blog.) Others think it’s important but don’t know why, and some agents plain don’t know about the possibilities of modern marketing.

No matter which of those three categories you fall into, I ask you the same questions: If marketing is the food that fuels your real estate business, what does your brand’s “diet” look like? Has that diet changed in the last 10 years? #eatmorekale

Measure Everything

The first step you can take towards the modern marketing mindset is to understand that you can measure everything. There are detailed analytics regarding your online marketing available at your fingertips – and it’s practically updated in real time.

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure” – Peter Drucker

If you’re not sure how many people have seen your new listing on your real estate website, how can you know if you’re doing a better or worse job of promoting it next time? “The number of days in which it sells...” is some indication, yes, but pairing that with real numbers can help you quantify and improve your marketing efforts. For example:

In December: You sell a listing in 21 days, and spent $500 in Facebook Ads on sending traffic to that listing on your website. You earned 350 visitors on your listing in those 21 days. So you spent roughly $1.43 to get each person there.

In January: You sell a listing in 17 days, and spent another $500 in Facebook Ads. You earned 618 visitors on your listing this time. You earned more hits and sold the property in a shorter time with the same amount of budget. You did this by tweaking your Facebook Ad text and imagery, so you spent roughly $0.81 to get each visitor to your listing.

In February: You sell a listing in 12 days. You spent $800 in Facebook Ads this time and earned 635 visitors to your listing. You kept the same text and imagery strategy (same audience, same style of photo, same voice, same call to action, etc) as in January, and since it worked out so well last month you increased your budget.

That’s is obviously a very crude and simplified example. It often takes much longer than 3 months to achieve results you’re proud of, so don’t take the above as some formula because it’s not. It’s just to give you an idea of what measuring and improving upon your marketing efforts can look like in 2016, and how relatively easy and economical it can be.

Create Great Content

The next principle associated with the modern marketing mindset is to always be creating online content. Content, content, content. You may be tired of hearing it, but don’t let it’s annoying buzzwordy veneer hide the colossal importance of content to your real estate brand. Your listings aren’t just real estate anymore, they are sources of content. Same for the valuable real estate info and experience in your mind – it’s all just content waiting to appear in written or media format.

Content attracts people to your online presence. Whether through social media, email or your website, content creates awareness and attention for your brand. Well not just content, but great content! You need to stand out to matter. What makes your listing photos better? What would it take for me to share your Facebook post? Why are your videos special? How are your blog articles relevant to your desired readers? Basically, why should anybody care what you have to say?

To write in your REALTOR® blog is one thing. To write in it regularly is an even better thing, but to create a piece that your prospects find useful enough trade contact info for... useful enough to thank you for on social media or to simply want to spend five to 10 minutes on… that’s when you’re marketing with a modern mindset.

The reason to create content is not solely to attract potential clients to your online presence today. It’s also a leg of your overall brand strategy – the bit that says We are still going to be relevant in 2026.” A modern marketer never forgets that their future clients are the youth of today (AKA Millennials), and they are speaking a whole different language than everybody else. It’s best if we try to keep up now, because a complete overhaul in a few years could be too little, too late…

Listen to Your Customers

The third, and most important principle associated with the modern marketing mindset directly concerns your customers. Remember the old adage, “The customer is always right”? That phrase was coined in 1909 by Harry Selfridge, proprietor of the Selfridge Department store in London. It’s been 107 years since then, and the quote deserves a little bit of an update. “Characterized by or using the most up-to date techniques, ideas, or equipment” is not just the definition of modern, it’s the way you should describe your customer experience.

The customer is not always right or wrong, the customer is the customer. The only thing that the customer shouldalways be is treated with respect and appreciation.

Consumers in the modern internet age have become accustomed to dealing with businesses that show them love and put them first. From real estate agents to restaurants, people don’t have to put up with less than satisfactory anymore. If you don’t wish to treat them with respect, they will go to your competitor and they will leave you a 1-star review online - and for the record, pretending that somebody is always right is not genuinely respectful.

But how can you modernize your customer experience if you don’t really understand it? How can you show your buyers and sellers how much you respect and appreciate them if you don’t even know how they are interacting with your real estate business online?

Use in-person interviews, phone interviews, online surveys, social media polls, and whatever other tools or tricks at your disposal to collect information and feedback from your actual customers. These people are your greatest source of learning. Connect with your customers and turn them into your friends.

These days, marketing has very much been distilled into relationship management and value delivery. Sure, there are tons of online tools that can help (and complicate) things. But all the modern marketing mindset really comes down to is:

  1. Listen to your customers;
  2. Create things they want and need; and
  3. Measure and improve your efforts.

I could go into detail for hours about ways to survey your customers, or types of blog articles to write, or how to install Google Analytics into your site. But remember, this article is about healthy eating in general - not kale preparation ;)

Thanks for reading, ninjas! If you’re looking for a bit more advanced modern marketing training, download our free ebook: The Modern REALTOR Marketing Survival Guide - Part 2 out now!

Sepy Bazzazi
Sepy Bazzazi is head of marketing at Vancouver-based real estate website SaaS company, RealtyNinja. Sepy is a homeowner who has worked in digital marketing for seven years and collaborated with hundreds of unique REALTORS® across Canada. He is passionate about content marketing and is the primary writer for RealtyNinja's blog, The Dojo.