This page is intended
to raise the awareness on some online marketing issues that have
been constantly denied merits due to SOPs that have been un place
for way too long, and for only one reason: somehow, new authors
to rewrite new ones are hard to come by.
So, as a starting point, I am making available here some notes
and suggestion to be distilled by anyone who is interested in
repositioning their presence in digital "territories", whether
in New York City or internationally.
T O P
B R O K E R S
N E W Y O R K
A DIGITAL PROPERTY FROM PADRONIUS PORTFOLIO
We all know that
You also know that
I don't know if anyone would like to correct me here but, I am pretty sure that
we could safely classify as a phenomenon the timeframe where there would be, say,
25,000 active listings screaming on the market for buyers.
In order to bring a deal to a close and collect commissions
for it (that is, to sell the property and take the listing off the market), the
deal needs (at least) two agents: one to represents the seller, and the other one,
the buyer (unless the listing is a FSBO -
a growing niche you may want to pay attention to because it's also a good source
of business). In many cases, one broker represents BOTH the buyer and the seller.
Which makes my point written in italics, literally.
If each agent is working only one listing, under a concept
by which all listings would be "distributed" equally among agents, there are never
enough units to keep everyone busy.
So, I keep wondering: What, exactly, are the other agents
Yes, new listings always come on the market. Still, the real
estate market does not operate on a "next (agent) in line, please" model. So,
there's no rule that says that a new listing will go to an agent who hasn't had too
much luck in a while. Plus, those who "count" on their "exclusives" need to
think again because, really, there are no listings set aside for anyone. (If you
haven't heard of the Premier Agent program from Z, you
may want to look into that and see how it helps with this scenario).
As a general rule, and depending on circumstances at large, i.e. specific market
conditions, agents' SOIs, their past performance (and current reputation), their
advertising budget and/or understanding of how that even works, and (yes) LUCK too,
the listing distribution is coordinated, pretty much, by a rule of nature called the
"Russian Roulette". Really, there is no full-proof scientific formula on
how to get listings all the time (like, say, how the
banks know how, and when, to send out the bills).
Still, however you slice it, the reality (and this is also
common knowledge) is that, reported to the overall number of active licensed real
estate agents, the number of those who are "always" busy is actually so small,
I don't even want to get into.
What does all this mean, anyway?
Well, it means that, if you are an agent and reading this instead of, say,
attending a closing meeting right now, you should be asking yourself this
question: What do I do, in a systematic and sustainable way so, I too,
will be one of the "always very busy" agents? That is, not just now, but
from now on, and on, and on... I say, how about you start by repositioning
your presence in the digital market and by "realigning" the way you do business
with the path ahead?
Today, your clients (renters, buyers, investors) are extremely experienced market
players with lower tolerances toward what is perceived as high broker fees. As they
now have unlimited access to resources that help them to understand both the "mechanics"
and the legalities of the real estate market, they also have an increased tendency (not
to mention the financial incentive) to deal directly with landlords, owners and sellers
- and, they're getting pretty good at it, too.
If you are a broker, I am sure you can't remember one single open house or private showing
where the client did not ask if your commission was negotiable. They now know that your
commission is negotiable and, if they don't hear what they want, many walk away
because they also know that another agent will be willing to drop their cut; sometimes to
as low as 2%. In fact, and I know this from personal experience, many agents actually
volunteer to drop their fee in order to get your signature. On the other side of the table,
more and more property owners, sellers and property management companies are also shifting
their rental practices by no longer paying broker fees since they are already processing
an increasing volume of their own inventory, anyway.
I also know that, as I write this, there are a number of "disrupting" players that have
already been working hard to "change the optics" of the standard operating procedures of
the the real estate industry. My guess is that, in the next few years, their effors will
put in place business models and technological platforms on which real estate operations
will reseamble an Expedia/E*Trade-hybrid model. NO, to the
disappointment of those who would like to think so, the industry will
not be reduced to an app! But, the new listing battle will
take place on advertising landscapes which will shift their focus from agent-centric listings
to "straight-from-the-shelf" listings where "Exclusive Listings" will be a thing of the
past, and commissions will be replaced by per transaction flat-fee payments.
The good news is that there will aslo be specialised services that will offer dedicated
ad products for brokers, So, and if I still need to say it, if you are a broker, right
about now, would be a good time for you to do something about rebranding/repositioning
yourself in the market place. To start with, there are about nine "items" (that I can
think about right now) and you should be doing.
If you are a real estate broker or agent
and feel the urge to comment on any of the points I made here, or would like to add
your own view on this, please feel free to write me.
If you do, and as a token of gratidude for contributing to this content, I will
create, host publish (indefinitely) and promote your broker's profile (a stand
alone page) on Top Brokers New York, free of charge. That is, along with your
comments on what you think that the future has in store for this industry.
version of my professional story is that I spent more than thirty years in
the publishing, advertising and the digital media industries. During this
time, and in addition to working for a handfull of newspapers and magazines,
I also helped to start a few new businesses and to launch many new products.
Among them were a digital ad service, several international beauty / cosmetics
/ pharmaceuticals laboratories and, more recently, a fashion magazine, here
in New York City.
§ § §
My work in real estate-related operations began in 2003 and was triggered by
one single interest: the industry's listing management systems and its advertising
platforms. Following that, for five years, I managed a successful FSBO
(For Sale By Owner) online advertising service which I created and was part of
a larger business that I built from scratch, fully financed, and managed for eleven years.
In terms of working in the actual real estate industry, in 2016 I joined two of
NYC's largest brokerage houses where, for two years I supported the operations
of some of their associate brokers and their teams as an Executive Assistant,
Director of Operations, Transaction Coordinator and Digital Marketing Manager
for their international residential, commercial and luxury investment portfolios.
This is where I was involved directly, and heavily, with brokerage directors,
associated brokers, referral brokers, buyers, seller, investors, attorneys, inhouse
and external agents, property management companies, building owners, architects as
well as with many external contractors, vendors and industry-supporting services.
Being a licensed real estate professional and having processed every single piece
of documentation involved in transactions of millions of dollars of real property,
placed me in the fortunate position to understand the inner works of the trade as
it applies in particular to New York City.
As a side effect, and since before that I have worked a lifetime developing
publishing platforms and managing a wide spectrum of business operations, it was
very hard to not observe the limitations of the "house" and industry's at large
technical platforms, advertising systems, as well elevated degrees of
highly-customized procedural rigidity and resistance to applying best marketing
practices. Yes, the point to this is that I believe that
the current advertising platforms and practices available to the agents who work
so hard at being the best at what they love doing, are not exactly in sync with
Battery Park City
Lower East Side
Midtown South Central
Stuyvesant Town / Peter Cooper Village
Theater District / Times Square
Upper East Side
Upper West Side
|YOU ARE ONLINE. WHO KNOWS ABOUT YOU?
we do put a lot of work and resources in marketing
this service. And yours. The very fact that, right
now, you are here, proves it.
FINE PRINT. Well, not so fine, actually, because I want
to make sure you see it. This is the part where I wrap my
writing in a sarcastic tone and the message goes like this:
if you are one of those brokers who still sends out thousands
of building mailings every month, then this page is beyond you;
you won't get it. Believe me I know the mind set. So, you might
as well go see if your printer run out of paper.
This is the part where I am not being sarcastic and which I wrote
after having spoken with many brokers who were open to changing
the way they have been doing business online. Specifically, they
decided to no longer assume that their agency "marketing" templates,
along with the industry's-specific listing platforms, were suffice
in order to create web exposures for their businesses. "Exposure"
and "Representation" are two tricky words in real estate. Mainly
because their definitions keep changing depending on who you ask,
and the listing scenario you are discussing... We are not here to
discuss the latter. As for exposure, that is not good enough
when it's just exposure while you have to compete with 30,000
other agents in your own city at any given time. To get anywhere,
your listing needs enhanced exposure.
So, if you are serious about creating a meaningful digital footprint
for your business, please take a minute to digest the ideas I laid
out below. Also, do speak with ad agencies. Better yet, if somehow,
someone who does, or used to work for an ad agency comes your way,
get'em. Invite them to be part of your team. If you can't
afford to hire them on a salary, ask if they would assist you on
contract bases (no, these people do not work for $13/hr; those who
do, won't get you anywhere). And, if you think you that $1,000 a
month is what you should be paying them, then I know you haven't
read the fine print above. The ones I am talking about here
are the professionals who will teach you things about digital marketing
you don't know yet that exist. Work with those who know how tp help
you to get the listings and find the buyers for them before your
"competition" does. Why, because your toughest "competition" is doing
just that while you are reading this.
[ "THEM" = BUYERS/SELLERS ]
(AND EXPECT BUYERS TO CALL YOU)
- JUST SO YOU HAVE "STUFF" THERE -
(at best, they will make you look bad...)
(TAXI, reSOURCE, Pilot, StreetEasy.com, Yardi,
PropertyShark.com, Compstak.com, LoopNet.com, CoStar.com, BuyBizSell.com,
IN FACT, THEY ARE THERE
||. . .