Why Self-Guided Marketing Equals FSBO for Realtors

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real estate marketing

For three years running, the real estate industry has outspent the auto industry in online advertising, investing more than 4x the amount spent on traditional media. While this is a boon for paid search agencies and platforms, it has not been a win for realtors. Why?

One reason, ironically, comes down to the real estate mantra, “Location, location, location.” Realtors are throwing their money into shotgun advertising in an industry where they can actually target their marketing dollars with more precision than ever before. Why blast a Facebook ad about a property two blocks away to 3,000 ‘friends’ around the globe? Targeting the people actually looking in your neighborhood, then—even more importantly—tracking where they go when they leave and remarketing to them will yield far better results.

Equally ironic, while these same real estate professionals quietly chastise FSBO homeowners who try to sell their property without a professional, they believe they are fully capable of wrestling the online marketing beast based on a few articles and videos pulled from the Internet. As with the FSBO, you might get a lucky break, but more likely you will waste valuable time and dollars going it alone.

The first step in a successful digital marketing campaign, as with ANY marketing plan, is to create a thoroughly researched, detailed, well-planned strategy. Simply splattering ads all over Facebook, Google, and the latest platform that gave you $100 ‘free’ will yield what you have sown: a smattering of success. If this is your ‘strategy,’ prepare to reap bogus leads, unintelligible stats and meaningless results.

When you DO choose to put your marketing dollars into the hands of a professional agency, begin with the same advice you would give an interested buyer—conduct a thorough inspection. Do not be fooled by the ‘curb appeal’ facade of off-the-chart impressions and smoke-and-mirror acronyms like CRs, CTRs, CPMs, and CPCs. Choose a marketing partner who brings to the table the very same qualities needed in a good realtor—experience, references, knowledge of the industry, timely response, and genuine customer care.

Caitlin Schlichting is the co-founder and CEO of Digital Fire, an online marketing company, and is also a teacher and trainer on the subjects of digital marketing.

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