Inman Connect is not about answers (and that’s a good thing)
In this article, Inman Ambassador and RETI Contributor Brandon Doyle will give his recap and insights from the recent Inman Connect in New York aka ICNY.
If you attended Inman Connect in New York, subscribe to Inman News or even followed the ICNY hashtag, you know that this year’s conference was full of smart people talking about transactions, trends and technology.
And while several wrap-ups have already been published, with excellently captured takeaways that offer instructive guidance, I want to share what I was left with: questions.
Questions aren’t a bad thing. In fact, if you walked away from Inman Connect without asking questions, then you didn’t make full use of this event. As keynote speaker Dr. Kate Stone said, “Friction causes meaningful interactions.” Notice she didn’t put that the other way round.
Your ability to create meaningful interactions drives your success as a Realtor. So what technology and which trends can help you and I create them? What questions should we be asking ourselves?
1. What does your data tell you?
Industry insiders will tell you that the difference between advertising and marketing is measurement.
With all the tools we have to promote ourselves, our brands, our listings, how do you know that what you are doing is actually moving the needle? How do you know your marketing is working?
In order to measure your marketing effectively, you need to be able to attribute success to specific investments. Marketing attribution can be especially challenging for real estate agents because you’re using online tools to drive offline outcomes.
At ICNY, Google gave a great presentation on how important effective attribution is for real estate agents. Whether you’re tracking last click, multi-click, or whatever creating an attribution system and consistently measuring it is key to driving successful marketing campaigns. If you don’t know what worked and why, you’ll be lost when you try to make your marketing more effective.
Google also outlined the possibilities of their Beacon platform for real estate agents. Beacon’s aren’t new to real estate, but since Google is Google, it’s worth considering as a potential partner. With Google’s Beacon platform you can design location-based campaigns that can notify clients as they drive past a listing they should see, automatically deliver property data to people touring your homes, and much more.
Speaking of data, Andrew Sheh of Remine discussed breakthroughs in predictive analytics. Remine has made a big impression in a short amount of time. As you may know, NorthstarMLS will be rolling out Remine and I had the opportunity to beta test the product.
Predictive analytics is also nothing new. But, it’s come a long way. I’ve tried virtually every predictive analytics platform out there, so I’m fairly confident in assessing what works and what does.
I got the opportunity to preview Remine. I’ve also used competing products including Smart Zip, Revaluate, and First.
First clearly offers the best predictions. I really like the level of filtering that Remine offers and the integration with the MLS, but, for now, their predictions just don’t match up to First.
So a secondary question about data: is it worth what you pay?
Angela Rabb said that big data is too expensive right now for most agents, but that you can get 90% as accurate for free.
I’ve achieved similar results using just core tools provided by our MLS, and I often speak about leveraging data to win more listings.
The underlying message of all these platforms is that you have data already. It’s in your CRM. It’s in your contacts list. The question is: are you listening to what your data is telling you?
2. Do you speak visually?
One in every five mobile minutes is spent on Facebook or Instagram. And over 300 million people now use Instagram stories every day — news to me as a non-user. (That’s going to change.)
Meanwhile, Zillow shared a stat that 41% of buyers said a 3D tour was “important.” So if you aren’t using images to tell your story, you’re not even in the race.
The 3D space is getting busier by the day, with RealVision, Immoviewer, GeoCV, InsideMaps, iGuide, Vizor joining Matterport as viable options for agents. And you can check out http://real.vision and use promo code virtual247 to save some money on your next home tour.
The question isn’t whether you should use video. The question is how you will use video.
Raj Qsar of the The Boutique RE pointed out that putting photos into a slideshow is not the same as producing a video. He also said that his ROI on video is, as he put it, “ridiculous.”
I saw many eyebrows go up on that comment, but just keep in mind that he is from California and his average sales price is in the millions. He also has a team of professionals producing his videos.
You need a video strategy. That’s clear. But you also need to make sure you work within your means. Good execution on a low budget video can generate great results.
3. Have you met AIDA?
So much of the material at conferences is designed to teach real estate professionals to think like and act like marketers. And one of the classics of old school marketing is AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.
So how do you put AIDA into play for your real estate business? This might help:
ATTENTION: This is where you break through the noise of everyday life and grab the eyeballs of people who might not otherwise be looking for you or your offering. Tools include digital display ads, tv/radio spots, print advertising, PR, live events, paid social, organic social, and PPC.
INTEREST: This is where you educate and engage with your audience. Tools include your website, landing pages, blog content, offers Covert/Capture – CRM
DESIRE: This is where you create a message that has your prospect positive that you or your listing is exactly what she needs. Tools for this include nurture tactics, including email, remarketing, direct mail, social media, blog content, newsletters, and incentives.
ACTION/ATTRIBUTION: After you break through, create interest and foster a decision, sometimes you have to tell people what to do. Using calls to action and measurable marketing, you can see where your dollars are going — and what’s working. Tools to help you learn and optimize include your database, Google Analytics, social media management, and Google Tag Manager.
In closing, I want to say that Inman Connect is one of my favorite events of the year to attend for one reason: the audience.
There is a sense of comradery amongst like-minded individuals whom are willing to openly share their ideas. While I’ll admit that there wasn’t anything new presented on stage that I had not seen elsewhere, the overarching themes mirrored what we’re doing currently as a team, and I found others that had the same struggles.
I am grateful that the staff at Inman News are willing to seek out differing viewpoints and have given the attendees a voice. As a frequent attendee, I feel that the leadership does a great job listening to the audience. On to San Francisco!