Our Marketing “Secret Weapon” For Realtors…That Your Competition Cannot Copy
This may sound counterintuitive....
But stick with me here.
Read all the way until the end of this article, and it might just be the biggest "lightbulb moment" you've ever had in your real estate business.
I’m going to share our #1 marketing secret weapon that makes our agents so successful.
It has to do with “scaling” your ads.
Or, to be more specific, why I believe the best Facebook ads, Youtube ads, video campaigns, and other leadgen strategies are not scalable.
In fact, to the extent that well-known marketing companies like Curaytor or Boomtown try to make their product “scalable,” they get mediocre results. Same with Zillow.
Remember, you pay their bills. Their efficiency is your inefficiency.
By the end of this article, you’ll know what I mean.
If you’re an ambitious real estate agent, I’m going to reveal a new way of thinking about marketing strategy.
It’s such a bulletproof strategy that I’m willing to publish it here, and I’m not worried that the competition will rip it off…..because they can’t.
The sad reality is that I talk to agents every month who have spent tens of thousands of dollars on various marketing programs that overpromised and underdelivered.
I talked with a frustrated agent just last week from Connecticut who joined the premium-priced Curaytor Marketer program (it’s over $2500/month)....and didn't receive a single lead who actually bought a house. Not one!
And they spent over $20,000 on the marketing fees.
Many agents get locked into annual contracts that are impossible to get out of! I've heard many horrors stories of real estate agents who literally cancelled their credit cards to get out of advertising contracts that refused to let them cancel. That's insane.
And I'm not just talking about Zillow.
Most agents seem to have a love/hate relationship with Zillow, but let's consider actual marketing programs that promise agents to help them grow their business by generating more leads, managing their ads, etc.
Why do these marketing programs regularly fail?
I'm talking everything from Boomtown to Curaytor to CINC.
There are many more companies that more or less do the same thing (Ylopo, RealGeeks, KvCore, etc).
They all have the same basic business model: they rent you an IDX website and charge you for leads.
How could these marketing companies so often deliver such mediocre results (or no results at all)? Many of them have millions of dollars per month in revenue. They have tens of thousands of agents as paying customers. These are not small companies. For example, Curaytor is one of the "newest" marketing companies for realtors, and they've already achieved $15 million a year in revenue!
These are successful, profitable companies, and yet if you read reviews of many of their customers (real estate agents like you), they are not happy with the results.
Why is there such a disconnect?
I'm going to make a very bold claim here that may surprise you, but by the end of this essay I think you'll actually agree with me.
Okay, here it goes: for all the talk about "scaling" your business, thinking like a CEO, and other metaphors that attempt to motivate local real estate agents to think about themselves as a larger business than they are, the biggest problem with most agents’ marketing plans is that they’re scalable.
Good marketing should be creative. And creativity doesn't scale!
If your marketing is scalable, it's probably generic.
The biggest problem with Curaytor, Boomtown, CommissionsInc, Ylopo, and other real estate marketing companies is that they’re built to scale. These companies are not solo entrepreneurs like you. They are not local small businesses. They are typically managed by ownership/investors who want to see growth.
For example, Boomtown raised over $20 million dollars from outside investors. Those investors want to see growth (ie more realtors signing up for Boomtown marketing services). They’re more concerned with quantity of users than quality of results. They want growth. This is not the same thing as saying they want all their customers to get amazing results.
The same is true of Zillow.
They have to keep their investors happy, even when it sometimes means screwing over agents with poor service and questionable results.
But I don’t want this article to get too negative….bashing other companies isn’t “insight.”
I’m sure all of the marketing companies I mentioned are managed by good people with good intentions.
But the problem is their business model.
When the goal is to have as many agents as possible paying you for your marketing services, your marketing services by definition must be as generic as possible.
There is no way around this.
The ad campaigns and websites they setup for you can be easily copied and pasted for other agents. All they need to change is the logo and your photo. It's generic.
That's a good thing for them.....but not for you.
Real estate is an inherently local business.
That means you don’t really need to worry about other agents in other cities or states as “competition.” But you do have to worry about local competition.
You don’t want to be running the same cookie cutter lead generation campaigns as other agents in your community. To the extent that your marketing is generic, it won’t work!
If your Facebook ads look the same as other agents, you’re wasting your money.
You can’t build a brand by being the same as everyone else.
This is marketing 101.
Most of these companies aren’t really marketing companies as much as they are software companies. But by positioning themselves as marketing agencies, they’re able to trick agents into thinking their product will automatically grow their business.
However, if your “marketing” plan is just an IDX website and a CRM, it’s no different than paying for digital office space. Your office is not a marketing plan.
And that’s why the business model of Curaytor, CINC, Boomtown etc is so problematic.
Their goal isn’t aligned with your goal.
You want your marketing to be as creative and non-generic as possible. The entire point is to stand out from all the other agents in your community! Obviously, you can’t do that with generic “copy and paste” Facebook ads or Google PPC campaigns. You need to be different!
Excuse my language here, but that’s the entire damn point of marketing.
Do you think Coke would work with the same advertising agency as Pepsi if it meant their ads were identical…the only difference being that the logo at the end of the commercial was different? Of course not. That would be extremely stupid.
So.....why would you accept that same compromise?
When you sign up for a generic marketing contract with a company like Boomtown, Curaytor, etc (I won’t list all of the companies again because you already know their names and they all pretty much do the same thing), you are essentially signing a contract that says I agree to pay you every month to run the same ads as my competitors.
That’s a really great deal for the marketing company, but not for you.
This allows them to sign up tens of thousands of agents around the country, because they can just copy and paste
the same generic websites and campaigns for each agent. But that’s not what’s in the best interest
of the agent. The incentives don’t align! Your marketing should make you stand out, not blend in.
The best marketing doesn’t scale.
The best marketing is creative.
Notice that if other agents started ripping off their ideas, it simply wouldn’t work! The videos are inherently creative enough that they cannot be easily copied. If another agent in their community tried to steal their idea, that agent would look like a fraud.
No one wants to work with a generic knock-off agent. People want to work with the recognized expert. You can’t copy your way to success in a reputation business like real estate.
Your local brand is your business.
You can’t “copy and paste” a brand.
If it's that easy to setup and copy your marketing campaigns, you should ask yourself if they're really that creative in the first place.
As a real estate agent, if you want quality results from your marketing, you need quality marketing. Not quantity.
Our Marketing Secret Weapon
We manage the digital marketing and leadgen for lots of real estate agents around the country. But not nearly as many agents as other larger marketing companies.
And herein lies our hidden advantage.
This is our SECRET WEAPON...
It's the most important part of the Platform marketing model: we only work with one agent per market.
Our clients are granted guaranteed exclusivity.
We will not work any other realtor within ten miles of your office!
This eliminates any conflicts of interest.
By offering this unique market exclusivity, it hurts us, but it helps YOU. Obviously, we'd love to be able to sign up as many clients as possible. We’d make more money and be a larger company. But in the long run, this hurts our clients! Their marketing campaigns won't work as well if every other agent in their town is running the same damn ads (like it is with other companies like Boomtown, Curaytor, etc)!
So we've made a philosophical stand: we only work with ONE realtor per market.
We’d rather be a great company than a big company.
This "quality over quantity" approach allows us to invest more time and resources into each of our individual clients. We want you to be the most prosperous and respected real estate agent in your town.
Because of this, we are much smaller than most other marketing companies that work with realtors.
We don’t have thousands or tens of thousands of agents using our marketing strategy.
We only have about 130 clients around the country.
This allows us to give much more personal attention to our agents’ marketing campaigns. We custom design
their ads based on their local market.
Here’s an example of an ad we wrote for an agent in Hondo, Texas.
Notice that it’s not a bunch of generic stock footage. It’s customized just for her and her local community. No other agent in her area can copy this strategy, because it would be obvious that they’re ripping her off!
This is the kind of epic marketing that will position you not as “an” expert, but THE expert in your community.
When combined with precision lead generation ads that get warm buyers and sellers to visit your website, this kind of inspirational branding sets you apart from other agents in your market.
Repeat after me: anyone can buy Facebook ads, Google PPC ads, or leads from Zillow. It’s not that hard. All you need is a credit card.
The real magic is when you combine advanced lead generation strategies with community branding campaigns (we’ll usually run these as “retargeting” ads).
You can’t have one without the other.
That’s our secret marketing recipe, and we have no problem giving away the “secret” because of our business model….we only work with 1 agent per market.
Agents who work with us never have to worry about their competition copying them, because we give them guaranteed exclusivity.
And we don’t just give them one zip code, we give them their entire market area (even if it’s hundreds of thousands of people).
By focusing on both lead generation and epic branding, our clients experience a 1+1=3 effect.
Their GCI grows far faster than it would just buying a bunch of Zillow leads (or signing up for an IDX website).
You can’t buy a brand like you buy leads.
You can only build a brand.
But here’s what we’ve learned….
Eventually you'll have a local brand so powerful that the brand itself starts to generate inbound leads! This means
more referrals, warmer appointments, and more closings with less time spent following up with cold “online
Needless to say, it's a win-win.
Our clients get better results than they did with other marketing companies, so they refer us more business!
When agents join the Platform Family, they stay with us for years!
It really is our "secret weapon."