Digital Marketing – multichannel estate agents crisis. Future trends marketing keynote

Now for my wife and I when we were
looking around, well we thought, we’re empty… we could
live anywhere, that doesn’t help an estate agent of course. Because to which estate agent do we talk? Which town do we drive to? We had not a clue. So we narrowed it down to a geographic area with a circumference of 150 kilometres. You see, I’m virtual: I can work anywhere. So can my wife. So long as I’m within a
hundred kilometers a big airport hub I’m fine. And then we realised there is more than one. So we then drew in a couple more big circles. So what do we do? Well actually it was quite difficult but
was pointless to talk to an estate agent. So we started to search online. And, the funny thing is, from time to time we came across something really nice. We thought ‘Ooh wouldn’t it be nice to live on the
edge of the River Thames?’ Well that’s no good for an estate agent either: have you seen the River Thames? It goes like this.. So, we’re now searching through a slice: we’re only interested in properties that are 50 metres from the surface of the river. How many estate agents would that be? How many towns, cities, goodness knows what. So then we’re now floating down the river
virtually, using of course, Google. Because we’re looking at the satellite
maps we’re able to inspect any property we
see. We’re looking from the satellite view. We’ve got the same view as if we were flying by helicopter right over that property. We can see who’s next and the
things they’ve left out of the photograph. We can see exactly where that railway
bridge goes, and how close that factory actually is.
You can’t see from the photograph, we can see there. Then we came down from the
helicopter, we got out of the helicopter virtually, and we started to drive up and down the road,
looking to the left and looking to the right using Google Street View. Actually we
we decided to drive past a few of these houses. We hadn’t actually contacted an estate agent yet,
nor had we bothered to make an appointment. Life’s too short to make appointments right? Remember, you know you lose 60% of your business in 20 seconds. So we just drove past and we looked to the left and to the right using street view and we got in the car and we actually drove, drove drove. You know now what? We drove twenty miles along the edge of the Thames looking at the backs and the fronts of these houses that we’d seen from satellite
looking past- ‘Oh yeah that’s the one that was on the market’. We got out, had a look. There was hardly a
single thing that we learnt about any property through actually, physically going to stake it out. Now I’m not saying that we are necessarily going to do any property
transaction independent of an estate agent here because we also landed up having a
lot of phone conversations. But one thing we’ve never done is gone in to
see and estate agent because life’s too short. And why would I bother
to have the phone call with the estate agent? I don’t need to ask about the average
value of the property or what’s happening in the property market because every transaction that has happened
in that entire neighborhood is captured by computer and represented graphically. I can cut and
slice it in any possible way you want. I don’t have to ask what the neighborhoods
like or what the crime rates are there because I’ve got a map for that too. I
don’t have to ask what people think about the neighborhood
because the social networks do that for me as well. So you have to begin to think what is it
that I actually want an estate agent to do? And you know what I’m scratching my head here. But I
do want an estate agent to help me before actually make a really big
mistake. I do actually want the assurance of a human
being that has been living and eating and breathing property. in that
area for the last 25 years. Who remembers that property: he bought and
sold it 5 years ago, 10 years ago and 15 years ago and is up on the market again. He knows what the extension is. He knows the other bits they’ve done to it and
and he also knows what’s happening to the property’s next door. He knows about the new housing estate
that’s being planned and he knows what’s happening to the reservoir at the end of
the road. This guy knows absolutely everything that
there is to know about that local community. Yes. And I would want that reassurance. So
I’m not saying there isn’t that personal thing, I’m just saying the
role needs rethinking about. My question to you for the next three days
is: I’m describing history: I’m describing
what we did last month. But if we’re going to take a 10-year
view, if you’re gonna think about a 30 year old
who is going to buy a first property, who is now 20 years
old. What will they be doing? Using mobile enabled technology. What will Google be doing in your industry? What will other organisations be doing virtually and what will the gap be and how can you fill it? And how can you get yourself
positioned there correctly. What will the role -by the way one of the
most important things for me- is this: it’s fantastic to be able to see on any property that is on the market,
the floor plan. Because the moment you see the floor
plan, the moment I know I don’t need to go around it. I can see straight away. The floor plan and the photographs -and by
the way enough of them. You can never have enough photographs. 100 photographs is not enough for a
property. Video is best, so easy to do. Just to go and almost attach the video to your head and walk around it, just like a property owner might or someone buying it would. Video has
astonishing power to sell houses and is hardly used at all for reasons I cannot, for the life of me, understand.
Since it costs nothing to do you can make it in a few seconds using
an iPhone, you can bung it up on Youtube, so it costs you nothing whatsoever to
host it. And it takes 3 or 4 seconds to embed it into your website. During the night- because I’m time reversed- I’m on UK time- during the night I uploaded 10- 25 video clips each which was less than 3 minutes
long to YouTube: it costs me nothing. I was embedding those video clips all over the place. It’s not just low-cost it’s zero cost and it’s unbelievably useful. It is often
said that one picture is worth a thousand words. If
that’s the case then a 60-second video clip is surely worth a
million. You can get things across you can never do any
other way. Anyway, the point I’m making is that I think we are only in the very first
seconds of understanding how digital tools can be used to effectively market property. And then there’s the social networking angle. See, I don’t know if you’ve used TripAdvisor. Put your hands up if you’ve been on the TripAdvisor site. Okay- interesting. Now I want you to imagine that you, now this wouldn’t be coming here to
Fiji of course, it might be you’ve just typed the name of the hotel where you’ve been booked to go to a conference, and up comes
two links. The first two are on Google- in fact the
only ones you can find are on Google. You can’t find the hotel any more because the
hotel’s disappeared. Why’s that? Because Google’s policy is to
wipe out corporate sides so they have to kick
back and buy advertising. So they knock them out of the listings
and there’s another reason too: that Google actually thinks that social networks carry more authority than marketing
directors. So here are the first two links you have. The first says that the hotel you’ve selected is the most wonderful hotel in the world,
it was the ideal honeymoon, and there had wonderful staff and the
rest. The second listing talks about rats running around the
bedroom, the fact that your wife nearly died of food poisoning and the hotel stank and the toilets were
blocked. Now. On the right hand side of the
listings was, of course, the official advertisement from the marketing
department of the hotel. So you have one click- one first click-
which one are you going to go to first? Put your hands up if you gonna go first
to the story about the honeymoon? Well there’s usually one. Noone. Put your hands up first if you’re going to go first to the
cockroaches, rats, and the food poisoning. Okay. Put your hands up first if you’re going to go first to the official marketing department? Well, okay. Now here’s a strange thing: Who wrote the story about the honeymoon
suite? The other marketing director, that’s true. Actually it wasn’t him because he would have got found out by TripAdvisor. So he he rang his cousin
and got his cousin’s girlfriend to do it for him and slipped him a 10 dollar bill. So who
wrote the story about the rats, cockroaches, and the food
poisoning? Their competitors. Now of course, you knew that. I knew it too, and yet every single time I will plonk for the story about the
rats and the food poisoning. Why? Because the future’s not about
rational logic: the future’s about emotion. And even though I know I’m crazy to even
believe a single word up there, I’ll go for the emotional story every
single time. The one about disaster strikes me as
more emotional than the one about the happy experience. So we live in a strange world, where,
actually, this is a problem that TripAdvisor has, but not too great a problem, because most
people in the world, just like you, will trust the opinion a perfect
stranger more than they will someone from the
company itself. Why does that matter to us? Well when it comes to selling property most people in the world will trust the opinion of a perfect stranger about that property or the neighborhood more than an estate agent. Hello? You’ve just told me that. What you’ve told
me is that nobody trusts official sites anymore. What you’ve told me is actually, I’m exaggerating to make the
point. It’s hardly worth putting up the
official particulars of the house. If a neighbour was doing, it you’d believe
them every time. But if the estate is doing it, you can
expect it to be a distorted piece of selling hype. That’s what you told me. Because that’s
what your attitude is towards the Hilton, or any other hotel chain in the
world. That’s what your attitude is to a pharmaceutical company that’s trying to
defend its products from criticism in the media. You’ll believe the opinion of a stranger
probably as I will, more than the marketing director or the
CEO or the chairman of the company. What it means for us is one thing’s for sure: The future of selling property is going to
be a community experience and the people who are most successful
in doing it will not only know their communities like you do inside out, but will be able to represent that
community conversation as part of the selling experience in an online world.

1 thought on “Digital Marketing – multichannel estate agents crisis. Future trends marketing keynote

  1. Looking forward to your comments on these important issues. And thanks to others too for your comments on my others videos which many tens of thousands will read with interest over the next months…. Do share your insights and thoughts – and remember to tell us which country you live in…. I read every comment and reply where I can…

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