Guest Blog by Michael Beckerman
One of the most profound trends I have seen in a very long time is happening in the commercial real estate tech sector. And it’s not what you would think. Most people would assume I am referring to some big tech innovation, massive disruption, etc. But actually... it’s none of that.
I’m talking about marketing!
As someone who has been in the real estate marketing field for almost 30 years, I have witnessed countless trends in the industry. Most of the really important marketing innovations typically came from the largest companies or the ones with the largest budgets. Whether it was the massive, glossy brochures they created, splashy parties, glitzy websites or the push into video… most of the marketing innovation was top down.
Today, real estate tech companies have completely turned this phenomenon on its head. The smallest companies, those that are just coming out of the gate with the least amount of money to spend, are actually the ones driving innovation in the real estate marketing sector.
Here are a couple of observations and thoughts on this trend:
1) A large budget is no longer required for really effective marketing. The tactics that are working today are either free or require very little investment. I am talking about blogging, social media, content marketing, etc…These are all the best ways to build a brand, engage customers and generate sales. And NO ONE, is doing this better than the real estate tech sector.
2) DIY. Almost all of the companies that are kicking ass in tech marketing are essentially doing it themselves. Sure there are great PR firms and marketing agencies that add a great deal of value, but almost all of the content marketing and social media is being done internally by the companies themselves. Additionally, a lot of this great content is actually coming from professionals within these companies. This is an amazing development since it has historically been like pulling teeth to get professionals to write for themselves in the past.
3) It’s all unique. Typically a clever ad, great brochure or an awesome website was rather generic. You could slap any company logo on it and it wouldn’t change things. Now, every bit of content I see out there is, for the most part, incredibly unique and reflects a company’s own brand identity and voice.
4) It’s working. So many of the startups I talk to are getting real traction with their marketing efforts. And, unlike the past, everything is measured and studied for effectiveness and monitored daily. In the “old days”, marketing wasn’t always so easily measured and often times money was spent without much of an expectation of an ROI. No longer!
5) It’s where the world is heading. Outside of the real estate world, the greatest innovations in marketing are taking place in the social, content and digital platforms. But it’s not coming from the tech firms, it’s coming from big brands, Fortune 500 companies and global companies. And if the most successful companies are using these social and digital tools with great success, then it's usually a strong indication that it will trickle down to other companies. In the real estate sector, it's actually reverse....the smaller, more nimble tech companies are the ones driving innovation up the food chain.
Which are the ones, in my opinion, that are doing an awesome job with their marketing in the real estate tech space? Here's a few that come to mind...
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