TECHNOLOGY & MARKETING

Developing a Technology and Marketing Plan for your Company

By Travis Saxton, Vice President of Technology

Did you know that most U.S. brokers don’t have a plan when it comes to their technology and marketing? Sure, they have technology and marketing, but there is no shared vision between the two. Some organizations run flat, with many people meeting and controlling everything, only bringing to the table what they find interesting. This type of brokerage is susceptible to the shiny penny syndrome. Other brokerages run in linear silos with people in charge or respective areas but not coordinating or communicating with each other.

Here is a simple exercise that we recommend each brokerage complete to get a handle on what they are spending, where, what the return on investment is, how you use these efforts for recruiting, what lead sources and rules you have and, ultimately, your plan.

First, organize anything technology and marketing into four areas:

  1. Technology Initiatives
  2. Marketing Initiatives
  3. Leads Initiatives
  4. Recruiting Initiative

You may be asking yourself, “Why is recruiting on the list?” Recruiting today is largely a byproduct of the three areas that precede it on my list. Without clarity in the first three areas, your recruiting managers have a hard time telling your story. Without clarity, your efforts in those areas blend with every other firm in your market. This is one reason why E-edge from Keller Williams made such big waves. They were one of the first firms to add clarity and message around what they were doing in the first three areas on the list above. So, yes recruiting belongs here. More specifically, the person in charge of recruiting needs to communicate clearly with the  other three areas to develop a concise value proposition and use those other areas to drive home your value proposition to potential recruits. The problem with most organizations is that recruiting is done is a silo, and they don’t get the help from the other areas.

BUILD THE FOUNDATION

Let’s talk about leads. In the next three areas, we have a great exercise every firm should do and repeat every six months. Build yourself a lead matrix. Use a google doc/sheet or an Excel file and make it simple. Track every lead source in your organization. If you get a name, email address or phone number , then it goes in as a lead source. Lead sources include your website, listing portals, MLS, mobile, sign riders, customer service desk, relocation, etc. Any name or opportunity is placed in this spreadsheet. Then, add a field for estimated monthly volume, cost, comments/feedbacks, what do you currently do with the leads. If you have closing information, place it here as well. This will act as the foundation for your leads strategy. Whoever is in charge of this area will update this doc every six months. They will then set three attainable goals every six months to work towards. For their area. This evolving message is then relayed to Recruiting for use.

MARKETING LEADS

You may think marketing and leads are the same. In some organizations they are, but they should be separated. In the marketing section, repeat the above exercise and build a marketing matrix. This is a spreadsheet where you track marketing sources, number of visits, impressions, clicks, followers and other pertinent information. Start with your website, social media, digital marketing campaigns, listing syndication and more. Anything that has eyeballs on your brand or listing goes into this spreadsheet. The more detailed you are the better. Think of this as more outbound and leads as inbound. Tackle three goals every six months with clear, measurable success KPIs. this is then relayed to leads and recruiting.

TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVES

Finally, you have the technology initiatives. Create a technology matriz that lists every technology penny you spend. The slight overlap is with marketing where the website and agent websites should be in here. This is small; however, and the goal is to see the landscape of your technology. But, in this matrix, you want fields such as cost or cost per month, agent adoption of tools, training initiatives, last training held, perception and more. Your goal is to see which technology is being used. This offers you coaching and training ammunition and sets the foundation for the brokerage to add or subtract technology.

In the end, you have the four pillars for getting your technology and marketing under control and ultimately the foundation for a great recruiting and retention strategy. Clarity and shared vision across your organization are important, and this exercise will help you achieve that. ^

This article originally appeared in the July 2016 issue of the REAL Trends Newsletter is reprinted with permission of REAL Trends, Inc. Copyright 2016

The Minnesota REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.

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