I attended Real Estate Bar Camp sponsored by the Contra Costa Young People’s Network yesterday along with several hundred other real estate professionals.
Most were from the San Francisco Bay Area but people from Sacramento and Southern California were also in attendance.
Also present was Andy Kaufman who is credited with “porting” over the Bar Camp movement to the real estate industry a few years ago. Since then the idea has spread, and with good reason. When done right it is an excellent way to share ideas about what is working and also a way to meet new people and to network.
Yesterday’s REBC was was a good example of how the movement is changing and morphing into something different. Although I did attend a few sessions that held true to the original model, most of the sessions were presentations where the facilitator was “teaching” a technique or a method.
Who is to say if this change is good or bad? The important thing is that the attendees come away with new ideas that they can implement. The last session of the day was a group wrap up and when they were asked by the event organizer Nate Ellis how many people were leaving with at least one idea that they planned to implement, nearly every hand went up. When asked how many were leaving with at least 10 ideas, more than half of the room raised their hands. Using that as an indication of whether or not they considered the time well spent, I’d have to say that the event was a rousing success. Good Job Nate. Congrats to you, CCAR and YPN!
One of the observations that I’d like to make and pass on here is that in the 4 sessions that I attended, the concept of niche marketing was raised. What this means is that in order to be successful in using the new social media tools, agents (and lenders) need to be prepared to develop specialty markets that they can focus on for marketing purposes.
Given that social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn allow advertisers to use their demographic databases to target ads to specific groups of people, it is very important for those ads to deliver people to websites that are laser focused on the ad respondents area of interest. Sending targeted ad responders to our typical real estate websites (where they are faced with a myriad of choices and marketing claims) does not work anymore.
So, the idea that was raised in so many sessions yesterday was that effective real estate marketing has to be aimed at a narrowly focused market segment so that social advertising can be used to find the ideal client. Otherwise, why do it?
Determining the niche market that you want to work with can be the hardest thing that you will have to do if you plan to use social advertising…but it is the critical first step. Don’t take a shortcut and just jump into running ads. Instead, spend the time it will take to come up with a target audience that has problems that you can solve. Then take the time to create a web site or Facebook Business Page that answers that problem. Be sure to include lead capture and a call to action on the page. Then you can create and run Facebook or LinkedIn ads aimed at your target market.
This is not the easiest process in the world to do, but once done, you can copy it and use it for other niche markets that you want to enter. If you get stymied, I am here to help and my rates are reasonable!