The magazine Inc. published a fairly sensationalized article about Mauricio Umansky and how the entrepreneurial realtor has completely disrupted the industry with his approach to real estate marketing. The author even goes so far as to compare him to Richard Branson, founder of Virgin. For at least a couple of years now Umanksy’s firm, The Agency, has been a leading California real estate company and has earned notoriety worldwide for its real estate deals involving the rich and the famous. The Agency has done a great job in a crowded industry to move their offerings and brand awareness to the top of the pile. The secret to their success boils down to eight principles according to the article and while each of these has merit, one really stood out, “use exceptional marketing”. That really sets the bar for real estate marketing to a new height and what does that say about the way business has traditionally been done within this industry?
The Good ‘Ol Days of Real Estate Marketing
In the good ‘ol days of commercial real estate marketing (which was really not very long ago) there was a number of tried and true conventions which represented the mainstay of lead generation activities for the industry. Most prominently among those were real estate postcards, real estate flyers and real estate brochures. Readily created with beautiful real estate graphic design imagery that was printed on paper that felt good in the hand, real estate firms used these tools to engage interested parties, tout investment properties and generally stay in touch with target audiences. These tactics and their accompanying channel (the U.S. Postal system) were widely used because they were easily accessible and they simply worked. These weren’t the only tools that were used. Firms big and small also relied on personal selling through phone calls and face-to-face meetings. Afterall, this kind of person to person interaction is what the industry was built on.
Modern Real Estate Marketing Seems Strangely Familiar
Let’s fast forward to 2016. As we sift through the tools that are being used for real estate marketing today, there’s a plethora of technologies available that, perhaps, were not available a short while ago. Digital media of all kinds is prominently on the scene with options to satisfy varying attention spans and consumption preferences and includes everything from six second videos, to 140 character blasts, to full blown digital presentations in the form of well designed websites, ebooks and facebook pages. As we look past these “new” channels and tools, however, we also find that postcards are still prominently used and they still work. We also find that flyers and brochures are still staples of the real estate industry because people like having something to hold onto and then carry back to their stakeholders. Also, direct selling whether it’s face-to-face, via instant messenger, Skype or cell phone is still the best way for real estate professionals to connect with their clients. As much as there seems to be change, new marketing seems strangely familiar with the good ‘ol days.
Good Marketing is Still Good Marketing
So, why all the fuss about Umansky and how he has revolutionized the way the industry goes to market? The answer is, he has done exceptional marketing. At a time when there’s so many variables to consider like changes in healthcare legislation, green initiatives and a focus on environmental sustainability, all of which impact this industry, Umansky’s firm, The Agency, re-committed to doing things that can make real estate firms great. These things are detailed in the article, but include being an advisor, not just an agent, and being transparent so people develop a level of trust. They also focused on ideas that have always led to successful business practice like being service oriented, using selectivity in who you do business with and building strong partnerships.
Sure, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of web-based virtual property tours, drone captured aerial real estate video production, real estate social media, real estate email marketing and the like. Those are useful tools that should definitely be employed in engaging today’s investors, buyers and leasers, but using those doesn’t ensure excellence. If you want to stand out, remember that good marketing practices are still good marketing and by executing with that in mind, you too will be exceptional.