Irony and poetry in the syndication debate

Amid the roiling syndication debate, I’ve been struck by the irony of a giant-sized brokerage located in a region to which relatively few people relocate spending millions with national sites, while a pint-sized brokerage in one of the most desired places to move bails out completely.

Real estate is one heck of wild and wacky business. I love it.

In the end, each brokerage got their fifteen minutes of YouTube fame. And Zillow and Realtor.com cut sweet deals.

Poetry in motion.

I’ve also been thinking about what I would do with a couple million marketing dollars if I ran a brokerage.

I probably would have cut a smaller deal with the national sites and put the balance towards optimizing my website to ensure users – coming from any source – have a delightful, useful, confidence-building experience.

In other words, I’d focus on conversion rate on my own site before spending more at the top of the funnel.

I’d also invest in tools for my agents. Not trendy social media bullshit. Things like Cloud CMA or Open Home Pro that help my agents do what they’ve always done more efficiently.

I’d think local. Deeply local. And work to stir emotion inside my market, where the bulk of my business comes from. The national sites can do a lot of things a local broker can’t. But if I’m not capable of rocking local content and media better than them, shame on me.

Perhaps I’d take a tip from Long Realty and run a contest to prime the local media pump. Since I’m an artist and musician maybe I’d solicit sketches of local landmarks and use them on my website landing pages instead of stock garbage. I’d print them on t-shirts I’d give away. And I’d give a cash prize to the most-liked piece.

I’d lean on the local indie band scene, seeking submissions for a new theme song to be used in a series of neighborhood videos. If a city can have a font, my company can have a song. Then I’d help that band get their act together with a cash prize. Infuse myself into the next generation. After all, helping a starving artist eat could one day lead to them buying a home.

Marketing is all about angles. These are a mere few.

I’m not discounting the value of national traffic. But in some markets, traffic only loosely ties to conversations, closings and company dollar. In those markets, as I have come to understand, the real business comes from skilled agents and the clients they bring to the table. I’d spend what I can to help them get more.

So that’s my line cast in the sea of opinion.

Different strokes for different brokers.

[Disclosure: Move, Inc., which owns Realtor.com, is a 1000watt Consulting client. We have also performed work for Long Realty in the past]

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