Zero to Hero: Redefining the Way People Trust Real Estate Brands and Manufacturing Local Celebrity
This case is especially apparent in the world of multifamily and commercial real estate, in which the number one method of generating leads is still cold calling a list of prospects. On top of this, there’s the underlying popular belief that real estate professionals cannot be trusted (almost at the same level of used car salesmen). In fact in 2013, Choice Home Warranty published a study revealing that two-thirds of Americans simply don’t trust real estate agents.
When we first took on Sage Real Estate as a client, I knew the challenges that laid before us yet felt excited about the opportunity to innovate in a space that still hasn’t adapted to modern marketing methods that multi-million dollar companies have been implementing. The way I see it, the American multifamily and commercial real estate industry today is just like the “Wild West” was during the Gold Rush; there’s lot’s of room and opportunity to grow.
Juan Huizar, the President of Sage Real Estate, already had an amazing track-record of success with helping real estate investors
before meeting with Press Play Labs, however we ran into two more unique challenges.
First, just like every other real estate professional in his space Juan didn’t believe in the power of digital marketing, and instead believed in “tried-and-true” old-school lead generation methods such as cold-calling, working through referrals, sending direct mailers, and working on his geographic farm. Second, he virtually had a zero professional presence online. If you were to Google who Juan Huizar or Sage Real Estate was in 2019, it would’ve been impossible to find results.
Fast forward to 2021, Sage Real Estate is now the highest-rated multifamily real estate brokerage in its local city of Long Beach, CA, and the
fastest growing multifamily real estate brand in California.
Here is a small sneak peek of how we did it:
- Redefining the Perception of Real Estate Companies
- Establishing an Online Presence with Value at Its Core
Redefining the Perception of Real Estate Companies
The world of sales has always promoted a transaction-based culture. In this realm, the formula for success was simple: the more sales you acquired, the more commission you earned; no matter how you do it. Once the transaction is over, the salesperson moves on to the next one.
The real estate industry is no exception, however most average real estate agents don’t realize the magnitude of the transaction. They’re dealing with what might be considered their client’s most important or expensive purchase. The stakes are even higher for investment properties in the multifamily real estate industry.
Investors need a qualified and trustworthy real estate professional who cares about them. They need someone who cares more than just the commission. They need a trusted advisor who will guide them throughout the entire process: gaining trust by educating the prospect before becoming a client, during the transaction, and checking in after the deal has been done.
Juan Huizar was a one of the true real estate professionals who understood this fact, and serving as a trusted advisor to his clients has allowed him to succeed for 18 straight years. However, the way companies gained clients was changing and so was the modern real estate investor.
Establishing an Online Presence with Value at Its Core
The days of cold-calling “prospects” are far and gone, but unfortunately most sales-based companies still don’t realize it. The modern consumer has evolved because of the mainstream adoption of the internet, social media, and smartphones. During simpler times, consumers had to rely on the knowledge of a salesperson.
For example, if you wanted to buy a TV you had to go to Circuit City or Best Buy, and choose an item based on the salesperson’s recommendations. Throughout the years this dynamic has shifted, and now the power is with the consumer. Today’s modern consumers do research on the products they’re considering, before they even set foot in the store or order online. They scour through countless reviews, product demos, or comparison videos. The higher the price of the item, the more research needs to be done before deciding which one to buy.
Contrary to popular belief, in the real estate industry the properties are not what’s being bought or sold. In real estate, the product is the brokerage or agent. The main question in a prospect or consumer’s mind is, “why should I work with you?” when they are looking for someone to represent them with a significant transaction. So imagine how much research probably goes into selecting which brokerage or agent they’re going to work with.
Most real estate professionals who don’t have an online presence and fail to adapt to today’s changing world, will not survive in business. They may have a successful track record offline throughout the years, but they’re missing out on even more prospects who are searching online and losing business to their savvy and more adaptable competitors.
Juan Huizar is a great professional with a successful real estate career, but he did not have an online presence so he was not getting the leads or business he deserved. During the process of taking his offline reputation to his online presence, we decided to stand out from the competition and build solid trust with prospects by putting value at the core of his brand.
Instead of positioning him the way every other vanilla real estate brand does, we decided to establish him and his brokerage as trusted advisors that helped people build wealth through real estate. Rather than focus on direct marketing, we decided to allocate 99% of our marketing efforts on providing value before asking people to choose them. The strategy was simple: give them so much value in the form of education that it builds trust along the way, and they’ll eventually choose us when they’re ready.
We began to create educational content and distributed it all online with three core purposes:
- Establish Juan’s expertise and qualifications as a trusted advisor.
- Show how Juan is the hyper-local expert of his city.
- Proved that Juan is a trustworthy real estate professional.
The more content we produced and properly distributed, the more Sage Real Estate dominated its local competitors. We simply amplified who Juan Huizar already was, and pointed our marketing efforts towards the right direction.