How many times will you buy or sell a home in your lifetime? For some it may be once or twice, none, or even 10 times. No matter how many times, it is probably the largest financial decision an individual or family will make. But who do you trust to make sure you’re getting the correct advice? What about the best deal? How can you make sure you’re not going to have buyer’s/seller’s remorse?
A realtor’s services might not be a tangible product, but they are incredibly impactful. Sure you can read reviews on Trulia, Zillow or Angie’s list, but how do you trust someone you’ve probably never met before to guide you to make a good life decision? One of the due diligence items that many people neglect is making sure the chosen realtor knows their market, their clients, and the business itself. What may be known to realtors as good business practices is actually content marketing at its best.
The Caul Real Estate Group, comprised of husband and wife Kevin and Tina Caul and their team members Laura, Kelly, Lezlie and Tanya, have done a great job with this, proving content marketing can be done successfully whether your brand is large or small. Here are some of the reasons The Caul Team has succeeded:
Knowing the Client
It all starts with knowing your clients and potential clients: who do you represent and who do you want to represent. In real estate, there are hundreds of personas. Buyers, sellers, age differences, investment diversities, economic backgrounds, etc. The Caul Team represents a wide variety of clients, from first-time home buyers with modest purchase qualifications to sellers with multi-million dollar homes. However, the Caul Team website presents easy to find content for buyers and sellers. Literally, there’s a navigation tab for buyers and a tab for sellers. Seems simple, but the majority of realtors, use their website as only a selling tool, not for informing.
Informative Website, Articles and Videos
This knowledge brings us to the next part The Caul Team did well: having an informative website rich with relevant content. The reason why people need realtors is because they aren’t experts in real estate. The legalities, markets and jargon can all be confusing to clients. The buyer and seller tabs mentioned above address the two main categories of people interested in finding a realtor. Instead of just having forms for people to fill out if they need an agent, these provide articles and tips about staging your home, valuating property, remodeling, comparative market analysis, financing, roadmaps, first-time buyer advice and more. They also have a YouTube channel that’s fairly new, but in addition to having a video that addresses why you should pick Tina as your realtor, they have videos of local areas in the Triangle as well as other helpful topics.
Not only do these articles, landing pages and videos serve as good search terms for SEO purposes, they let clients realize that this real estate team knows what they’re talking about. It’s informative, relevant and to the point. They take out the confusion and explain things in terms the non-realtor will understand.
Personal Brand Coincides with Company brand
One aspect truer in real estate than in any other business is that your face is your brand. People want to know who they’re dealing with. Who is going to pick up the phone when an interested buyer calls to negotiate? Who’s going to go look at houses with you? Who’s going to be there at the closing with you? While distributing brand content on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is important, it’s just as important to work your personal network and those of your past and present clients. You can’t do this by spamming or constantly posting about new listings you have.
The brand presented as The Caul Real Estate Group is similar to the main face of the company, Tina’s. It’s friendly, but professional, to the point and informative. You will get a person to talk to, prompt responses and honest opinions. Interestingly, there are about 1,100 likes for the company page, and Tina has almost 800 friends on Facebook. My educated guess is that there’s a high rate of overlap between those friends and likes because they liked her AND her company. But even with that overlap, it’s a great content distribution network for audience members.
Transparent and Humble
Since real estate can be such an emotional experience, realtors have to gain the trust of their clients. That relationship of remembering them, listening, taking time to show you’ve paid attention to them needs to be nurtured. While doing all of that, The Caul Real Estate Team also realizes that they don’t have all the answers and need to continue learning. They state on their website that they invest $15,000 on themselves for training and coaching to improve their business practices. Not only does that tell you they want to improve for themselves, but for their clients as well.
Loyalty, Retention, Brand Advocates
Typically you only hear about bad experiences. It’s the unfair equilibrium that people want to complain about anything and everything. But what happens when you hear somebody rave about a product or service? You remember that too. From start to finish, The Caul Real Estate Group provides a great service. But what about customer retention and getting your clients to keep you in the top of their mind not only when they go to sell or buy their home, but when their friends and family do? There are several things this real estate company does that have made advocates of clients:
- They follow up. Right after closing, a year after, and a few emails per year that contain homeowner advice – yes, more content.
- They remember you in future business. It’s not an uncommon practice in real estate, but they will contact former clients to ask if they want to sell their house unlisted to current clients. The current homeowner may not want to, but that shows they’re doing everything possible to satisfy clients.
- Local coupons and discounts. Another common practice, but still works. About every other month agents will send flyers in the mail for a local restaurant, dry cleaner or even doggie daycare and of course their headshot is on it.
- Fun surprises. They show appreciation for your business and recommended business. After a sale they leave a surprise gift in your new home. After they close a deal with a client you recommended, they send you a gift. It’s a thank you, but clients remember gestures like this.
With business practices like these, and implementing good content marketing, it’s no surprise that this team has increased business year after year and their clients provide amazing testimonials; testimonials that are shared and available as even more content for future clients.