Real estate companies looking to grow their brand know that they can't do it without digital marketing. The problem is the quality of the output of suppliers is becoming more and more sub par. Digital marketers are cropping up everywhere and measuring their skills is difficult to evaluate until you use their services for a few months.
Since the bar for digital marketers to enter the field is very low, the industry attracts a lot of lesser qualified marketers. This influx has steadily decreased the cost of retainers but unfortunately the quality for the marketing has decreased as well.
There are five forces you compete for to gain profit in your real estate business. Rivals, Alternatives/Substitutes, Powerful Buyers, Powerful Suppliers, and Threat of entry. Which of these five do you think you are losing to? At Least one if not all five.
Rivals represent your competition. You have never had more of them, and they are multiplying at a rapid pace. They are willing to do more work for less. Anyone who gets even a few clients discovers the unrelenting five forces coming after them. When you have an endless horde of people who can do EXACTLY what you do for less, or give them more for the same price, you are like Leonidas and the 300 fending off the Persian horde.
In this case you are not much better equipped than they are and in the end they can just do it for less than you. Every day your clients are getting called, emailed, and cold called by competitors offering to do more for less. Even if you can do a better job than they can, how can you be sure? Even if you can, they will eventually try someone else and now you aren’t getting paid. They are a client not family and that means they have to see if they could get more for less just like you would.
The odds are against you, and you have to sleep with one eye open.
Alternatives and Substitutes
Let’s talk about the second force. Alternatives and Substitutes. Because real estate info is so widely available, almost everyone knows a relative that is licensed to do real estate. Think about your own family, how many people do you know that are licensed to do real estate? I will give you a hint, if you don’t know any in your family, look in the mirror. You are it.
You have relatives and all those people out there surfing real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com think they can do this on their own and in many cases they come up with the property they eventually buy by themselves. Oh and when they are ready to sell they think they can do it on their own. But statistically, 85% still end up using a real estate agent to sell.
These are called five forces because they are relentless, they will not stop till they take all your profit away.
Let’s talk about the 3rd, powerful buyers. Your buyers are powerful because they have options. When people have options, they want the BEST possible deal. They ask you to lower your price, or they ask for more for the same price. Or you have to take the entire risk burden of the working relationship.
How much profit you make is a simple formula. Sales Price x Commission % = Profit. Lower commission or additional work decreases your profit.
4th. Powerful suppliers. Who are your suppliers? They are Google and Facebook. They have the undisputed monopoly on traffic for generating leads for your clients. Now let me ask a simple question. Has it gotten easier or harder to get your site to rank? Has Google’s CPC's gone down or up? Has Facebook’s CPM gone down or up?
It’s gotten harder and more expensive across the board. Because they are charging more, it's costing you more to complete a transaction. Think about it, you used to get X leads for $500 a month in ad spend, and now it takes $1000, who is going to eat that loss?
Because you have powerful buyers, they don't care that it costs you more to acquire them as a client and you can't charge them more for your services or you'll lose the client. Maybe your head is above water now. But you and I both know media costs are going to continue to rise. Facebook’s costs have risen 171% and will continue to rise. It comes back to the same principle I discussed. The number of Google searches and Facebook users is not increasing as fast as new advertisers are hitting the platform.
Sure some new platform might appear overnight. But that's highly unlikely, and hope is a terrible business plan.
Threat of Entry
Let’s talk about the last one. Threat of entry. Now I already touched on this, but I want you to understand how easy it is for someone to enter the space. Because potential clients have so much access to information, it doesn't matter as much how long you’ve been around. Vast amounts of real estate knowledge is hard to put a price on. You are continually learning new skills and getting additional designations in an effort to differentiate, and others can pick up and learn the changes from day 1.
Since licensing is required by everyone in real estate, a person with a new license is "just as qualified" as someone who has been in the industry for years. At least in the eyes of many of those looking for real estate.
Throw on top of this, vast networks of people that do real estate as a "side hustle" while they do their full time gigs, effectively dwindling the pool of potential clients.
These folks, in an effort to "get the sale" slash their commissions drastically to get new clients, and fairweather real estate brokers can sell real estate to people they know which just gobbles up the market for you. It’s a race to the bottom.
Many times, if you can get clients, the list of concessions are a mile long, and they shop you all over with friends, co-workers and the internet. When you get a few decent sized purchase or listing clients, they think they own you. One drop of the hat and you are in the breadline wondering what happened.