It’s 2022, and if you haven’t given much thought to your digital footprint, it’s time to adapt. Technology has changed the way properties are bought, rented and sold. The global pandemic has accelerated the rate at which this technology is being adopted in the housing industry. Now more than ever, your customers are using online tools to help them through the process of buying and renting a home.
The agents and brokers who will win the marketing battle over the next few decades are those who have built the best digital ecosystem. This article will cover what a digital ecosystem is and how you can create one that can be a lead-generating machine for your real estate business.
What is a digital ecosystem in real estate?
Your digital ecosystem is the catalog of all your digital assets that exist online for your business. These assets can include websites, blog posts, infographics, videos, lists, social media pages, and profiles. Even your logo is considered a digital asset if it can be seen somewhere on the web.
What makes a good digital ecosystem in real estate?
The effectiveness of your digital ecosystem depends on its ability to do 2 things:
- Generate income
- Save time
If your digital assets can help you generate more leads and close more deals, it’s probably a good digital ecosystem. If it saves you time by streamlining your operations and simplifying the real estate transaction, it is a good digital ecosystem. No matter what size or type of digital ecosystem you have, if it achieves one or both of these goals, you’re doing good.
Good digital ecosystems have certain characteristics in common. Those that generate revenue usually have great content and accurate audience targeting. The time-saving ones are usually efficiency apps, whether they help automate paperwork or communicating with customers.
How can a digital ecosystem help me generate more income in real estate?
A well-built digital ecosystem can generate more revenue by adding value to your services during a real estate transaction. If your digital assets can clearly communicate your value proposition, you will be able to generate more new leads that will eventually turn into transactions. If your digital ecosystem can educate your customers and provide them with the exact information they need to make informed decisions, you’ll convert more leads into transactions. If your digital properties can help streamline and simplify the real estate transaction, you’ll create happier customers, which will lead to referrals.
How can a digital ecosystem help me save time in real estate?
We all know that time is money, and wherever you can save time, you can put money back into your business. To be honest, building a digital ecosystem takes time, usually years. But when done right, it can actually help you save time in the long run. Below is a list of some of the ways a well-built digital ecosystem can improve your efficiency:
- Prop-tech apps that help automate paperwork and securely store signed documents
- Marketing apps that help organize and syndicate listings
- CRMs that help organize leads and automate marketing campaigns
- Automation apps that can publish content to different marketing channels
- AI messaging platforms capable of automating customer communication
These are just a few of the digital assets you can create that will help you save time and be more productive. It might take a few hours to learn how to use any of these tools, but it can save you many more hours in the future if set up effectively.
How can I start building my own digital ecosystem?
Building a digital ecosystem is similar to building a house. First you need a location, then you need a foundation, frame, wiring, plumbing and finishes.
- Find your locations – First, you need to find where in the digital space you need to start creating assets. It largely depends on where your target audience lives. If you’re an agent or broker, you’ll probably want to create an agent account on the most popular national portals where buyers and tenants typically search for properties. You will probably also want to have a few social media accounts and maybe even a website to represent your business and curate your content.
- Build a strong foundation and framework – Your foundation and framework are your value proposition as a real estate professional. What makes you unique compared to your competitors? Why is your product or service better than the alternative? This will be the foundation of all digital assets and the underlying message of all your marketing content.
- Wiring and Plumbing – Wiring and plumbing in a home all serve a functional purpose. They ensure that all spaces in your home are interconnected and operational. Likewise, you’ll want to make sure that all of your marketing channels and digital assets are connected and flowing for one purpose, which is to generate leads and close deals.
- Finishes – The finishes of your home are the aesthetic elements both on the exterior and the interior of the house. In the digital ecosystem, it refers to the content that populates your digital assets. Similar to how the finishing touches on a home can add a ton of value to your home, your content is what adds value to your service as a real estate professional. The real estate professionals who produce the best content will have the most valuable digital ecosystems and will be set up for success in the future.
Adjusting to the digital real estate landscape can seem like a daunting task for many real estate professionals. That’s why we created the digital era in real estate, so we can break down the many components of digital marketing and simplify the process of building your own digital ecosystem.
Like anything else, it comes with a learning curve. What may feel uncomfortable at first can and will become second nature once you start building. With the right leadership, you too can build a digital ecosystem that generates revenue and saves you time.
We’ll cover how you can do this in depth, providing hands-on training on concepts like content marketing, social media, paid advertising, and more. Be sure to subscribe to the Digital Age newsletter and become part of our exclusive community of members. Looking forward to meeting you on the webinar!