How to Break On Through to the Other Side of the Coronavirus Recession
I was in eighth grade when (the movie) The Doors came out. I loved it. The music captivated me. I’ve always romanticized the early 70s, probably because I missed that half of the decade. As you can tell by the (terrible?) music references I make throughout this blog, I still listen to a lot of that music today.
At Union Street Media, our core belief is that if our clients are successful, we will be fine. When it comes to digital strategy, I’ve almost wondered if we care more than our clients… That’s a good thing. We’re all concerned about what’s to come, so we are doubling down our efforts to ensure that our clients are the winners when the transactions pick back up.
With a little inspiration from Jim Morrison, here are five tips for how to “break on through to the other side“ and blow right past the economic turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Create Content: As we shared a couple weeks ago on our four part series about how to market during COVID, be an every day influencer. Unique, original content is what people crave, and they’re spending more time than ever consuming it. Real estate is full of unique content: every home, school and community are unique. The people that live in each community are unique. There are so many stories to tell and you know them better than anyone.
Choose the media that works best for you. If you love taking pictures on your phone, post them on Instagram and Facebook.
If you’re good on camera, turn your iPhone around and video yourself talking about what’s going on in your community. Instead of having to show the same property multiple times (likely saying the same thing), film a video home tour of your listing where you’re on camera and post them to YouTube.
If you like to write, post in your blog.
If you love talking to people, hop on a Zoom call, discuss the state of your market, record it and put it on YouTube.
The most important part of content creation – besides doing it – is that it should feel fun. If it’s forced, it will come across that way. This should not feel like flossing your teeth.
- Update your CRM: If in 2020, you’re not using a CRM, you are likely headed the way of the broker who told me in 2001 that Union Street Media bringing IDX websites to Vermont was ruining his business (“Now everyone can see all the listings and they don’t have to call me!”). It felt like we were in a Scooby Doo episode… “If it wasn’t for those rascally kids”.
If you do not have a CRM up and running, or you need help with choosing one, please reach out to us and we can make a couple of recommendations based on your goals. The best CRM is the one that you will use.
For those of you who have a CRM up and running, there’s never been a better time to ensure that the quality of the data you have in it is accurate. Update contact records with information that you know will never change, such as client’s birthdays. Set tasks and enable notifications to help ensure you take the actions you need to that day. Check out some of the new tooling in your CRM, such as in line video texting, which will enable you to reach out to your sphere of influence in new and creative ways.
- Retarget, Retarget, Retarget: When I was a senior in college, the Director of Career Services used to walk across campus repeating three words: network network network. It was some of the best advice I ever received in my career. Thanks, Jim Shattuck; I’m still using it 20+ years later.
Once you have made an effort to drive people to your site, there’s no better way to stay in touch with them then retargeting. You can turn on retargeting through the Google display network or through Facebook. It’s a low cost, highly focused advertising tool: you are marketing to previous site visitors, which means the pool of people is much smaller than the general public. You’re regularly being retargeted and may not even know it. As an example, have you ever looked at a pair of shoes on Zappos and then not ordered them? Then, you have seen those same shoes chasing you through the Internet. That is retargeting and it works.
- Stop running any print advertisement right now: I know this sounds self-serving. Someone that works at a digital marketing agency is telling you to stop running print.
At Union Street Media, we believe in data, and the data behind the use of print did not support the continued investment in it before the pandemic.
We now live in a world where a lot of print publications are not getting picked up because people are afraid to touch their newspaper (if they still get one).
People will not be out and about in the next couple months the way they have been in the past. If you live in a Destination vacation market and have advertised in “_______ Life Magazine”, now is the time to finally cut the cord!
- Pick up the phone: I predict there may have been more phone calls made this Sunday then any other day in American history. Since the stay at home orders shut down most of the country, during the midweek periods the Verizon network is currently seeing twice the average number of calls made on Mother’s Day, which is one of the busiest phone days of the year. Combine coronavirus with Mother’s Day 2020 and there will be a lot of phone calls made.
Over the past couple years, phone calls have seemed to only happen when scheduled. There’s a bunch of emails back-and-forth, and then someone finally picks up and calls the other at a scheduled time. That has all changed in a pandemic: the phone is back.
I have received and made phone calls to people I have not spoken to in years. As one of our clients shared in a recent video blog, he has been calling his agents, his past clients, his sphere of influence… just to check in and see how people are doing. Everyone is home right now and has time to talk. It’s a great time to use the phone.
The best advice I can give: don’t be afraid of change. Everything around us is changing, so it’s only natural that we should, too.
This could mean returning to old-fashioned practices, amending your current systems, or looking to the future for more modern solutions. True adaptation will likely require all three, so don’t be afraid to jump in headfirst. We’re right there with you – whatever it takes, we at Union Street Media are ready to work with you to ensure that you “break on through to the other side” of the pandemic.