When it comes to marketing strategies, no one teaches them more eloquently than Robert Palmer.
Robert Palmer is a familiar name in the Florida real estate industry for a good reason; RP Funding is currently ranked by the Orlando Business Journal as the sixth fasting-growing company in Central Florida and RP Title now ranks fourth on the same list.
To a packed auditorium yesterday, Palmer provided agents a brief glimpse into the exciting — and slightly frightening — world of Big Data, and offered his thoughts on how it will affect the future of real estate marketing
“Big Data is everything we generate,” said Palmer. “Everything you do on social media, everything you do on the web, every search you perform, every time your phone pings a tower and tells it your location, all of this is being stored, because it’s become so cheap to store data … This is the cloud, the big cluster of data that is out there, that allows us to do a lot of different things to make humanity better, to make us better marketers, and to help solve complex problems.”
The rise of Big Data stretches far beyond real estate. Weather services, NASA, law enforcement agencies, health care providers, and retail companies are all tapping into Big Data to solve issues related to their respective industries. Medical researchers, for example, are analyzing trends to help cure cancer, while law enforcement officials are discovering ways to prevent crimes before they occur.
How Big Data Is Transforming Real Estate Marketing
For real estate agents, Big Data presents the ability to hit specific audiences and craft marketing materials addressing their individual needs.
“There are three big things we use Big Data to determine [in real estate]: the targeting, the timing, and the personalization of the message,” said Palmer. “They all go hand in hand … When we use Big Data for marketing, we want to make our messages relevant.”
In the past, most agents lacked the resources to personalize messages on a one-to-one level. As compelling as the ad may have been, it was impossible to create something that resonated with everybody. An offer to sell your home isn’t going to resonate with renters, for example, or with other real estate agents.
“This was one of the earliest failures I had,” Palmer continues. “We just sent one message out to everybody. We didn’t pay attention to audience segmentations, we didn’t pay attention to who they were or make sure we had the right messaging for them — we just sent out marketing … I learned it’s almost better not to send a message at all than to send one with the wrong timing or messaging.”
Big Data will change that with the ability to outline what’s available on households in public records and predict a household’s actions. Palmer was quick to point out however, that despite the wealth of predictive analytics Big Data can provide agents, such information can be misleading. Just as important as access to Big Data is the ability to both use it and interpret it correctly.
“I believe Big Data’s place in marketing is not to tell you who to market to,” he said, “but what to say and how often to say it.”
To explain, Palmer provided an example. “There are a couple of [real estate] companies now that are using Big Data marketing, but after studying how they use it, I think they are making a big mistake,” said Palmer. “Let’s say they have identified the people in an area that are willing to sell. So, they decide they’re only going to market to those people, because Big Data tells them that those are the people most likely to take action. Common sense might tell you that’s the right thing to do, but in doing so they are missing out on an opportunity to build their brand and influence. Over the next seven to 10 years, most of those homeowners are going to sell. Why would we only want to market to those that are probably already too late to get?”
Big Data is complex and can be intimidating to agents unfamiliar with it, but Palmer concluded his speech by emphasizing that everything needed to adopt Big Data into a successful marketing strategy can be done on your own.
“Here is what you need to incorporate Big Data effectively,” he said. “You need the software, the landing page for people to go to, free guides or other marketing materials to send to people in your marketing funnel, and you need to have a brand behind you.”
For agents who wish to hit the ground running with a nationally-recognized brand already established, HomeValue.com offers all of this and more. Palmer’s newest company, HomeValue.com, gives agents a fully automated farming system built on the back of Big Data. Within the agent’s pre-established farm, the HomeValue.com marketing engine will create print and digital marketing materials with customized messaging and calls to action for every household based on their likelihood of selling their home.
For Florida agents, ready or not, the future is now. The quicker they adapt to the new resources available to them, the more successful they will be. And Robert Palmer is helping to show them the way.