Building a Public Platform in Your Real Estate Practice

Published on November 26, 2012

“If you want to build a platform, it’s time to get your passion back. Push one another and yourself to deliver great products that you are delighted -- yes, delighted!-- to offer. If you don’t then your attempt to build a platform is doomed to failure.” Michael Hyatt

In previous blogs, we have talked about building a Personal Platform and a Professional Platform as two key and high priority elements in the overall platform creation for REALTORS®.

As promised, this post is dedicated to Public Platform creation, but before we get too far into the conversation, I must share something I believe to be critical.

Michael Hyatt in the first chapter of his best-selling book, Platform: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World, writes this in reference to the relationship between product quality and platform success. “There is no sense in wasting your valuable time and resources trying to build a buzz about a ho-hum product. As one of my favorite marketing gurus, David Ogilvy, once wrote, ‘Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster.’ How true.”

 

Define your goals

Having said that, I can’t stress enough how important it is that you have spent time defining and clarifying your ideal client, target market, and most importantly, the value you bring to each. Unlike your Personal Platform, the public is very unforgiving and highly judgmental. Remember, they have nothing else to judge you by... they don’t know you yet.

 

Understand the Model

The online marketing world, admittedly, is bit overwhelming -- even for me and I think I am pretty tech savvy.  When you break it down into manageable bite sided pieces, it can be more easily digested, so let’s look at some specific components of the bigger Public Platform picture.

Michael Hyatt breaks it down in a way that makes sense to me so I am going to use his terminology. He attributes his version to information he learned from Chris Brogan (coauthor of Trust Agents and a columnist with Entrepreneur magazine) and Jon Dale, a consultant to Thomas Nelson Publishing, so I just want to make sure I give credit where credit is due.

 

3 Social Media Components

  1. Home Base - You own it and control it. It could be a blog, website, or self-hosted community. This is where you direct all web traffic. Hyatt says it best, “You control the borders and determine who has access.”
  2. Embassies - Places you don’t own, but have a registered profile. This would include places like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
  3. Outposts - You don’t own these places or have a regular presence, but you use them as tools to monitor your web presence and listen to conversations about you, your brand, or topics that are of interest.

 

Back to defining your goals

As we move deeper into this topic, let’s be clear about a couple of things.

  • Real estate is still a localized business and personal relationships are critical.
  • More and more people are interacting through social media and the internet.
  • Print directories and phone books are all but dead with Google taking their places
  • Consumers are doing their homework from their living room before calling an expert
  • Home searches are beginning online and offering consumers overwhelming information
  • The younger generation is heavily reliant upon technology and judge others by it
  • Investing in online presence is much less expensive than print advertising

Ok, that was more than a couple and there are more. I stopped because I know you already know this stuff. Let’s move on. 

 

Goals... what are they?

Do you want to...

  • Increase word of mouth referrals within your Personal Platform
  • Create national or statewide exposure to increase your referral base
  • Engage and interact with other professionals in your field or specialty niche
  • Add value to your tribe
  • Attract attention to your inventory
  • Generate more listing or buyer sales leads
  • Establish a professional presence for people to get to know you
  • Maintain contact with out of area connections
  • Sell products or services connected with your practice
  • Integrate your various technologies into a simplified system

Only you can answer the questions about goals. Each business is unique and so there is no “right” or “wrong” way to create a Public Platform. The only “right” answers are the ones you give that have been closely contemplated and weighed against your resources and longterm goals.

Some Public Platform is required

For obvious reasons, I am going to contend that as a professional, a business owner, or executive, you must maintain at least a minimum standard Public Platform. It can be as simple as a template website offered through your brokerage or organization or a free WordPress site or blog. This “Home Base” as Hyatt calls it is where people will go to find you.

It establishes you as a professional and creates validity in the mind of the consumer.

Just like anything, what you focus on grows. In order to grow your Public Platform, you must plant seeds, feed and water them, and let them grow. They don’t grow fully overnight --- it takes time and lot’s of fertilizer. The more seeds you plant and fertilizer you use, the bigger and more healthy the harvest.

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Nikki Buckelew is the Co-Founder and President of NikkiandChris.com Coaching and Training, a coaching and training company specializing in real estate, leadership, and life coaching for Realtors, brokers, and leaders with SoulFire. Buckelew is also the Founder and CEO of the Seniors Real Estate Institute, a coaching and training company specializing in senior real estate and housing and administrator for the Certified Senior Housing Professional® (CSHP) designation.

 

 

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