In The Age Of AI, Authenticity Wins

Key Takeaways:

– Inman Connect New York is happening this week, offering the opportunity to experience the real estate industry firsthand.
– Christine George, owner of Post & Beam Creative, emphasizes the importance of authenticity in marketing.
– Artificial intelligence and its role in improving the consumer experience and speeding up transactions were major topics of discussion.
– George reminds agents that they don’t own their social media platforms, but they do own their email lists, which are a valuable business asset.
– Email marketing is highly effective, generating a return on investment of $36 for every $1 spent.
– George offers five ideas for creating compelling subject lines for email campaigns.
– Alex Hanson of loanDepot and Laura Monroe of Inman discuss the benefits of using LinkedIn as a platform for fostering relationships with like-minded business professionals.
– Glennda Baker and Tyler Whitman, hosts of the “Glitter and Gay” podcast and real estate agents in Atlanta and New York City, demonstrate the power of podcasts for attracting new business.
– They emphasize that a successful podcast doesn’t require a large investment, just a microphone and a good idea.


Inman Connect New York is LIVE this week! Experience the pulse of the real estate industry in person or join us from anywhere in the world — the future of real estate is unfolding now. Get your virtual ticket here.

Christine George wants you to remember that when it comes to marketing, authenticity never gets old.

If the marketing professional, who owns Post & Beam Creative, didn’t spend any time off stage frequenting the hallways and happy hours of Inman Connect New York, she may not know just how poignantly her worlds landed.

Artificial intelligence, and its reach for realism, dominated discussion this week. How to use it to better the consumer experience. How to make transactions go faster. How to use AI in your social media. (Maybe this is what the machines want?)

George, however, was in New York to remind agents that they don’t “own their social media,” echoing the mantra from frequent Inman Connect speaker and contributor, Katie Lance.

But you do own your email list.

“It’s the most important business asset you have and there are people who really want to hear from you,” she said.

Email marketing is without argument one of the most effective forms of reaching an audience at scale. And from that scale, a savvy marketer can narrow down lists to segment groups based on zip code, house size, budget and street.

“Email marketing generates $36 for every $1 spent,” George said.

Crucial for every campaign, regardless of size, is subject line content, and it’s not easy. Wordsmiths across the content generation spectrum battle with the blank page when trying to generate brief, witty prose that will break through the proverbial inbox slurry wall. George offered five ideas to help real estate agents land a lead.

“The first is a ‘how-to,’ for example, How to spot a home’s flaws on a tour,” George said. “The second is curiosity, which piques the reader’s interest, such as ‘The No. 1 mistake even savvy homebuyers make.’”

Creating a sense of urgency is an effective subject line tactic, as is asking a direct question and then, finally, using a person’s name.

George also recommends creating useful, evergreen lead magnets, like buying guides or market reports, and she stressed that it’s as critical as ever to pay attention to your email campaign response metrics.

Following George to the stage was Alex Hanson of loanDepot and host of the “Modern Lending” podcast, along with Inman’s own Laura Monroe, to chat about the benefits of LinkedIn, “the other” social network.

Hanson dug into the relationship tropes that underlie a lot of marketing efforts for agents, suggesting that the professional nature of LinkedIn is the best place to foster relationships with like-minded business people. Given that the platform’s content isn’t based on memes and political debates, high-minded business conversations can shine. Its model does encourage scrolling, like all the others, Hanson said.

“They’re scrolling, and they’re taking in information and content, and you need to ask yourself, ‘Does your knowledge and what you bring the table offer something of value?’” George said. “The answer is yes, because what do all the people with jobs and money want? They want real estate.”

While Linkedin content tends to be all about one’s job, it’s still a great place to create original, thought-provoking content, George said.

“You have to respect the platform. If you jump on Linkedin and put a TikTok dance on there, you’re probably not turning on the audience.”

Like George said about email marketing, Hanson advises agents to figure out their authentic voice on Linkedin, and use it.

When it comes to authenticity, the platonic couple behind the “Glitter and Gay” podcast take home the gold.

Glennda Baker and Tyler Whitman are agents in Atlanta and New York City, respectively, Baker with Glennda Baker & Associates Coldwell Banker and Whitman with The Agency.

The pair were there to share their knowledge of how a podcast can become a powerful way to attract new business, but what they ended up doing was demonstrating just how engaging a couple of loquacious extroverts can be when in front of a friendly audience.

Baker and Whitman banter like a married couple of 40 years — with unrequited love for their own presence but without ego or pretension. They’re as relatable as they are knowledgeable, able to take the absurdity of someone from the audience yelling “Tornados!” as a random blog topic down to the touching reaction to Baker’s recounting of her neighbors being impacted by a freak storm near her home in Atlanta, which she later sold for them.

While they admit to over-spending on their first podcast, “Like 20 grand,” Whitman said, they expressed the importance of needing not much more than a microphone and an idea.

In short, if anyone in the audience wasn’t a fan of these two, they are now.


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Property Chomp's Take:

In today's digital age, marketing professionals are constantly seeking innovative ways to reach their target audience. With the rise of artificial intelligence and its impact on the real estate industry, it's important to remember that authenticity never gets old. This was a key message shared by Christine George, the owner of Post & Beam Creative, at the recent Inman Connect New York event.

While AI technology may dominate discussions about improving the consumer experience and speeding up transactions, George reminded agents that they don't "own their social media." Instead, she emphasized the importance of owning and utilizing an email list. According to George, an email list is the most important business asset an agent can have, as there are people who genuinely want to hear from them.

Email marketing has long been regarded as one of the most effective methods of reaching an audience at scale. With the ability to segment email lists based on various factors such as zip code, house size, budget, and street, savvy marketers can tailor their messages to specific groups. George shared that email marketing generates an impressive return on investment, with an average of $36 generated for every $1 spent.

When it comes to crafting subject lines for email campaigns, George offered five ideas to help real estate agents land leads. These include using "how-to" subjects, curiosity-inducing lines, creating a sense of urgency, asking direct questions, and personalizing the subject line by using the recipient's name. Subject lines play a crucial role in grabbing the attention of recipients and breaking through the cluttered inbox.

In addition to email marketing, George also highlighted the benefits of LinkedIn as a valuable social network for real estate professionals. Alex Hanson of loanDepot and host of the "Modern Lending" podcast joined George on stage to discuss how LinkedIn can be used to foster relationships with like-minded business people. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is known for its professional nature, making it an ideal space for high-minded business conversations.

George emphasized the importance of respecting the platform and creating original, thought-provoking content on LinkedIn. While it may be tempting to jump on the latest viral trend, agents should focus on providing value to their audience and showcasing their expertise in the real estate industry. By finding their authentic voice on LinkedIn, agents can establish themselves as trusted professionals and attract potential clients.

The Inman Connect New York event also featured the dynamic duo behind the "Glitter and Gay" podcast, Glennda Baker and Tyler Whitman. While they were there to share their knowledge of how a podcast can be a powerful tool for attracting new business, they captivated the audience with their engaging banter and relatability. They emphasized that creating a successful podcast doesn't require a large budget, but rather a microphone and a great idea.

In summary, in a world where AI technology and social media dominate the marketing landscape, Christine George's message about the importance of authenticity is a refreshing reminder. By owning their email lists and utilizing effective email marketing strategies, agents can reach their target audience at scale. Additionally, LinkedIn provides a valuable platform for fostering professional relationships and showcasing industry expertise. Lastly, creating original and engaging content, whether through podcasts or other mediums, can help agents stand out and attract new business.

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