When you talk to your clients, there are a variety of reasons that they are planning to buy a home. As a Realtor®, you understand that there are a variety of benefits to owning a home instead of renting.
What you may not have realized is that it’s just as important for real estate agents to own their marketing home as well. Owning your marketing space means having a website that you have arranged hosting for. For instance, a YourRealEstate.Com website would be a space you own.
Social media like Facebook and Instagram, non-self-hosted websites like YourRealEstate.wordpress.com, and free websites you get from other providers are all non-owned, or rented, marketing spaces. Renting your marketing has a lot of drawbacks, just like renting a home.
Rent is Always Going Up
Just like rented homes and apartments are always getting more expensive, being seen on a “rented” marketing space is more and more expensive over time as well.
On Facebook, you used to be able to reach a lot of people for free simply by having a Facebook page and building a following. Now, Facebook is moving more and more into “pay to play,” where you have to pay for ads to reach people. Organic reach is plummeting.
And there’s nothing you can do about it because you’re renting.
Instead, own your online property (your website), and you can get 100% of the views you earn from fans. No one will be hiding your page from your fans.
You Don’t Control the Rules When You Rent
Rented properties have a lot of rules. There are rules about how long someone can live with you if they aren’t on the lease. Rules about what pets you can have. Rules about whether you can paint or renovate.
The same is true when you rent your marketing location online. Facebook ads require a specific text-to-image ratio, or they will be rejected. Instagram limits how many hashtags you can use per post. No matter where you rent, the landlord makes the rules.
When you have your own website, you make the rules. Want to add a community page? Go for it! Want a page that’s nothing but pictures? Perfect! Would you like to create a community page where visitors can comment and ask questions? No problem!
Rented Properties Can Go Under
When it comes to physical properties, they aren’t going to disappear physically, but the ownership can fail and cause a significant decline in the value and experience of living in the building.
With rented marketing properties, however, they can completely fail and disappear. Sometimes an upgrade or a hacker causes the site to be down for a few hours. Sometimes a business completely fails, and the website is taken down.
No one expects that to happen to behemoths like Facebook and Instagram, but no one expected AOL to go from internet dominance to being completely irrelevant either. Don’t put too much faith in an online property that you don’t control.
You Can Combine Renting and Owning
This article isn’t intended to keep you from using social media or other “rented” outreach to connect with your audience. We’re just trying to show the importance of having a marketing platform that’s fully yours.
Unlike choosing a home, with marketing you can (and should!) combine renting and owning. Have your own website, and don’t be shy about directing your followers and fans from social media to your site.
If something goes wrong or the rules change, you’ll have a lot of people already accustomed to visiting your website. You don’t have to rely on Facebook approving your ads. You can draw people over into a space you control, and show them what you want.