March 17, 2020 Eview Group

The individual versus the brand

Not so long ago, real estate was all about the brand, with costly TV advertising all targeted at making the biggest brands household names.

That landscape has shifted rapidly in recent years, with the individual agent now far more important than the brand they represent.

How has that come about? Well, it’s one part internet, one part social media and one part a digitally savvy consumer.

The shift from traditional media

Chances are 20 years ago your major source of news, information and even advertising was traditional media. This was an era when the rivers of classified advertising gold ran thick, fast and profitably.

Properties were advertised in newspapers, jobs were found in a hard copy careers liftouts and agencies advertised en masse via radio, television, and print.

Of course we all know how much that playing field has shifted. Now people no longer turn on free-to-air TV for their entertainment, and they rarely get the Saturday paper.

Instead, it’s all on demand. And fewer areas have felt the effects more than the branding of real estate.

The digitally savvy consumer

In 2019, internet analyst Mary Meeker noted the average American spent 3.6 hours on a mobile device and a further two on desktop, with a total of 6.3 hours each day being spent online.

And what are people doing when they’re logged on and hooked in? They’re often searching, shopping, consuming media and socialising.

When it comes to real estate that means vendors are now no longer falling back on the big names but actively searching for their personal agent online.

As Elite Agent noted in 2018, around 70 per cent of agents attending AREC reported they based their decisions on what they found online, meaning the interview for an agent is now digital. Meanwhile, 65 per cent of people trust human beings, and only 35 per cent have faith in brands.

Your own publishing platform

At the same time, agents are now offered more marketing power than ever before courtesy of websites and social media. Gone are the days where advertising was restricted to big budgets.

Individual agents are now better able to market themselves and their ethos online courtesy of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and their website,.

That’s giving individual agents more scope to establish a reputation and cement their expertise in heir communities, meaning the agent is now far more powerful than the brand.

Then of course, that’s also enhanced by referrals, with statistics indicating 92 per cent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know directly, and anonymous reviewers have a 70 per cent trust rate when they post online about a brand.

How Eview can assist

At Eview we have long recognised the shift from the brand to the individual agent. Our model enables agents to market themselves personally as entities in their own right with the branding of their choosing.

We then assist with the technology and back of house support that enables agents to do what they do best, whether that’s building a rent roll or making sales.

In the past five years we’ve grown from six supported agencies to more than 45 nationally. All have their own brands, all are focussed on their clients and their individual success, and all enjoy the business support of the established Eview model.