Real Estate Marketing Academy

What a Website Does: Push vs. Pull

By Colin Ryan

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When we talk about redesigning your website to market yourself and your listings, we’re talking about a specific kind of marketing, a relatively new kind of marketing. But let’s consider the traditional methods first.

Back when the world was round, real estate sellers used “push” marketing to great effect. The idea was to interrupt people, then get them to pay attention to what you were saying. Big signs, print advertising, open houses, direct mail, and broker tours were the norm. Conversion rates were low, and the work was difficult, but these were necessary evils–after all, there was no other way to operate.

Today, however, the world is no longer round. Thanks to globalization and the Internet revolution of the last two decades, it’s flat again, and consequently people across the country expect their information to arrive not roundabout, but in a straight line. The new reality is that unless they’re already listening, people don’t care about what you have to say, and most likely can’t hear you above all the other noise vying for their attention. People want information on their terms. Author Seth Godin sums it up nicely: “Selling to people who actually want to hear from you is more effective than interrupting strangers who don’t.”

That’s where the “pull” comes in. Pull marketing is known by many names. Some have termed it “permission based” marketing; others, “inbound” marketing. Whatever you call it, it’s about getting found online by people who are actually looking for information about real estate, then giving them valuable, easily digested answers to their questions. Marketers across every industry have adapted to respond to the pull, and today, SEO, blogging, up-to-the-minute property information, video, and social media make up the real estate professional’s toolkit.

Pull marketing is about answering the questions that people are asking. It’s about being remarkable, and your redesigned website needs to have this as its ultimate goal.

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