BETSY: Welcome, Ben, and thanks for taking the time to speak with me today!
BEN: No problem, happy to do it.
BETSY: You have a very successful background in digital marketing for companies ranging from Marriott Hotels to SaaS startups. How are Bozzuto and the real estate industry different?
BEN: My background in growth marketing-focused roles made me realize real estate is no different than an eCommerce or SaaS company. What the leading real estate marketing teams have realized is that in the end, you’re selling a product. That’s why we are beginning to leverage tactics similar to the likes of Amazon, dating apps, Airbnb, Marriott, and other digital-first organizations.
BETSY: What real estate marketing strategies do you think have changed the most in the past five years that smaller companies and realtors should take note of?
BEN: Five years ago, internal marketing teams would have likely been tasked to list an apartment on Craigslist, post it on Zillow, and maybe think about how best to leverage SEO [search engine optimization]. Fast-forward to today and organizations are investing in growing holistic digital teams with channel-specific depth.
Back then, it wasn’t unreasonable to outsource 90 percent of digital marketing execution and then leave the remaining 10 percent for in-house teams to sort of figure it out on their own. I’m fortunate to have been able to build a marketing performance team that’s composed of specialists in paid advertising, social and content marketing, email/SMS, organic search and SEO, martech, web development, and analytics.
I recognize that I was given a fantastic gift to hire such wonderful team members. For other real estate companies and realtors to step their game up this year and into 2019, they’ll need to transition from hiring marketing generalists to hiring specialists, or they’ll suffer in the long run.