This week's agent focus takes us to Knoxville, Tennessee, and one of America's most preferred zip codes. As in the past, we use a variety of tools to narrow down the field of best digital marketers among real estate pros. Like other smaller markets, Knoxville reveals how brick-and-mortar marketing and sales strategies seem to continue to dominate. Real estate remains light years behind most other professions in a world that's turned to digital and technology. So, with this in mind, here are a few names that stand out in an otherwise blurry crowd of Tennessee brokers.
Tyler Fogarty of Knoxville’s Fox and Fogarty Team tops this week’s list of USA agents. He and his partner, Joe Fox, have created an impressive digital marketing effort. From Facebook to Instagram, the team exudes a rare kind of personable personality that conveys authenticity. I like how this team shows Facebook and Instagram pride for every sale, not just the million-dollar Tennessee ranch but the tiny first-time buyer homes.
Excellent reviews on Zillow and Google, traditional media mentions, a respectable SEO score of 78/100 on their website, and all the other subtle nuances digital agents exhibit puts Tyler Fogarty out in front of almost all of his company’s competitors. To be honest, I was not expecting to find this level of engagement in Knoxville, given the failures we’ve seen in similar markets. Hats off to Fox and Fogarty there. This team even has three furry mascots: Zoey, Salsa, and Crush! And this is a lovely touch.
Of course, any marketing and sales effort can be improved. I’d recommend “more” online and perhaps some ad space.
Tracy King does not have perfect Google reviews (4.8 for 210). Neither does he have perfect Zillow marks (4.9 for 343). However, his are almost perfect, and he has many more than nearly any other Knoxville real estate professional. He’s also got over 4,400 engaged Facebook fans. The agent’s website, though ghastly ugly, has a decent SEO score of 72/100. But sadly, the agent’s Instagram feed sucks even worse than the company’s prominent digital billboard.
King’s Youtube efforts make up somewhat for the agent’s lack of Instagram prowess. His video production is among the best for being informative and carrying the company brand. Seldom, if ever, have I seen 20k plus views for a real estate agent’s videos. King also goes a step beyond by offering an Upfront Guaranteed Cash Offer. It will be interesting to see how this approach fares in the coming tough months.
Nicholas Nicaud’s digital footprint pops out if you search for an agent in Knoxville. Perfect Google and Zillow reviews, and lots of them, grabbed my attention first thing. A closer look reveals an industry professional who makes an effort to brand his company and to leverage the digital marketing tools at hand. However, as with most operators in these mid-sized towns, there’s a lot of room for improvement.
With an aesthetically pleasing website with a respectable SEO score of 72/100 and all the “working” social media buttons, compared to the average U.S. agent in a medium-sized market, he’s a standout. Zillow says his Nic Nicaud Team made 124 sales in the last 12 months, and it’s easy to see why. Most of his competition does not even exist on the periphery of brand recognition and inside the digital marketing funnel of Knoxville real estate. In the short version, it’s pretty easy to shine in a pool of dull pennies.
Even though the team’s social media effort isn’t stellar, it’s clear the Keller Williams agent ticks all the digital marketing boxes. The New Orleans native only loses points for an apparent lack of news about him or his agency.
Wil Glafenhein’s Honors Real Estate does not have stellar Google reviews (4.7 for 38), but the agent’s Zillow profile is perfect (5.0 for 259). So are the agency’s Facebook and Instagram efforts. I’ve seen very few with a better eye for aesthetically pleasing, engaging content over the years. His company’s website is a bit below average, however. And, a total lack of traditional media and no real personal or company branding effort knock him down on this list.
The company’s 388 sales in the last 12 months resurrect what might have been an invisible digital marketing effort. This brings me full circle concerning how professionals in smaller markets operate. It’s fair to point out how rare, truly remarkable digital marketing efforts are the farther away from the big cities you get. It’s almost as if the best real estate pros migrate to where the most competition is. Strange as this may seem, it’s even weirder that more home-run hitting gurus don’t ride into Knoxville or other such towns like sales tsunamis. Nothing against Glafenhein. He seems to be doing fine, just riding the wave of mediocrity in this part of Tennessee. A little more work and he’d be No.1 on my list here.
With a chilling economy already cooling off the housing market, it’s a good thing the Knoxville area is one of those preferred zip codes (See Johnson City). The coming avalanche some experts predict for USA real estate may be staved off a while longer for this region. That said, anybody looking to sell a home will need a bonafide expert to move their property. This is a brutal assessment, but it’s much less severe than most people’s most significant investment losing value. That said, the situation represents a massive potential for those agents who pick up the marketing gauntlet. It will be interesting to follow Knoxville as a kind of litmus test.