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Building Your Own Digital Ecosystem in Real Estate

By Zach Parker | October 28, 2022

The year is 2022, and if you haven’t put a good amount of thought into your digital footprint, it’s time to adapt.  Technology has changed the way properties are bought, rented, and sold.  The global pandemic has accelerated the rate at which that technology is being adopted in the housing industry.  Now more than ever, your clients are using online tools to help them in the home-buying and home-renting process.

The agents and brokers who will win the marketing battle over the next few decades are the ones that have built the best digital ecosystem.  This article will cover what a digital ecosystem is, and how you can build one that can be a lead-generating machine for your real estate business.

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What Is A Digital Ecosystem in Real Estate?

Your digital ecosystem is the catalog of all your digital assets that exist online for your business.  Those assets can include websites, blog articles, infographics, videos, listings, social media pages, and profiles.  Even your logo counts as a digital asset if it can be seen somewhere on the web. 

What Makes A Good Digital Ecosystem in Real Estate?

The effectiveness of your digital ecosystem depends on its ability to do 2 things:

  1. Generate Revenue
  2. Save You Time

If your digital assets can help you generate more leads and close more deals, it’s probably a good digital ecosystem.  If it helps you save time by streamlining your operations and simplifying the real estate transaction, it’s a good digital ecosystem.  It doesn’t really matter what size or type of digital ecosystem you own, if it accomplishes one or both of these objectives, you’re doing good.

There are some characteristics that good digital ecosystems have in common.  Those that generate revenue usually have great content and accurate audience targeting.   Those that save time are typically efficiency apps whether they help automate paperwork or client communication.  

How Can A Digital Ecosystem Help Me Generate More Revenue in Real Estate?

A well-built digital ecosystem can drive more revenue by adding value to your services during a real estate transaction.  If your digital assets can clearly communicate your value proposition, you will be able to generate more new leads that will eventually turn into deals.  If your digital ecosystem can educate your clients and provide them with the exact information they need to make informed decisions, you’ll convert more leads into deals.  If your digital properties can help streamline and simplify the real estate transaction, you’ll create more happy clients which will lead to referrals.  

How Can A Digital Ecosystem Help Me Save Time in Real Estate?

We all know time is money, and anywhere you can save time can put money back into your business.  To be honest, building a digital ecosystem does take time, years usually.  But when it’s done well, it can actually help you save time in the long run.  Below is a list of just some of the ways a well-built digital ecosystem can improve your efficiency:

  1. Prop-tech apps that help automate paperwork and securely store signed documents
  2. Marketing apps that help curate and syndicate listings
  3. CRMs that help organize leads and automate marketing campaigns
  4. Automation apps that can post content into different marketing channels
  5. AI messaging platforms that can automate client communication

These are just some of the digital assets you can build that will help you save time and be more productive.  It may take a few hours to learn how to use one of these tools, but it can save you a lot more hours in the future if they’re set up effectively. 

How Do I Start Building My Own Digital Ecosystem?

Building a digital ecosystem is similar to building a home.  First you need a location, then you need a foundation, frame, wiring, plumbing, and finishes.  

  1. Find Your Locations - First, you need to find where in the digital space you should start building assets.  This largely depends on where your target audience lives.  If you’re an agent or a broker, you’ll probably want to create an agent account on the most popular national portals where buyers and renters typically search for properties.  You’ll also likely want to have a few social media accounts and perhaps even a website to represent your business and hold your content.  
  2. Build A Solid Foundation & Frame - Your foundation and frame is your value proposition as a real estate professional. What is it that makes you unique from your competitors?  Why is your product or service better than the alternative?  This will be the foundation for all the digital assets, and the underlying message in all your marketing content.   
  3. Wiring, & Plumbing - The wiring and plumbing of a home all serve a functional purpose.  They ensure that all areas of your home are interconnected and operational.  Similarly, you’ll want to make sure all your marketing channels and digital assets are connected and flow with a purpose, which is to generate leads and close deals.   
  4. Finishes - The finishes on your house are the aesthetic components both on the exterior and interior of the home.  In the digital ecosystem, this alludes to the content that fills your digital assets.  Similar to how the finishing touches on a home can add a ton of value to your house, your content is what adds value to your service as a real estate professional.  The real estate pros that produce the best content will have the most valuable digital ecosystems and will be set up for future success.

Conclusion

Adapting to the digital landscape in real estate can seem like a daunting task for many real estate professionals.  That’s why we created the Digital Age in Real Estate, so we can break down the many components of digital marketing and simplify the process of creating your own digital ecosystem.  

Like anything else, it comes with a learning curve.  What may seem uncomfortable at the first can and will become second nature once you start building.  With the right direction, you too can build a digital ecosystem that generates revenue and saves you time.  

We’ll be covering how you can do this in-depth, providing hands-on training on concepts like content marketing, social media, paid to advertise, and more.  Be sure to subscribe to the Digital Age Newsletter and become part of our exclusive member community.  Look forward to meeting you guys on the webinar!

Zach is a digital marketing expert, solopreneur, and Owner of ProSource Media. As a crypto holder and owner of several investment properties, he closely monitors market and data trends in both real estate and blockchain. Zach covers Market Watch at Realty Biz News
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