Updated: Nov 28, 2020
It’s often said that half of new businesses fail within the first year and 90% of those that remain fail within 5 years. Just by looking at these statistics, it seems like the odds are stacked against entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Though the reason why a business fail is unique to the business, more often than not it is related to a lack of a solid foundation. At MUDAVEN we view marketing, user experience and data as three pillars of a successful business. Our mission is to help real estate agents build up and strengthen this trifecta and to lead them to long term success.
It should be no surprise to anybody that marketing is critical to real estate agents. At a ten thousand foot view, everyone understands that real estate agents need to do marketing. But things are different when agents actually have to devise a marketing plan and execute on it. With the technology landscape changing faster than ever and more complex and intricate than ever, it becomes an increasing barrier for real estate agents to execute on marketing effectively and efficiently.
A recent article from Hubspot highlights the six main challenges for every small business (which is directly applicable for real estate agents):
Hiring Talented People
Spreading Brand Awareness
Building and Email List
Balancing Quality and Growth
Five out of six items on this list are marketing related problems. Many new real estate agents naively interpret marketing as simply blasting out promotional offers to a wide net of people and hoping some would stick. In reality, marketing is much more sophisticated. This includes (but not limited to):
Understanding customer segment profile and persona - where they hangout (figuratively), what marketing channels should be used to reach potential customers
Designing customer journey and marketing funnel - How do you plan to move and nurture prospects to eventually convert into customers?
In-depth analysis to understand what campaigns are working and to ensure marketing spend is not wasted
Effective storytelling to build your brand for long term success
As you can see, it should not be a surprise marketing is one of the biggest challenges for agents. We, on the other hand, believe that it also holds the key to how effectively an agent can grow, and thereby leverage the strategies mentioned to help strengthen this first third of the trifecta.
User Experience (UX)
Let’s first define what user experience design is for readers that are not familiar. User experience design is the process of enhancing user satisfaction with a product or process by improving the usability, accessibility, and desirability provided in the interaction with it. How is this remotely related to real estate agents and why would this be of importance for them?
Arguably marketing and UX are the two sides of the same coin. In an online environment, user experience dictates customers’ experience with an agent. It defines the agent’s brand image and first impression. It controls how the agent communicates to their customers via a virtual medium. All of this information should not come as a surprise if you simply ask yourself how many times you’ve judged a company by its website and think about how that has affected your impression with that company?
In recent years, large successful organizations have realized that good user experience ultimately affects the bottom line of the business. As a result, the importance of good user experience design has become evident as the demand for UX designers have been increasing across industries. Though large organizations are able to hire UX talent, this kind of talent is often not readily accessible for small businesses like real estate agents. Mudaven works to fill this void as we believe passionately that real estate agents should get a head start on understanding how to optimize their virtual image and storefront.
Data is arguably the most neglected pillar for real estate agents and small businesses alike. This is mainly because it’s not something that is immediately tangible or visible. If we imagine operating a business as driving a vehicle in the dark, and the goal of getting from point A to point B as growing the business, then data is the headlights of your car. It allows you to see where you are going and more importantly react and make decisions on what to do next. I highly suspect that driving in the dark without headlights will most likely end up in bad results. Unfortunately, the vast majority of entrepreneurs and small businesses are driving their businesses in the dark.
According to the economist, the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, instead its data. This is evident as we’ve seen large successful organization pushing for Big Data technology and Artificial Intelligence. It is not a coincidence as they understand that success comes from making the right business decisions and right business decisions are backed by data.
It’s equally important for real estate agents to think about data, even if it’s not at the same scale as large organizations. Data is like fitness and health; it’s a long term initiative and requires long term commitment. Just like how it can be too late for a cure by the time you’re diagnosed with an illness, it can also be too late when you wish you had a data point when making a critical business decision.
At Mudaven, we work with our partners throughout this transformation journey. This includes (but not limited to) to helping our clients:
Get educated and trained on adopting a data driven mindset and developing the skills needed to draw insights and make business decisions from data
Setup up infrastructure needed to track, monitor and analyze customer behaviour on website
Establish reporting and dashboards to monitor overall business health
Advanced analytics, data science, and machine learning to maximize profit from customers and optimize marketing spend
Now that we’ve gotten a better understanding of the three pillars, it is easy to see how they all play a factor in building a solid foundation for a successful real estate agent. All three need to work synergistically to optimize the experience for your customer, but also provide you with the right insights so that you can make the best business decisions going forward.
By arming yourself with this knowledge-base as you begin to build and grow your business, you will have set a robust foundation moving forward. MUDAVEN's mission is to help real estate agents such as yourself to build up your passion and strengthen your business.