This year’s disruptions have led many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to turn to unexpected places to not only grow their businesses, but in some instances, to just keep them running. For some local businesses that are part of a franchise—like in real estate—the support of the larger, national brand has been crucial to their ability to survive during Covid-19.
For the real estate industry, the “product” that franchises offer is the expertise and value of their agents. This has traditionally been hands-on and in-person, covering things like showing a house, taking a client on a tour of available properties, being able to show various neighborhood amenities, etc. When Covid-19 hit, real estate agencies needed to rethink their business models. By digitizing the home buying process, the franchising organizations could work to overcome the challenges from the pandemic and help agents thrive.
The home-buying process goes virtual
Our approach at Facebook was to partner with clients to offer new ways to show up for agents during the pandemic. You can’t hold open houses during lockdown? Leverage Facebook Live to deliver virtual open houses. You aren’t a digital marketing expert and don’t have time to run Facebook ads? Utilize your franchise’s integration of our ads platform into the tools you already are using to run your business. We worked to find custom solutions that address problems and help drive real value at the local level.
Tyler Shields, an agent with Keller Williams based out of Denver, is a great example of how these strategies can drive results for local agents. For Tyler, the pandemic meant that having in-person meetings and open houses wasn’t always possible. On top of that, his previous marketing tactics were not working. So, he doubled down on his digital strategy.
To make the jump, Tyler turned to the digital marketing tools offered by Keller Williams called Command. Through the support he received from the national brand, Tyler was introduced to a dynamic CRM system that helped him build campaigns, develop creative and manage listings from one convenient hub. As a result, Tyler’s business saw 30% year-over-year growth and with this success, he made his sixth new hire this year.
The power of partnerships
Facebook partners with national brands like Keller Williams to help local businesses. Doing this right means working to understand the needs of SMBs, as well as the solutions that Facebook and larger businesses can provide. It requires thinking through not only how to build the right solution, but also what is the right way to reach the franchisee. We also worked closely with our partners’ internal development teams and third-party advertisers to build custom solutions that utilize their branding, scale and AI. This is how Tyler and tens of thousands of other agents found their digital footing through partnerships.
Whether it’s national real estate brands offering support to agents, or an auto brand providing guidance to a dealership, personalization is essential. Local businesses know that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. In our experience, these partner programs allow agents to tailor their digital advertising solutions, helping them achieve their business objectives, such as driving high quality leads, building trust and establishing themselves as local market experts. Every tool was designed to be simple to use, so agents can get the most out of their advertising without any of the heavy lifting. And that means getting to spend more time doing what matters most to them.
As we move toward 2021, SMBs will continue to navigate the disruption caused by the pandemic. And it’s not just real estate businesses like Tyler’s that can leverage these solutions. From local coffee shops to grocery stores and every business that make up the lifeblood of our community, we’re working every day to do our part in helping SMBs grow and find long-term success. If a local real estate business like Tyler’s could grow during the pandemic, consider the impact partnerships can have for your industry.
To learn more about real estate solutions and partner programs, visit Facebook’s real estate hub page.