How to Hire a Marketing Assistant for Your Real Estate Team
Vanessa: Hi, Paige. Thanks for joining me today. How are you?
Paige: I'm great. How are you?
Vanessa: I'm good, thanks. Everyone today, I'm here with Paige Ring. She is the agency director of Artifakt Digital, and I'm so excited to have her here today, because hiring marketing assistants and figuring out how to roll out your marketing strategy is an ongoing challenge that I hear from our clients. I wanted to bring an expert in today to talk about how to ... What to delegate to an agency, what to keep in house, and what to look for when hiring a marketing assistant for your team.
Vanessa: Paige, could you just start by introducing yourself and telling us where you work and what you do?
Paige: I'm the agency director at Artifact Digital, and we're a design agency for modern agents, real estate teams, and real estate brokerages. We help establish brands and an online presence for our clients. We create logos and branding. We do marketing materials, and of course, we do website design content and creation.
Vanessa: Do you also help with SEO strategy?
Paige: Yes. For every website that we create, it comes with a full SEO strategy for the website itself, and that's part of our ongoing service as well. SEO doesn't just happen once. It should happen over time, so we create a keyword strategy for each website and then an ongoing SEO strategy for every client we work with.
Vanessa: Fantastic. When somebody is looking at their marketing strategy and they're trying to decide what to keep in house and what to outsource, what should they be thinking about? What should you really trust to an agency, and what can you keep within your team?
Paige: In my opinion, I think it's smart to work with a design and content agency to establish a brand message and then get them to help you create content that's in line with that overall strategy. I think larger teams should have a marketing system in-house. However, I do believe that they should be realistic about what that marketing person actually does around content creation and strategy. It's really hard to find that person. That's a lot of unique skill sets for one person to have.
Vanessa: Yeah. We see agents who really feel like they need it all in-house. So what should they really focus on with their in-house person and what should they outsource?
Paige: I think, in my opinion, you should be looking for to outsource the actual design and content of your post. If someone is writing a blog post, you should have a professional writer write it, but if you're looking for someone to work in-house, they should be managing how often those posts are done, actually putting the posts up, talking to people on your social channels. I don't think that someone who is a marketing strategist should also necessarily be a designer. I think that you should outsource the design and content, and I think you should try and bring someone in-house to help with the overall strategy.
Vanessa: With some of the bigger teams that you work with, what do you see people doing really well and what are some best practices that other teams could implement?
Paige: I've definitely seen a few realtors and teams really kill it when it comes to their social, and I say the ones doing it really well are utilizing a designer to help make sure their posts are branded, and they're using a writer to make sure the content sounds professional. But I think the ones who have a dedicated person running their channel, somebody who works day-to-day on the team and really knows the brand, are the most successful. The reason I think that is because a social channel needs to be real. It has to be real content. People are pretty savvy, so they see through content that is pretty generic. So basically people who aren't afraid to really showcase the day-to-day workings of their team are doing really well.
Vanessa: Yeah. That brings up a good point. Should everybody be doing social, or should some people just not even go there? If you're not willing to go all the way, is it worth it to do some social?
Paige: I have actually a couple of thoughts on that. I think not every social channel is for everybody, meaning just because you do really great at one doesn't mean you should even venture into another. If you're really strong at Twitter and you have a really great following on Twitter, maybe you don't need to do Instagram. Maybe you don't need to do YouTube. You don't have to do them all, but to do a few really well is beneficial to your team. It's really difficult to grow all of those channels at one time, so if you focus on the ones that are the most important to your user base and your target market, and the target market should be pretty obvious. It should be pretty obvious where your target market lives. Are they Instagram users or are they Facebook users? They're a very different demographic. They're a very different age range. They're a very different annual income. So finding where those people are and then focusing on those channels is really smart.
Vanessa: If a realtor wants to hire a marketing assistant and have somebody in-house, what are some of the skills that they should be prioritizing when they look and they search? I know we talked about how graphic design should be outsourced, but sort of putting that to the side and understanding that a dedicated graphic designer should really handle your graphic design work. What are some of the other key skills that they should be looking for in a marketing assistant?
Paige: I think you should be looking at somebody who understands strategy, who understands your target market, who understands your brand. I think you should look for someone who does understand growing a social channel. If they're leaning on, as you just mentioned, a graphic designer and a content writer to help them with the actual content creation, really you're looking at them to socialize with people, be consistent with the posting, and actually working towards ramping up the actual number. So social is not just about posting something and you just post it and leave. That person has to interact with other people. It's called social for a reason. You need to be social. A lot of agents don't really do that. I see them. They say, "Well, I posted on my Facebook, but it's not growing." It's like you just posted. You didn't socialize. People want to talk to you. They want you to talk to them. They want you to comment on their stuff as well. So it's important to be social on social.
Paige: I think when you hire someone who it's their mandate to do that and you sit down with them and you explain, "This is our brand. This is what we're all about. This is the type of posts we'll do. This is the schedule of posts that we'll be doing, so twice a day on these channels. This type of content. This is how much you should be interacting. You should be trying to target X amount of people per day to help. Comment on their stuff so that they come back and follow us," that's a strategy. It's not just about you make a post and you walk away. So it's not an easy thing to grow a social channel, and if it was, everybody would be an influencer and be making a lot of money on social. Having somebody who really focuses on growth strategy is smart and again, having somebody who knows your brand and understands it.
Paige: When you hire someone, of course they won't know on day one, but for you to sit with them and explain to them if there's a negative post, what do they say? Because every interaction on social is a reflection of your brand. So if someone is saying something negative, how do they respond to that? Have you set them up for success? Do they know what they're supposed to do when that happens? It's important to understand that it's not just you give someone a log in and then they're good and they can grow your channel. It's not quite that easy.
Vanessa: Yeah. I think the other struggle with social is getting your ... Wrapping your head around the ROI. I think for some people listening to this, the idea of paying someone to be on social media most of the time seems like a really expensive investment. I know it's not easy to measure ROI on social. What's the tipping point? At what point should somebody really employ someone basically full-time to manage their social media, if that's the kind of marketing an agent wants to commit to?
Paige: When it comes to return on investment, I do understand that it's very hard to measure. People think, "What's the point? I'm not really getting anything from it." If you think of it like a billboard, you have no idea if a billboard actually gets you business, but every real estate agent will say, "I've done billboards," because it's part of their larger marketing mix. So it's a marketing plan. It's part of it. It's brand awareness. It's getting your face and your name and your business out there. Social is like a hyper version of that, because people can actually interact with you. It's really ... The return on investment is brand awareness. Over time, if you're doing it properly and you're growing your channels, you will get business from it. Even if you get one or two people per year, that likely pays for most of the salary of the marketing assistant.
Paige: The thing is, you won't know if that's where they come from. But if we look at what we know about successful agents, they all have successful social channels. One can make the educated assumption that it's benefiting them. It's really important to not worry so much about the exact dollar amount of return on investment and look at it as a bigger marketing plan. It's a marketing strategy, and it's the person who is on social is likely not only doing that. They're probably also marketing your listings. They're probably also pushing that content out. They're probably also working with the designer and content writer at the agency that you hired to help them prepare whatever marketing materials you need. So social is a big part of it, because it's tough to grow those channels, but at the same time, that's not really all they're doing.
Vanessa: Let's dig into the nitty gritty just a little bit. Let's say someone is ... Let's say you were vetting a candidate for a marketing assistant role for a real estate team. What are some of the questions you would ask them during your interview process to really analyze whether or not they know what they're doing and they know what they're talking about?
Paige: Well, firstly, if I was hiring a marketing assistant, I would probably ... The first red flag would be if they did come in and say that they do everything. "I'm a genius content writer. I'm a fantastic designer. I know marketing strategy. I grow social channels." If they say they can do all of those things and they're applying for a marketing assistant role, that would be a red flag to me, because if you can do all those things really successfully, you would probably be very wealthy. So that would be a red flag.
Paige: If they come in and they focus on strategy and they focus on growth and those are their main concerns, that would, to me, be someone that I would really be excited to talk to. Basically, I would ask them to come up with a pretty general ... Because they don't know your brand yet, a pretty general content calendar. How often are you posting? On what channels? What type of content? Who do you think my target market is? What do they want to read about? What besides real estate, because obviously, you need to balance that content creation. It can't just all be about real estate 24/7. So what other content, types of content are you serving up to my client base based on the target market you think that you have?
Paige: If someone comes in and says, "This is who I think you're trying to reach and this is how I think we can grow your channel," and they have some sort of plan in place, that to me seems like a very good candidate. Someone who comes in and just says, "I'm really good at social media. I grew my channel and it's got a few thousand followers," well, that's a personal channel, so maybe they can do that for you, but maybe they can't. So you're really looking for someone who understands strategy.
Vanessa: Well, thank you so much. This was so insightful. I really appreciate your time. Can you tell listeners where they can go if they want to learn more about the services your company offers?
Paige: Yeah, absolutely. You can visit our website at artifactdigital.com. You can also probably see us at some of the Good Fellow coaching events which are coming up quite soon.
Vanessa: Fantastic. Great. Well, thanks so much, Paige. Have a great day.
Paige: Thanks, Vanessa. You, too.