Marketing is no longer just about putting an ad in a newspaper or on television. It needs to be mobile.
Today’s world is digital. People have smartphones and tablets, and can jump online at any time. Justin Milligan from the mobile conveyancing team at RM Legal and Conveyancing made a conscious decision to ensure his clients can access information wherever they are.
"Not everybody reads newspapers or watches television like they used to, but many people have a Facebook account, watch Netflix, or learn by watching YouTube" Milligan explains. "Our marketing program needs to reflect this. It needs to be mobile. We need to keep up with the trends of how people are receiving information.”
Milligan says these days people regularly search online to find solutions to their problems. “That’s why our focus as a company is have the answers for buying or selling a home available online. Clients want their service providers to communicate quickly and effectively which is why digital content marketing works so well.”
Choosing suitable digital channels
The NSW-based conveyancer asks all new clients how they prefer to get their information. Rather than sticking to traditional models, the company has created its marketing and communication around what their clients say they're looking for.
"We ask the question: Do you read your email or do you prefer post? 99 per cent will say they prefer emails or text messages instead of us calling them," Milligan says.
"Additionally, some of our clients will 'like' our Facebook page because they find it easier to jump on Messenger and send us a message there, rather than having to send an SMS."
Another great tool RM Legal and Conveyancing uses is FaceTime. It is an easy and convenient way to verify information or to walk clients through certain documentation. "We will hold the document up to the camera and actually point out where they have to sign so there are no mistakes made. It’s also perfect if clients want to talk face-to-face."
The main digital marketing channels RM Legal and Conveyancing use include email, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and SMS.
They also have a website, and a blog with articles mostly written in response to questions that clients regularly ask. For instance, if a client asks what to do after making an offer on a property, the team will produce an article for the blog and then post a link to it on Facebook. The team will also take it one step further and send the link via text message to any client that has made an enquiry about buying.
Challenges of a digital world
The major challenge many digital businesses face is when things go against processes.
According to Milligan, the major challenge has been with bureaucracy and other law firms not moving with the times. "While we try to push everything electronically, often the government departments and other old law firms will demand original signatures on physical forms. Some of the documents are still having to be witnessed by a JP. It’s an old-school way of thinking, in our opinion."
Internally though, the biggest challenge is finding the time to write articles or do videos. Milligan knows that video is the future for digital marketing but finding the time to do it is at times difficult.
“People who struggle with digital marketing are often challenged with what topics to write about. That part is easy. Ask your clients what confuses them about your business or ask yourself what the five most asked questions you get asked? There’s a few articles right there. For me, finding the time to write or do videos is the toughest.”
“Getting ranked on Google using search engine optimisation tactics is not easy either. I may write an article that would be beneficial to many buying or selling a home, but getting it out there to those who would benefit is difficult.”
Additionally, because digital platforms such as Facebook are always changing and new ways of communication are being introduced, it can be very difficult to stay top-of-mind among potential customers. Milligan says RM Legal and Conveyancing, like many other conveyancers, face strong competition while trying to find the 'next trick' in digital.
Education and the future
Over the next three years, Milligan says conveyancing is going to go through some big changes. He believes this will change the way law firms and conveyancing firms work with clients and find new clients.
“Look at the insurance sector. Only 15 years ago you would need to visit a branch or make several phone calls to buy home or car insurance. Nowadays, it’s all done online or over the phone. I think conveyancing is heading the same way and if you’re a firm not willing to make the change, you’ll be left behind.”
So how will this make a difference to your marketing? “It will make a massive difference but it’s not easily done. We’ll do it with more information on our website, YouTube channel and Facebook page, explaining to people every step in the process of buying or selling.”
Milligan says success is largely measured by way of how many questions clients asks. “If a client has to ask a question, maybe we didn’t explain it well enough or make the answer easy enough for them to find.”
"The other main source of success is feedback from clients. Speaking to your clients and those involved in the real estate transaction will inform you if you are doing well and where you need to improve," he says.
In the future, RM Legal and Conveyancing’s aim is to make conveyancing easier for busy people. They plan to do this by using more online features and Facebook Live conference calls so clients don’t have to leave their lounge rooms or office to get things done.
"We currently have a client who is looking to sell their property but is going overseas,” he says. The client has set up a Gmail account and after a buyer is found and an offer has been accepted, the contract for their property can be emailed to them via their Gmail, along with any explanation letters.
“This type of technology will help us assist anyone with a mobile phone, internet access and an email address. It’s not only designed for those a great distance from our office, but for people who are unable to attend an office.
“It's all about assuring clients that the team cares about their individual needs, that we have information to help them every step of the way and we are accessible to their location and a time that suits,” he adds.