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The property entrepreneur using content to change the game

Dynamic Business chats with the co-founder of Australia’s number one website for real estate agent reviews, RateMyAgent.

An entrepreneur with over two decades in real estate, Mark Armstrong is CEO and co-founder of RateMyAgent.

This year Mark has expanded ASX-listed RateMyAgent into the $1.8tn American real estate market and ventured into online content with a web series titled Property Banter, a game changer in real estate marketing.

Australia produced 107 web series in 2012. Go forward just four years and that number had already exceeded more than 3,000* annually, with its speed only increasing since.

It’s a popular space for brands. Podcasts and web series provide all businesses an opportunity to build an audience, build awareness and create industry authority. But watch out! The battle for attention online is fierce and most content remains unwatched by everyone except the team that made it, and their mums.

Here’s Mark’s advice on making content work for your business.

  1. Find your niche

At RateMyAgent we live, sleep, breathe property. It’s our thing.

As much as we love property, we recognised property news is boring. It’s all articles and stats, like property can only be a serious conversation and not something for the pub.

Video takes property news and opinion to a new place. It’s easy to consume and if done right, can be very entertaining.

The intersection of property and pub banter was our niche. We visualised it (see below) to explain it to our marketing people.

  1. Who gives a crap?

Excuse my language but you can’t dance around this one. Ask yourself constantly why would anyone outside your company be interested in this? Who will watch it? Why watch it? And why will they keep watching it?

Truth is you’re competing for attention with Making a Murderer and Donald Trump’s tweets. Like Donald, attention spans are brutally short and expectations unreasonably high.

You have your niche, now how do you execute against and hold people’s attention?

  1. Give yourself time to fail

The first 6 shows we did were terrible. Really bad. You won’t find them online.

With hindsight it’s obvious that it takes time to hit your straps and find your mojo. However, as you rush into a project brimming with optimism it’s tempting not to budget for the time and money it takes to get it right. More realism upfront and you won’t be boxed into a corner in 6 months time.

  1. Same, same but different

Your audience will come to you for a certain thing so a degree of consistency around structure, blocks of content and people is necessary. However, become too predictable and people lose interest.

The big format shows like The Block and Masterchef are masters of this art. See what they do and work out your version.

  1. Quality is a differentiator

The amount of content posted daily on to the net is mind boggling. It’s a new kind of pollution. Amongst the deluge of webcam and shaky phone footage, good quality stands out.

Make a modest investment in quality. Broadcast quality equipment has never been more affordable or, with rental, more accessible. Experienced producers are worth their money twice over, they know the shortcuts and the cheats to get things done on time and budget. That talent is mobile and flexible today, take advantage of it.

  1. Promotion is as important as creation

I love the movie Field of Dreams. However, when Kevin Costner said “If you build it they will come” he wasn’t talking about content in 2018.

If don’t promote it, they won’t come. You need to make a compelling case for your content, get it in front of your audience and make that case over repeated exposures. You’re competing for scarce time and attention and trying to wedge another thing into their busy lives.

The good news is that digital targeting is more precise than it’s ever been so you have ways to connect with audiences and interests, just make sure you have a plan and a budget.

  1. Build your own database

A.K.A who wants to pay Facebook and Instagram every time they talk to their hard-earned audience? Those businesses have recognised the value of the data, so should you.

About Mark Armstrong

Mark Armstrong is the CEO and co-founder of RateMyAgent.

With reviews for one in three property transactions and more than 500,000 reviews in total, RateMyAgent is Australia’s leading platform for real estate agent reviews. Three out of four real estate agents in Australia use the service.

Mark is an entrepreneur who has spent more than two decades in real estate, starting and building a couple of businesses before co-founding RateMyAgent.

Mark is also a panellist on new web series Property Banter, the most up-to-date, topical show in property.


*Screen Australia, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2015/2016.

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