Technology // Marketing

marketecture & market share - CustomerJourney

Marketecture: How to Build Market Share With Captivating Content



Yes, that’s a word. I made it up.

Actually, it’s a collection of thoughts I’ve had over the past several years on marketing while watching the local real estate professionals struggle to capture attention and engage in a digital world.  Marketecture is what you happens when marketing and architecture collide to create a remarkable consumer experience with captivating content – one that is built to last.

It’s talked about. It leaves an impression. It’s sought out versus waiting to be found. Many of the behemoth brands build market share this way.

And anyone can do it.  In fact, this formula is much more tailored to the needs of smaller local brands.

I want to teach you a few methods you can use to start building market share within your communities with captivating content.  You’ll learn creative ways to leverage captivating content that starts on a small scale, and grows exponentially.

But first, let’s take a close look at what marketecture looks like when applied correctly.


The digital revolution is history, old news

What’s new is what’s new, if you know what I mean. In February of 2004 it was Facebook, on March 21, 2006 it was Twitter, Instagram came in 2010. While the Internet changed our lives in the 1990s, social media changed our world in the 2000s. Next is artificial intelligence AI and self-driving cars.

It’s the Wild West all over again. To say these are interesting times diminishes the point – it’s a new paradigm. The world’s largest taxi company, UBER, owns no cars. The worlds largest media company, Facebook, creates no content. Largest real estate brand, Zillow, sells no real estate.

The new paradigm shift has changed the course of our lives. Everyone can access ANYTHING at anytime from almost anywhere. When Apple announced the iPhone in 2007, the world forever changed.

In the 1970s, the average person was exposed to 500 – 1,300 ads per day. 

Today, it’s closer to 5,000!

Top put that into context, that’s 3 ads every minute, every day. 

Sorta feels like someone’s targeting your every move, and showing up everywhere you are. 

And they kind of are.

According to Statista, advertisers will spend $200 billion in 2018 on digital ads, 38% of the total global ad spend. 

print vs digitalDespite this finding, people are still less receptive to online ads (34%) versus traditional media ads (58%). 

That’s why it’s paramount to filter through the noise, and focus on reaching consumers where they spend their time, and who will most likely do business with you, not spray and pray.

According to the research, print magazines enjoy the highest user engagement and trust of any media channel.

They are the best way to build and grow a local brand. 



Content is still king

But the castle looks a lot different

Market Share - Content - God Gary V


Content used to be scarce, supplied in most part by the largest media companies of the day, and distributed on a finite number of mediums.  In those days, marketing was all about the macro – get your brand and offering in front of as many eyeballs as you can, the more the better.

In fact, marketing was much more simple and straightforward then.  “Spray and pray,” marketing was the norm and didn’t require a high level of strategic thinking, but you needed big dollars to play the game and win.  The problem, back then as is today, is relevance.  

If you were trying to target stamp collectors, how relevant was your big dollar advertisement in TIME magazine or the New York Times newspaper?  Of the millions of circulation that you paid for, how many readers were stamp collectors? The challenge was the same with the other media channels –  TV, radio, billboards, direct mail.  You might have known how old they were, if they were male or female, and if they had a college education – but interested in stamps?

Today, content is abundant and you have an infinite number of distribution channels to deploy.  The good news, relevance is achievable and you can market directly to a target audience as never before.

The truth of this has never been more true than it is today. 

In fact, in January 1996, Bill Gates published an essay on Microsoft’s website entitled, “Content is King“, he said:

Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting…one of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create.”

Eighteen years ago Bill Gates predicted that building market share is directly linked to creating and distributing “extremely up-to-date information” in a way where people want to engage, share, comment, hashtag, and recreate new content across all platforms.

Captivating content is “predicated upon context”, as Gary Vaynerchuk has often been quoted saying, “Content is King, but Context is God.” In order to be successful with content, you have to have the tools at your disposal to execute in a contextual way. 

The following three tips from Gary Vaynerchuk apply directly to real estate professionals more than ever.


3 tips on creating context for your audience

And build local market share:

  1. Respect the reason people are using the platform 
  2. Don’t interrupt your audience’s experience with ads that don’t provide value
  3. Be consistent with your brand messaging – whether you’re tweeting, commenting, hastaging – make sure it’s attached to your core brand goals.

I highly recommend reading his full article, read Gary’s entire article here.


Micro is the new macro

According to eMarketer, global ad spending is predicted to reach $583.91 billion in 2017, with digital ads making up about 38% of that total.  Unfortunately, most of those ad dollars will go to waste – never reaching their intended and most relevant audience, and thus offering no return on investment.

Market Share - Content - micro-macro

The challenge that every marketer faces is how to best engage and delight consumers so they eventually become customers and brand enthusiasts.  We may be living in digital world, but the landscape is overly crowded with messaging – that’s why is critical to filter out the “noise” and strategically target consumers who are most likely to do business with you.

I highly recommend the Seth Godin seminal book “Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us” – which talks about how the Internet has ended mass marketing and how founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change.


Marketing is harder and easier at the same time.

Wait, what?

Despite what I said earlier, it seems old times never change.  

“Spray and pray” marketing is more alive and kicking than ever before.  Banner ads anyone?  In some ways, online marketing (PPC, SEM, SEO, Facebook, etc.) has become a modern version of direct mail.  With an endless supply of content and infinite distribution channels, we have created the ultimate SPAM paradise.

build market share | FacebookReach

Marketing is easier today in the sense that we can leverage audience filters to target and retarget prospects, but there’s way too much messaging and way less attention span out there today, so no one is really paying attention.  

Consumers suffer from content fatigue – in fact you only have about eight seconds to engage them online before they leave your website, landing page, video, or social post.

Need a marketing expert? Bad news, they don’t really exist. It seems everyone claims to be a marketing expert these days.  

It’s about them – they want to sell you the next great tech tool and promise the world.  What you need is the knowledge on how to create value for your consumer and reverse engineer from there. And whether you like it or not, you need to start thinking and acting more like a media company – content marketing is now the rule.

With attention spans at an all-time low, the age-old battle about which marketing method is best, print or digital, is still relevant. 

The truth is, both methods can be useful. 

The key to knowing where to spend your marketing budget is in understanding your target audience, and which platform reaches them best.


Brand is still all-important

Building a brand is old school, but it’s actually never been more imperative, plus it’s the path to more leads.  

To create a successful brand today and build local market share, you need to focus acutely on creating relevant content that will magnetize a specific audience who will eventually become customers.  More importantly, you need to trade value for their time and engagement.

build market share - branding tips


Time is everyone’s most valuable currency

Despite what the marketing pundits will say, building a successful brand is the best way to create and sustain a business that is built to last.  Your brand has life – it’s alive!  It’s reputation precedes you in the market – it’s what consumers think of when their ready to make a purchase decision.  Most important of all, brands are about trust.  And trust is why consumers buy.

Leverage is about repetition and relevance. Your marketing and messaging needs to be consistent and highly relevant to the audience your targeting.

Despite the fact that “44% of buyers find their homes online, real estate agents still account for 33% of the home discovery process.”

That’s a third of all transactions going to you, the realtor.

Oh, and of the 44% who find their place online, most call an agent next.

This strong indicates that you need to be marketing yourself and building your brand at all times. 

After all, Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon said it best, “Your brand is what people think about when you’re not in the room.” 

If you’re not showing up on a consistent basis and leveraging your brand, your consumers will find an agent that is, and build market share with that agent.


Market share ultimate virtue – Patience!

Our digital world has created a transaction economy and transactional consumer mindset.  According to a report by the U.S. Commerce Department, online sales reached $394.86 billion last year, which comprised nearly 42% of the growth in the U.S. retail market in 2016.  For comparison purposes, total retail sales were $4.846 trillion in 2016 – e-commerce sales now represent 11.7% of total retail sales.

The danger lies in believing our marketing needs to be transactional too.  There’s no such thing as quick and easy – it’s more like slow and steady.  The most successful marketing and brand building has always been more of a marathon than a sprint.  What we lack today is the patience to run that race.

It has been said that “we love to buy stuff, but hate to be sold to,” yet many marketers, real estate agents, and sales reps continue to hard sell potential customers.

Their hope is that the customer will be ready to buy what they have to offer after seeing their ad, visiting their website, reading their blog, opening their email. It’s easy to fall into that trap, simply because it’s the easiest.

Instead, building a tribe of loyal fans and earning market share through content marketing takes time. 

Neil Patel, said this about patience, “With content marketing you really have to be patient.  It doesn’t just open the flood gate and gives you all at once — it takes time. But if you’re persistent, you’ll see good scores, metrics will eventually start improving, and all your content marketing efforts will finally start to pay off.”

From PR to local print magazines to SEO, social media ads, video and blogging. The goal should be to provide value all along the customer journey in hopes that what you give them they find interesting and valuable. 



If you provide a remarkable customer experience from A to Z, your customer will inevitably grow an affinity to your brand which may lead them to buy what you’re selling. 

Your job is to be the purveyor of accurate and valuable information, not to convince people to buy. 

They’ll make the decision.  

You just have to make that process as easy and stress-free as possible.

In my mind, building a legacy brand in a micro market is still paramount to everything else – it’s a scalable architecture and creates a hyper-local engagement funnel, which then translates into “mind share” and ultimately, “market share.”

The market share winner’s today are focused entirely on the consumer experience and creating value first, playing the long-game, building an engaged audience, and over indexing on delivering captivating content.

I call it marketecture.

What techniques do you use to build market share within your local communities?


High-Tech ‘Hood

Playa Vista, CA is home to L.A.’s first Apple HomeKit-enabled enclave

Written by Alexandria Abramian  |  Photography Courtesy of Brookfield Residential


As the high-tech hub of Southern California, it makes sense that L.A.’s first, entirely smart-home-enabled neighborhood would be within Playa Vista. At The Collection, all 66 of its luxury homes come with Apple HomeKit, making it the first Los Angeles County neighborhood to offer the smart-home technology as standard, which means homeowners can control lighting, thermostats, locks and more via iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches or Siri.

This move reflects a growing expectation among luxury homebuyers. “I have had clients at the higher-end level who won’t even want to look at a home if it wasn’t already wired to be smart-home enabled,” says Debbie Weiss, real estate agent with Keller Williams Santa Monica. “They get it with their cars and feel they should absolutely have it with their homes.”    

In addition to smart-home technology, The Collection features private elevators, gourmet kitchens, and spacious master suites with spa retreats and dressing rooms. Designed by Robert Hidey Architects and Bassenian Lagoni and built by Brookfield Residential, the contemporary homes also include outdoor living with side yards, patios and upper-floor decks.

The three- to five-bedroom homes come with a two-car private garage and range from 2,624 to 3,666 square feet. Prices start from the low to high $2 millions. 

The proliferation of high-end housing is set amid a growing high-tech environment: Google is expanding from Venice into the area with a 12-acre campus plus an entirely reimagined, 319,000-square-foot wooden seaplane hangar, which formerly housed Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose.


The company will join Yahoo, YouTube, and countless others in the 460-acre development, where homes, shops, restaurants and offices coexist amid a series of parks, sports fields, and even a public STEM school.

Within the massive Playa Vista, location matters, The Collection offers its homeowners a prime position between the Runway (the community’s retail and restaurant area), The Resort (its state-of-the-art fitness center) and a profusion of urban parks.

And yet, despite the central location, privacy is part of its appeal. Each of its 66 homes offers private garages and enclosed gardens. Even HomeKit data is encrypted and stored on the device, not the Cloud.

The mix of tech-friendly homes with nearby offices and retail has helped to make Playa Vista one of L.A.’s hottest residential real estate markets. In 2017, Playa Vista saw a 317 percent increase in Q3 2017 sales volume for single-family home sales over the same period last year, according to a survey by the Combined L.A. Westside MLS. This followed a similar surge in Q2 2017 when the MLS ranked Playa Vista as Los Angeles’ number-two top-selling single-family neighborhood with a 223 percent increase in sales volume over Q2 2016. 

“The combination of sophisticated, modern architecture, walkable proximity to Playa Vista’s creative-office campus and extraordinary community amenities and events is propelling our strong sales streak,” said Alison Girard, director of Marketing at Brookfield Residential.

“These thoughtful, design-forward homes are some of the final collections of new homes available in booming Silicon Beach, and they are drawing a diverse and steady stream of buyers.” Not that it’s in unlimited supply in Silicon Beach: The Collection is among the last development of detached homes that will ever be built in Playa Vista.

Blockchain Technology to Record Real Estate Documentation Announced

Palo Alto, California-based global blockchain real estate marketplace, Propy, Inc. is launching a pilot program to record real estate documentation using blockchain technology in South Burlington, Vermont, a state that is increasingly known for being friendly to blockchain development. 

“The startup, headed by founder Natalia Karayaneva, uses Blockchain protocols to record real estate transactions on a ledger that governments can use to tie titles to properties securely and efficiently. Propy also works to match buyers with both seller and brokers and offers information on neighborhoods where the properties are located,”  — CoinTelegraph.

“…[The Pilot project is] emblematic of Vermont’s long history of innovating business, insurance, and financial technology. We are fortunate to have a cutting edge statutory framework that enables the use of blockchain technology, and we will continue to work with the legislature to ensure Vermont remains at the forefront of these innovations.”

Michael Schirling >> Development Secretary | Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development

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Number of $1 million homes has quadrupled since 2002

Number of $1 million homes has quadrupled since 2002, now 4.3% of all homes

According to a Trulia research report, $1 million may no longer get buyers into the luxury home market – it’s more like $5 million as the new bar for luxury living. In fact, even $5 million homes are becoming less exclusive, as the number of these homes is five times higher than in 2002. Of all the listings, over 7,000 were listed in the top 100 U.S. metros in 2017 – 0.28% were listed at $5 million or more.

That’s certainly the case on the Westside.

Brentwood had only (7) closed sales in 2017 under $1.5 million, and (73) closed sales over $5 million – that’s 29.2% of all of the homes sold in Brentwood last year. The average closed sale price was $4,277,878 in Brentwood last year.

Comparatively, Pacific Palisades had only (1) closed sale under $1.5 million last year, and (52) over $5 million, which represented 20% of the total market sales. The average closed price for Pacific Palisades was $3,989,789 last year.

On the other hand, Santa Monica had (28) sales under $1.5 million, and (32) sales over $5 million, which represented 12.8% of total market sales in 2017.

Interestingly, of the (758) single-family home sales combined in these areas last year, a total of (24) homes sold over $10 million and the share of $5 million plus homes sold was 20.7% of the total market. The highest closed sales price in Brentwood, Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica last year was $23,000,000. (South Bay had (54) total sales above $5 million in 2017, representing 3.59% of total market sales.)

“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.”
— Bernard Baruch

Micro Marketing – Macro Results

Effective Micro Marketing for Macro Results

According to eMarketer, global ad spending is predicted to reach $583.91 billion in 2017, with digital ads making up about 38% of that total.  Unfortunately, most of those ad dollars will go to waste – never reaching their intended and most relevant audience, and thus offering no return on investment.

The challenge that every marketer faces is how to best engage and delight consumers so they eventually become customers and brand enthusiasts.  We may be living in the digital world, but the landscape is overly crowded with messaging — that’s why is critical to filter out the “noise” and strategically target consumers who are most likely to do business with you.

The good news for real estate professionals looking to grow their business, the majority of your potential customers are located in a hyper-local geographical area, which may be comprised of one or several adjacent zip codes.

If you know where your prospects are — you’re halfway there.

Is Print Dead?

Now, you need to find a way to communicate to them directly in a manner that is relevant to your business offerings.  What are the best media channels to employ?

Once dominant and today vastly overlooked — local print.  Better yet, local print that is targeted to a specific audience that creates content and engagement around their specific needs.  We’re not talking about general interest lifestyle content, we’re talking about hyper-focused content and media that acts as a magnet that attracts and creates high engagement around a singular conversation.

Image this conversation being local real estate? 100% local real estate.

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Now imagine if you could leverage that conversation and communicate directly to that specific real estate audience with a set frequency that optimizes engagement with your brand, creates local mind-share and keeps you top of mind when these consumers are most likely to transact real estate.  Add targeted digital ad campaigns like Facebook & Google and deploy them cross-platform (mobile, tablet, video, email, search, display) and now you’ve created a true 360˙ marketing platform that is truly micro and turbocharged to create maximum exposure and velocity for your marketing.

Too good to be true?

No — that’s why DIGS exist. 

Learn how to leverage micro market media and create macro results for your brand.

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Introducing The iBuyer

Wall Street has always been on the hunt for new and innovative ways to maximize returns on investment. Some turned out great, others not so great. 

Ten years ago, it was subprime mortgages and mortgage backed securities, which led to the meltdown in 2008, which subsequently triggered the eventual $7 trillion dollar Wall Street bailout by the U.S. government. 

Today, Wall Street is investing in the U.S. market again but this time it’s buying up homes. Since the mortgage meltdown and housing crash caused millions of Americans to lose their homes, institutional investors such as Blackstone, America Homes 4 Rent, and Colony Starwood Homes have purchased tens of thousands of these homes and converted them into rentals. 

With new technology and cloud platforms to automate and streamline the way distributed assets can be managed, investment banks, private-equity firms, and hedge funds have found new ways to increase margins across the board. They look at these purchases not as homes, but as assets that can deliver a high rate of return. 


As institutional investors leverage technology to become the largest buyers of most Americans’ biggest asset, they become the new iBuyers and could influence prices and terms under which homebuyers and sellers transact, including commission rates. 

The iBuyer trend has just begun, but it will no doubt change the game in real estate. The “big money” always bets on technology to disrupt industries and make them “more efficient,” which is code for squeezing out more profit. 


Drawing on institutional capital, iBuyers use technology to make quick offers on homes, close in just days, and either rent or flip them. New platforms are already up and running, with Opendoor, OfferPad, and the industry’s newest and most controversial, Zillow Instant Offers. 

This new disruptive business model has the potential to make the housing market “more efficient,” – again code word for capturing generous fees. iBuyers use technology to offer homeowners a fast and guaranteed sale at purported “market value,” all for a flat service fee of between 6 – 13%. 

Two of the industry’s leading iBuyers, Opendoor and Offerpad, currently operated in a few markets but plan on expanding quickly in the next 18 months. In Phoenix, the two companies have closed more than 600 transactions in the first quarter of 2017, accounting for almost 3% of total sales, according to Attom Data Solutions.

The transformation of the real estate industry is also attracting top talent in the technology space, as demonstrated by Opendoor’s recent hiring of Uber’s head of finance, as well as two former Amazon executives that will serve in key roles. Gautam Gupta, who heads up finance at Uber, but plans to leave in July, will serve as Opendoor’s COO, where he’ll focus on scaling operations and opening new markets. 

“Opendoor has the opportunity to transform how people buy and sell homes much like ridesharing has transformed how people get around,” Gupta stated. 


First, Wall Street is getting into the real estate business – leveraging its vast resources and might expedite the disruption. Second, the big money is now really zeroing in on the “direct to consumer” model as the ultimate model to make the home selling process more efficient. 

Redfin, the Seattle based online brokerage has filed for an IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission with its initial public offering priced at $100 million. In the filing, Redfin also announced it was testing Redfin Now, a new service in which Redfin buys homes directly from sellers and resells them to buyers. The company will test Redfin Now in two markets to start – the Inland Empire and San Diego California. 

Redfin’s new program allows homeowners to sell a property to Redfin for as little as 7 percent commission. Homeowners will be able to view an immediate offer range on Redfin Now’s website and if they choose to request a formal offer, Redfin will send a representative to inspect the home and then submit a binding offer within 24 hours. 


Accelerating the new iBuyer transformation is real estate giant Zillow, which just entered the picture a few weeks ago. Zillow launched a pilot program in two cities – Las Vegas and Orlando, Florida with the promise that a home sale can be completed in less than a week. Called “Zillow Instant Offers,” this new service allows home sellers to receive all-cash offers from a hand-selected group of 15 private investors. 

Zillow, real estate industry’s chief disruptor, looks like it’s jumping into the iBuyer game, and leveraging its multi-billion dollar market capitalization and consumer brand to offer a radical new business model for home sellers. With Opendoor and Offerpad leading the charge and quickly gaining momentum in the space, Zillow really has no choice but to try and take the lead for fear of being disrupted itself. 

With a market cap of $8 billion dollars and still losing money, Zillow can’t grow its advertising driven model fast enough to appease Wall Street. The fear amongst REALTORS and the industry at large has always been that Zillow is gearing up to “flip the switch,” and become a full service brokerage – which they have always adamantly denied. But ultimately, they may have no choice. 


It appears Amazon is jumping into the real estate space as well. A “Hire a Realtor” placeholder page, (which debuted briefly and has already been removed,) suggests the internet behemoth will add real estate agents to its professional services marketplace. If the marketplace works for agents like it does for other professionals, then agents would pay referral fees to Amazon in exchange for new business. 

Where this leads nobody knows, but with Amazon’s scale and clout in the product space, one could only imagine the possibilities here.


In 2011, $186 million was spent on real estate tech applications. Fast-forward to 2016 and that number has ballooned to $2.7 billion. 

At the end of the day, technology is going to change every aspect of buying, selling, and managing real estate.

According to the National Association of Realtors 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 88% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker – a share that has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

It will be interesting to watch the convergence of America’s continued and growing dependence on the expertise of real estate agents and the accelerating advancement of technology.


The National Association of Realtors, (NAR) estimated that the aggregate value of existing U.S. home sales was approximately $1.5 trillion in 2016 from approximately 5.5 million total transactions. It is estimated that consumers 

paid more than $75 billion in commissions in 2016 for these transactions.

The residential brokerage industry remains highly fragmented, with an estimated 2 million active licensed agents and over 86,000 real estate brokers in the U.S.

Over one-third of middle-class consumer spending is on the home, so it’s no wonder the “big money” is betting on the real estate industry’s continued disruption – there’s money to be made. One thing is for sure, that technology will continue to play a larger role in the real estate transaction, and the direct to consumer momentum will continue to gather steam. Where this ends up, nobody knows.

But don’t plan on real estate agents becoming extinct any time soon. The size, complexity, and legality of buying and selling million plus dollar assets warrants seasoned, professional representation. Additionally, “off market, not listed on the MLS” deals represent over 20% of home sales in some markets, and you can’t access these without tapping into an agent’s local network. 

Finally, buying anything is a highly emotional decision. The bigger the price, the more emotional it gets. Agents serve this purpose well, by acting as personal caretakers during the transaction process – something technology can’t do at the moment.

We’re truly living in a “wild west” real estate world today, and it’s only going to get more interesting moving forward. So sit back, fasten your seat belts, and get ready for the ride.

Written By Warren J Dow | Publisher | 310.373.0142 x2461