Scott McNabb, vice president of sales for Oracle, wants Realtors to perceive a frightening reality: the buyer is in control. Even more alarming, not engaging the buyer on his or her terms can result in what McNabb calls “brand Armageddon.”
“If you have a poor showing, or if your open house isn’t what the buyer was expecting, or if the buyer doesn’t like the way you spoke with them, you’re a short tweet away from brand Armageddon,” McNabb said by phone last week. “But Realtors are rocking back on their heels instead of meeting buyers where they live, giving them a personalized experience, and providing them with relevant content.”
McNabb, a Signal Mountain native who lives in Roswell, Ga., will advise local real estate agents on how to connect with consumers during the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors (GCAR) membership breakfast on Wednesday, Feb. 3. GCAR will also announce the Realtor of the Year during the meeting.
“I’m going to talk about how relevance equals conversion, and how conversion equals revenue,” McNabb said. “If you can show a buyer you know them and can meet them where they live with relevant content, then your chances of conversion will increase.”
McNabb said the discussion about relevance is important at a time when consumers – and in particular millennials – expect marketers to know everything about them. “They don’t care if you send them an offer because of something they bought yesterday,” McNabb said. “This is how they expect you to engage with them. They expect you to give them the same experience as Amazon.”
Drowning in technology
Engaging buyers on this level is a challenge for Realtors because of the glut of technology available, McNabb said. What was once a tool intended to make an agent’s job easier has started to drive a wedge between them and consumers.
“Back in the day, Realtors were quick to embrace new technologies, including everything from pagers to cell phones in cars,” McNabb said. “These things were there to allow agents to respond to clients more quickly, and to make their job easier.
“Then email came along, and agents could respond to someone immediately. Eventually, they could even look at a contract online.
“Over the last ten years, technology has accelerated at a rate never before seen in human history, but Realtors are still turning to technology for the convenience and not because it has been designed to help them have a better conversation with buyers.”
The problem stems from the preponderance of technologies, McNabb said. Although the latest technologies were designed to help Realtors connect with consumers, agents are essentially drowning in them, which in turn is making them feel increasingly disconnected from consumers. “There has been a 600 percent increase in the technologies available to Realtors in the last five years,” McNabb said. “However, few agents got into the real estate business to be technologists.”
During his session at the membership breakfast, McNabb plans to whittle down the choices to a few relevant options designed to make Realtors more efficient and effective and stand out in the market. “The signal to noise ratio is really high right now, and it’s easy for consumers to ignore you,” McBann said. “I’m going to highlight a few technologies, discuss market insights and trends, and provide what I call the skinned-knee examples of what to avoid.
“We want to help Realtors embrace the horror that the buyer is in control of their brand.”
McNabb says the one-hour session sprang out of a conversation he had with his brother-in-law, GCAR President Nathan Walldorf, about the overabundance of technology available to Realtors. “Nathan and I were sitting around talking on a Saturday, and he told me about a folder he has of all the technologies he’s tried that’s an inch thick, and how he felt he was drowning in choices,” McNabb said.
About Scott McNabb
McNabb attended Tyner High School, graduated from USC Costal Carolina, and then joined the Air Force, where he served as a weapons and tactics instructor. “I did what Kelly McGillis’ character in ‘Top Gun’ did,” McNabb said. “I trained Air Force pilots how to safely and effectively use nuclear and non-nuclear weapons.”
After leaving the military, McNabb wound up in the technology space, where he developed a career in marketing. After working for “various and sundry” technology start-ups, he went to work for Eloqua, an inventor of the marketing automation space. McNabb was one of a few dozen employees who grew the company’s value from $9 million to $93 million in two-and-a-half years. Six months after Eloqua went public, Oracle acquired it for $1.1 billion.
“I couldn’t spell Oracle before,” he says, laughing. “Now I are one.”
McNabb has turned his insight into marketing, and in particular how companies are linking advertising technology and marketing automation, into frequent speaking engagements at conferences and trade shows around the country.
GCAR members will be able to hear him for free at the Feb. 3 membership breakfast. RSVP at www.gcar.net/events/event/membership-breakfast-how-to-connect-with-consumers. McNabb will also draw on his training at the Disney Institute on how to connect with consumers.