As a real estate marketing agency based in Austin, we know how fun it can be to work with new developments in Austin. We know the Austin vibe. We know the districts and street names and how an Austinite would talk about them. We know what kinds of apartments and amenities and common in the market because we’ve searched for apartments in Austin ourselves. We have insider knowledge and insider passion about the Austin market. It can streamline the discovery process and inspire us to do excellent work in collaboration with our clients.
But do you want to hear a secret? Sometimes a local marketing agency isn’t the best pick. In fact, you can typically get the same quality of work—if not sometimes better—from a marketing agency partner outside the local market.
There are multiple reasons for this and they all come back to trade-offs. Yes, when you hire a local marketing agency, you’re likely getting certain advantages due to first-hand knowledge of the area. However, you’re also likely to suffer a variety of disadvantages affecting everything from pricing to the quality of work and the speed of your lease-up.
Wondering if a local marketing agency is right for your new development project? Let’s discuss some of the reasons why a local real estate marketing agency may not be your best pick. Along the way, you’ll also get crucial insights into what you should look for in a marketing partner when choosing between local and remote options.
Market Research Trumps Local Know-How
First-hand knowledge is an asset, there’s no denying it. But thorough market research is ultimately more important when it comes to making strategic marketing decisions. Local marketing agencies sometimes cut out the market research and discovery step entirely, believing they already know all they need to know to succeed in the market. Nine times out of ten, this is a huge mistake.
Market research and discovery is indispensable because it remains objective. When we have first-hand experience of something, we often feel we have the full picture, but really the picture is only as complete as our limited subjective view can make it. As a real estate marketing agency in Austin, we have many Austinites on our team, but not one of them has the complete picture of Austin demographics, rent rates, competitors, brand trends, local history, or current events without looking some things up. That’s why market research is so important. All these factors influence the success of new housing developments in Austin, especially due to the highly competitive nature of the housing market.
If you are considering a local real estate marketing partner, be sure to ask about their market research and discovery process first. Their answer could illuminate just how objective their process is and how deep they’ll dig to find the inspiration for out-of-the-box marketing strategies that will help you stand out from the crowd. Speaking of standing out…
Fresh Perspectives Create Innovative Outcomes
If marketers aren’t careful, we can easily rehash the same ideas time and time again. It’s only natural when we work on many projects that have similar goals and similar audiences. Out-of-the-box thinking doesn’t come naturally; it takes commitment and collaboration to pursue truly innovative ideas that stand out from the market.
The risk of in-the-box thinking is that much higher when working in a market that you are intimately familiar with. While you may have an advantage when it comes to ideas that resonate with your local market, you also have blinders on due to the natural inclination to focus on what’s familiar. It’s called confirmation bias; our brains tend to gravitate toward what coheres with our existing beliefs and experiences and ignore what doesn’t fit. This bias can be that much harder to overcome when we are so immersed in the familiarity of our own local market.
On the flipside, an outside perspective can provide a more reliable and efficient route to innovative ideas. From your brand’s look and feel to print marketing strategies to how you build your website, a non-local marketing partner may have the broader perspective and variety of experience that helps push you and your team out of your comfort zone and into marketing strategies that stand out from the crowd to drive buzz, loyalty, and leases.
If you’re considering working with a local agency, be sure to ask for examples of past work. This will help you assess how much range they have and their capacity for innovation within your local market. If their work samples all have a similar look and feel, that should be a red flag. It may also help to ask specifically about the most innovative project they have worked on so you can immediately get a sense of their potential for out-of-the-box ideas.
Local Agencies Have Fewer Resources
Because local marketing agencies tend to be smaller boutique agencies, they may or may not have the same resources that you’d find at an agency serving multiple markets. This is true in some areas more than others. For example, a local agency may have contacts with all the local printing vendors, but fewer digital marketing resources like a CTV marketing platform or a Google Premier Partnership.
Even when a local agency has plenty of local contacts to leverage for all your new development’s real estate marketing needs, you may not be getting the biggest bang for your buck. This is simply because local vendors tend to have local networks with fewer options overall, meaning they are less equipped to shop around and ensure a low rate in order to pass the savings along to you. An agency that serves markets across the country (or even across the globe) is likely to have a broader network of options as well as time-saving and cost-saving resources that allow them to promise more affordable rates. For example, at Threshold we have an established network of print vendors, audience databases, digital marketing partners, and more that we leverage to provide seamless outcomes for our clients while keeping costs low.
If you are considering working with a local real estate marketing agency, be sure to ask about not just their pricing but also their network of vendors for print and environmental graphics, digital marketing campaigns, videography and photography, video editing, and anything else your new development may need to establish great brand awareness and an accelerated lease-up.