Time-Honored Traditions, Cutting-Edge Innovations. In a brokerage market facing challenges from a rapidly evolving tech space, Swan Land Company, based in Bozeman, Montana, is developing innovative solutions.
In a brokerage market facing challenges from a rapidly evolving tech space, Swan Land Company, based in Bozeman, Montana, is developing innovative solutions.
Article By: Lorie A. Woodword December 14, 2022
Pioneering ranchers had to be nimble and adaptable to a constantly changing set of conditions—and the same goes for ranch real estate brokerages,” said Mike Swan, owner and managing broker of Swan Land Company. “We owe our clients the best marketing practices.” While ‘Google core and algorithm updates’ may sound like jargon, the fact is that a lot of standard practices in the industry are lagging behind what’s required by big tech companies for good rankings and high performance. Let alone actually innovating for clients.
In 2012, Swan founded the brokerage that bears his family’s name based on the principles he learned growing up on their Montana ranch. Honesty, integrity, hard work, and planning ahead.
“We do our best to anticipate the changes in technology, and the farther the industry falls behind, the more challenging it’s going to be to catch up,” Swan said. “With that said, this is an
industry with a lot of heritage. Technology will never replace the power of a handshake, kitchen table conversations, and boots-on-the-ground hard work.”
He continued, “However, if our due diligence packages and high-touch customer service are the gold standard, then we should apply the same discipline and personal touch to our marketing mix and the technologies in our portfolio.”
This dedication has previously earned the team the opportunity to represent some of the most prestigious ranches in the Rocky Mountain West. These notable transactions include Climbing Arrow Ranch, Broken O Ranch, LF Ranch in Montana, and M&M Ranch in Wyoming to name a few.
Despite their success, the Swan Land Company team is never content. To enhance performance and push their service to the next level, Swan Land Company is completely upgrading its marketing stack and website. Their marketing foundation is strong, built on time-tested strategies such as targeted print and digital advertising, a robust database of qualified buyers, and a selective email list that has been developed over time.
“Our goal is to make our best better,” Swan said. “We’re going through a significant overhaul on our website and implementing some new cutting-edge tech infrastructure to face up to the challenges we see on the horizon. We’re also applying data science to our marketing campaigns in a way that will allow us to create perfectly tailored campaigns for every property.”
The company uses a set of buyer profiles developed by a market research team and feeds them into machine-learning algorithms. The MLA identifies unique digital markers and allows the Swan team to target qualified buyers precisely. This is a win for buyers and sellers.
“This data and other characteristics our agents feel are important for a property sale are fed back into the algorithm, allowing us to account for scale and the human element,” Swan’s marketing team said. “Some properties in the lower price ranges have large audiences, while truly elite properties have a razor-thin audience. This approach allows us to be precise, trim the fat, and put the right property in front of the right people time after time.”
The push for improvement is constant through post-campaign evaluation and data refinement.
“We’ve always tried to identify what works, and that will continue with these new tools,” Swan said. “Digital marketing improves with every set of relevant data, so over time, our efforts will just get better.”
As part of the overall technology upgrade, the website, which is expected to launch in early 2023, is being completely redesigned to put revolutionary tools in the agents’ hands to help them better serve clients. From the client side, the new tools will increase transparency and help demystify the process of picking the right agent. Swan is reluctant to give away too many details before the upcoming launch but is confident the tools will set a new standard in the ranch, farm, recreational, and luxury real estate space.
“I’m proud of the team we’ve built,” said Swan, noting the firm has one of the highest agent retention rates in the industry. “They’re deeply embedded in their communities and bring knowledge and expertise from their lifestyles to the table for our clients. These tools will just help them be even more effective.”
At Swan Land Company, everything they do is designed to serve their clients better.
“While the advances in technology and data science are exciting, they’ll never replace strong, working relationships built on trust,” Swan said. “Our focus has and always will be on doing what’s best for our clients. In this case, we’re increasing our data gathering and marketing capacity, so clients can rest assured we’re giving them the best resources in the business.”
In today’s fast-moving world, Swan believes it is crucial to stick to the basics and traditions while also being as effective and efficient as possible.
“Our approach to real estate has always been about high touch and hard work,” Swan said.
He continued, “We’re committed to relationships and practices that stand the test of time, not quick wins and turn-and-burns that can exist in today’s industry. Land lasts forever, and we believe in the power of relationships that endure.”