You’ve done the standard marketing to generate leads and sales, but you need a few other things to take your real estate business from middle of the pack to local rock star. A commitment of time, thought, and creativity is necessary to grow prospects and convert them to loyal clients.
- Define Your Target Market and Your Audience
Real estate products and services are targeted to buyers and sellers, as well as other real estate practitioners; your marketing strategy should be tailored to each group. Also determine which consumer sub-groups you will target. Consider income brackets, geographic areas, age groups, and lifestyles.
Before designing a marketing campaign or a web site, you have to identify who you are, your expertise, and your focus. These things will help guide how and where you advertise.
- Cultivate Your Personal Brand
What makes you unique? Your education, knowledge of a neighborhood, and role in the community are ways to differentiate yourself in the local market. You should be able to succinctly state what sets you apart and how your talents and experience help clients and customers. This value proposition can be adapted in your marketing documents, client presentations, and social media posts.
Real estate brokerage is about personal relationships. Your clients and customers need to trust you and have confidence in your skills and judgement. Personal branding can help communicate this information by painting a portrait of you as real estate expert in a competitive industry.
Explicitly and implicitly, you’re communicating your brand identity through a variety of things big and small, such as your web site layout, your bio, your headshot, your social media posts, even the fonts and colors you use.
- Develop a Professional Web Site
Your web site is ground zero for your marketing efforts. Everything should link back to a professional, easy-to-use web site where visitors can find everything they want to know about you as an agent. This is where you’ll post your blog entries, listings, photos, videos, and testimonials.
Your web site should be optimized for mobile devices and all platforms. And don’t forget to add social sharing buttons so visitors can easily share things they like, driving traffic to your site.
Post content tailored for different consumers:
- For buyers: Sell the community, not your office or yourself. Answer common buyer questions and include mouse-sensitive maps, virtual tours, and professional photos of the local area. Also try drone photos. This new trend has gotten cheaper recently, so you can hire a drone to fly over a property and create awesome videos and photos.
- For sellers: Sellers want to know how you market property and how you’ll reduce their liability, stress, and inconvenience. Also free market analyses are a popular way of drawing in sellers.
- For other agents: Include lots of information about your events, open houses, and listings, including virtual tours. Make it easy for other agents to forward information about your listings to their prospective buyers.
- Establish a Must-Read Real Estate Blog
This where you can show your expertise and offer people real value. Real estate agents are hired for their advice and expertise. Helpful blog posts about the local real estate market, open houses, or the financing process can illustrate why they should hire you.
Create buyer and seller guides and checklists for the different phases in the home buying/selling process.
- Diversify with Email Newsletters, Videos, Podcasts, and Webinars
It’s important to have a good mix of content on your web site, so don’t forget to include images, infographics, and videos. Webinars are a great way to educate real estate consumers about the ins and outs of the real estate biz.
Video has a high engagement rate and can provide an extra dimension to your web presence. Create videos about your company, the local real estate market, and your properties and post them on YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo and promote them on Twitter.
A weekly newsletter is great vehicle for delivering some of the best content from your web site as well as special offers and news.
- Build an Email List
Email is the #1 activity on the internet. Email conversion rates are higher than social media. So it’s important to get customers’ email addresses and offer free stuff like market reports, buying and selling guides, financing infographics, and real estate newsletters.
- Work your client database and cultivate referrals
To inspire referrals, keep promises and deliver more than you promise. Give clients meaningful gifts to generate goodwill and referrals. Always ask for a personal referral in person.
Maintaining a database of past and present clients allows you to systematically work ongoing clients. A database is of no use unless filters can be applied to meet specific criteria.
- Get Involved Locally
Attending local events, meetups, charity functions, and festivals gets your name and your face out there and grows your sphere of influence. The art of prospecting requires putting yourself in situations where you can meet potential clients and referral sources face to face. But also get involved on social media and develop followers to drive traffic to your web site.
A lot of these ideas work hand in hand. Determining your target market helps define your brand identity, which informs your web site design. Your web site is where you’ll host your listings and content, which you promote on social media. Email marketing and social media drives web site traffic and builds your client database, which helps generate referrals. All this requires that you do your research. Presumably, you got into real estate because you love it, so researching markets and audiences and branding should be fun for you.
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