Real Estate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
The real estate industry is both highly competitive and reliant on self-marketing. You studied for your real estate license, but to really succeed, you'll have to brush up on some real estate marketing basics, too. You've probably picked up on some of the do's as you got started; you have your listings on Zillow, and you're hooked into social media. But unless you've made a major faux pas, there's a good chance that the don't's have been slipping under your radar. Here are the five biggest marketing mistakes that you should stop making right now.
1. Stretching the truth on your listing descriptionsIf you take nothing else away from this article, let this be the one mistake you avoid. Sure, those newlyweds might not have set up a viewing if you hadn't said the place had a balcony. But do you really think they're going to settle for that one foot by three foot ledge attached to the living room window? It's one thing to accentuate the positive, but misleading claims can get you into real legal trouble. Even if it doesn't come to that, you risk irate clients. These days, home buyers practically require it – they want to know the features of the property before they ever set foot in the door, and if you're feeding them false information, they won't thank you for it. Most importantly, you'll never close a deal with deceptive marketing. Those newlyweds aren't going to sign, and you've just wasted an hour of everyone's time. Information, expertise, and earned trust are your biggest assets as an agent. You can't afford to torpedo all three in the eyes of your clients, just to dress up a listing.
2. Relying too heavily on one channelMaintain your own website, but also use Zillow. Put money into digital, but don't forget print; buy ads with Google AdWords and Facebook, but order door hangers too. Encourage Yelp reviews and testimonials for your website. Try investing in virtual open houses. Use email marketing to recapture leads that have gone stale. And video is one of the best marketing investments a real estate agent can make. Yeah, I know. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. You don't have to add everything to your repertoire at once. Test new channels, and don't give up too quickly. Any new marketing campaign will require several months to succeed, and every marketing campaign will fail if you pull the plug too early.
3. Failing to drive your marketing with dataWith all the marketing options you have, it's tempting to throw stuff into the internet abyss and hope for the best. But don't. To really get the most out of your marketing dollars, you need to put on your mad scientist hat (wig?) and measure your results. Know exactly where your best leads are coming from and which campaigns are performing poorly so you can put your money in the right place. But first you have to make new leads trackable to their source.
- Setup Google Analytics. It's well established, it's free, and it can give you a lot of information.
- Set up a tracking link for any campaign that clicks through to your listings or your website. Basically, Google Analytics will spit out a string of parameters to put onto the end of the link. Each campaign (email, AdWords, etc) gets its own unique string, and Google Analytics can tell you how many people clicked that link and what they did next.
- If you're putting a lot into print advertising, it may be worthwhile to set up call tracking service. You get campaign-specific phone numbers to use in each print ad. The call forwards to your normal line, but you can now use the tracking software to trace each call back to a specific print campaign.