Unless you come from a marketing background, this can be one of the most challenging, yet important, components of operating your real estate business. Add to this challenge, the constant stream of new high-tech marketing solutions vying for your attention, and it's no wonder marketing can be a struggle for a lot of agents.
Whether veteran or brand new agent, here are 10 real estate marketing techniques to help you hit the ground running in 2018:
- Create listings that sell. In the digital age, this low-tech bit of advice may seem ho-hum, but it's one of the critical pieces of successful marketing for listing agents. It's not enough to describe the property's attributes. Your listing language should grab the attention of prospective buyers and agents. Most importantly, appeal to the emotions of potential buyers by painting a picture of their new life in your home so they begin to envision themselves as owners even before the showing. Incorporate multi-media elements, such as video, photo and audio.
- Put testimonials to work. Unless you actively incorporate testimonials into your marketing plan, you could be missing out on the opportunity to make the most of the best your clients have to say about your dedication and commitment. Use testimonials on multiple pages of your website, in your videos, post on social media, use in marketing materials and incorporate them into your presentations. Be sure when you request a testimonial that you make it clear you will be using it for marketing purposes. Go beyond the written word with photos and video testimonials.
- Let chatbots and Messenger share the greeting duties. Here's a bit of technology you may not have considered: more than ever, buyers and sellers expect an instant response when they inquire about a property. Using a chatbot on your website or a Facebook messenger chat plug in will provide them with an instant answer—and provide you with appropriate contact information for easy follow up.
- Tackle video. Video continues to be important both in social media advertising and in improving your website's search results. Your targeted neighborhood is an excellent place to start with video marketing. Clever, unusual and humorous situations can even go viral. Of course, the most difficult step is figuring out the original concept. Try re-enacting a funny situation you've found yourself in as a realtor or providing a tour through a targeted neighborhood. You may even want to consider a video series, such as a "day in the life" of an agent or real-life home-staging how-tos.
- Automate lead management. With lack of response the biggest reason potential clients say they have dropped an agent, automating your lead generation with one of many marketing lead generation apps is a necessary investment. Automating your leads enables you to efficiently automate your responses, keeps data and follow up at your fingertips, and streamlines your e-newsletter and other marketing communications.
- Master online advertising. With over 90 percent of real estate clients starting their search online, it makes sense to become an online advertising pro. One of the best places to begin is with Google Adwords. While it's still important to optimize your website to improve your search results, it also pays to invest in a Google Adwords program that puts your business in the "paid seats" and offers more exposure to potential clients.
- Utilize augmented reality. Augmented reality (AR)is a technology that layers computer-generated enhancements on top of existing reality to make it come to life through interaction. It blends digital components into the real world in such a way that they enhance one another. It can bring listings to life, even allowing a client to see decorating changes or their own furniture in a listing. To have on your radar: virtual reality, which requires a headset but enables you to make clients feel as though they are truly experiencing a walk through a listing.
- Tell your story on Instagram. Use Instagram Stories to promote your listings. Or, let your followers see what value you bring by giving them a day by day glimpse into the busy life of a real estate agent. Either way, the platform is one more way for you to connect with clients.
- Perfect your postcard campaign. Blasting potential or current clients with the same tired postcard campaign is not money well-spent. Be sure your campaign's marketing message tells potential clients "what's in it for them." Try offering something of value in addition to your real estate services to attract attention, such as a giveaway.
- Monitor your return on investment. Finally, track your marketing techniques. Even the most business-minded of agents can struggle with this step, but it's important to know what you are seeing in returns for your time and marketing investment made. For example, you may be spending too much on lead generation marketing when your revenue is generated from existing family and friends.There are a whole host of business apps available to help you track your expenses as well as your time; you simply need to discipline yourself into using them consistently. The results will tell you where to direct future efforts.
Lori Weaver is a writer and licensed real estate agent in Lexington, Ky. With over 25 years’ experience in communications and marketing across a number of business sectors, she provides content marketing, writing and social media services to a variety of B2B and B2C clients, with a focus on real estate., real estate investments and new construction. In her spare time, Lori enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
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