Knowing how to attract new clients is critical to the success of your real estate business. Many real estate agents, especially greenies, get into the business and don’t really know how to generate new business for themselves. This can be extremely frustrating and can lead to an early exit from an industry that typically provides comfortable livings to many individuals and families.
Since marketing yourself is a crucial piece of the puzzle, we decided to put together “The Ultimate Marketing Guide for Real Estate Agents” to help them learn what they need to do to find new customers and build a steady stream of income.
In this guide, we will address eight marketing tactics that you can deploy today. We will be adding to this guide over time, so make sure to bookmark it and return to it frequently. Let’s jump in.
Before you get into heavily marketing yourself or your business, it’s important to understand the concept of list building. Building your contact list (names, emails, phone numbers, and addresses) of not only individuals who do business with you, but those who show interest but choose to do business with someone else is critical to your ongoing success.
Research has shown that an average person will own three homes during their lifetime and many will own more. This means that you will have the opportunity to do repeat business with those who did business with you and you will have the opportunity to do first time business with those who chose to do business with someone else. The catch is, you can’t let them forget about you, which is why it is crucial to build your list and stay in contact with them on a regular basis. The next two sections will talk about two great ways to stay in contact with them.
Although a bit old school, direct mail can still be a fantastic way to stay in contact with your list. Two types of direct mailers can be effective: newsletters and postcards.
Interesting newsletters that speak to the interests of your customers (or potential customers) are a great way to engage with them. In these newsletters, you can talk about the real estate market, easy and affordable home upgrades that are popular right now, mortgage interest rates (in case they are looking for a new home or are considering refinancing), etc. The most important thing to remember when sending newsletters is to be YOU and be memorable. You want to be the first person they think of the next time they want to purchase a home.
Post cards, especially those that are useful, are another great way to engage with your list. These post cards can be anything really, however, the most effective ones we’ve seen are recipes or coupons that are sent out on a monthly basis. They include a picture of the real estate agent with their contact information and the rest of the card is specifically dedicated to the recipe or coupon. This is a “I don’t want to sell you right now, but here’s something I think you will use” message. This type of marketing helps keep you front and center for when they are ready to buy a new home.
Email is the new school version of direct mail and is a very inexpensive way to stay in contact on a regular basis. To get started with an email marketing campaign, you will first need to sign up with a service such as Mail Chimp. Mail Chimp or a similar service is a great way to manage your lists and send emails specifically to who they are and how they’ve engaged with you in the past.
As a beginner with email marketing, we recommend setting up two different lists. One for those who have done business with you and one for those who chose to do business with someone else. This will also you to customize your messaging to each group.
As for what to send your different lists, you can send them the exact same things as above. You can send them a digital form of a monthly newsletter or a digital postcard type email that includes a recipe or coupon. Get creative with your email campaigns so they won’t have any reason to unsubscribe or start ignoring your communication with them. Remember, you want to stay front and center in their minds.
Another old school, but extremely effective way to generate new business is to market yourself through billboard or banner advertisements. Billboard advertising is pretty straightforward. Banner advertising is when you print and display a vinyl banner (large or small) in front of your target audience. The first thing that comes to mind are high school sports sponsorships. Football teams hang sponsor banners around their stadiums and baseball teams hang sponsor banners along the outer fences of their fields. Parents attend their children’s games and they are your target audience.
The great thing about billboards and banners is the fact that you can place several in a very targeted geographical area and reach the exact people are wish to engage with. The difficult part is getting your billboard or banner designed and printed. Truth be told, it’s not as difficult as you might think. We at Signs.com have two ways to get a billboard or vinyl banner customized to your business. First, we have a design tool where you can do it yourself, or we have a full staff of designers ready and willing to help you. Take that, coupled with super fast, free shipping, and you’ll be marketing your business in just a few days.
As most real estate agents know, yard signs can be another great way to not only sell a house, but build up your name and your business. The main signs in the yards of homes that are trying to sell are provided by the agency you work for. That doesn’t mean however, that you can’t add your own, custom yard signs.
First, add some additional signage that hangs from the bottom of the signage provided by your agency (these are typically called sign riders and are printed with your contact info or special features of the home).
Next, add a completely separate yard sign that speaks directly to potential buyers and offers them something of value. Consider attaching a flyer tube to the sign and offering a market report for the neighborhood, for instance. The same marketing report could also be placed on your website or Facebook page. Regardless of whether potential buyers pick up your flyer or visit you online, you’ve now got contact with a brand new prospective buyer client.
Just like with our vinyl banners, we, at Signs.com can help you design and print your custom yard signs.
It’s no secret that we live in a digital age and more and more people are going online to find different types of service providers. This is no different with the real estate industry. Instead of opening the phone book to find an agent, they are turning to Google and searching for something like “Realtor in Salt Lake City” or “real estate agent in Los Angeles.” If you don’t have a website and it’s not visible to the search engines, you are losing business to your competitors. So what do you need to do?
First, you need a website, that’s yours, on your own domain. We recommend purchasing a domain name from Name Cheap and setting it up to run on WordPress. You should also purchase a premium WordPress theme such as those provided by StudioPress.
Second, you need to learn about SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the art of getting your website to show up for certain search queries like those mentioned above. You can either do your own SEO or hire an agency to do it for you. Either way this is a crucial piece of the puzzle when trying to build your business through your website.
Content marketing goes hand in hand with your SEO. Content marketing is the art of producing and promoting content that speaks specifically to the needs of your target audience. This can be done by producing written content (blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, etc), video content, or images such as infographics.
Before you produce the content, you will need to build out your buyer personas to understand the characteristics, needs, and interests of your target audience. For example, you might produce a piece of content for young, married couples looking to purchase their first home. This piece of content could be about how to find the best deals on new and preowned homes. You might also produce a piece of content for retired couples looking to purchase an investment property. This piece could be about how to find the best duplexes that will provide a return on your investment for years to come.
Content marketing can be an extremely powerful tool to help generate new clients and new revenue for you and your business. It’s something you will get better at overtime, so just dive in.
The last marketing tactic we are going to discuss in this guide is networking. Network requires you to get out of your comfort zone and talk to people. Not just any people, but those who will be able to help you get new clients. This can include loan officers, home builders, and people who work for title companies. You might also try to make friends with older real estate agents who will be retiring soon and position yourself to be able to take over their book of business.
You need to understand however, that relationships like those mentioned above take time. You aren’t going to be able to build profitable relationships that generate new revenue in one lunch appointment. You will need to nurture these relationships over time and work to help them build their businesses as well.
There are dozens of untapped relationships out there that can be very profitable if you put in the time and effort.
So there you have it… the Signs.com marketing guide for real estate agents. As we mentioned at the beginning of the guide, we will continue to add to this over time. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to add them to the comments section below.