Now that you’ve gotten your real estate license, it’s time to get down to business! You go get your headshot at $75 a pop, get your tech savvy friend to design a website and good to go right? So, why are you getting any leads?
Chances are, when you received your license, so did a dozen of others in your class. Multiply that by a couple classes per semester and bam--hundreds of realtors are churned out every year.
Now don’t quote me on these alternative facts but I think you get the gist of it: the real estate market is highly competitive and it is crucial to be able to stand out.
Sure, you have your website and your Facebook page but how do you take it one step further? Try these tips to optimize your real estate marketing so you can stay on top of the competition.
1. Be your own brand.
The key to real estate marketing is building your own brand. Assuming you already have an “About Me” section on your webpage, make sure it’s tailored so that visitors are able to get a strong sense of your personality and qualifications. Your audience should be able to go through your site and feel like they just went on a good first date with you.
If you have the budget, get some of your own swag. Studies show that recipients of promotional products have a more positive perception of the business and a higher likelihood of recommending the business. Once you have determined that this is feasible for your business, get your photo, name and contact info printed on useful items such as notepads, pens, calendars, umbrellas, etc.
These promotional products should add value to the client’s life in some way--don’t give out random useless stuff like magnets (sorry, but magnets suck). Alternatively, you may choose not to use your photo if you feel that if may create a negative experience for potential clients. Just kidding. Having a photo printed is great because it enhances top of mind awareness and helps people put a face to the name. Maybe you could even try out phone cases like Kim:
2. Optimize your webpage
You know what grinds my gears? Webpages that aren’t optimized for mobile devices. It just absolutely kills me when the page loads and it’s the desktop version of the site, meaning I have to zoom in and out to read the content and half the time it doesn’t even load properly.
Hopefully your tech savvy friend already did this for you when developing your website, but you can easily find out by going to your site using a mobile device. If you realize that it’s NOT optimized, there are a few options:
- Switch to a responsive template/theme for your website (consult your other tech savvy friend, Google)
- Optimize it yourself (difficulty level: 9000+ if you’re not a developer)
- Hire someone to optimize it (I hear Indexsy is really good for this)
Once your webpage is ready to be viewed on any platform, add enhancements to make it stand out from others.
Start with an interesting video on the homepage. Time-lapse videos are always cool (at least to me any way) and relatively easy to make. You can try using the Hyperlapse available for iOS or other time-lapse video making software for Androids. Alternatively, put in virtual tours of your top listings. The bottom line is, I’ve seen some pretty vomit-inducing sites so make sure yours isn’t one of them.
3. Make the most out of your social media
I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that you have already set up some social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, etc. You already know the basics: post regularly, make sure your posts are relevant, interact with your followers, blah blah blah. However, try to make the most out of social media by going above and beyond, such as through Facebook Ads.
Even though it may seem intimidating, advertising on Facebook is actually pretty easy. Facebook has a great guide for beginners, which is actually all I used to get started. For me, the hardest part was defining my target audience. Try different demographic sets until find the one that gives you the highest conversion rate.
For example, females aged 18-30, living in North America, interested in products like Starbucks and UGG boots, enjoys movies like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey. You can set a budget so that you’re not spending beyond your means and track the performance of your ad in real-time. Go ahead and give it a try! Start off with a $10 budget to test out the waters.
While I won’t get into what makes an effective Facebook Ad, take a look at this great one from Google as an example:
A simple image, an eye-catching color palette, concise copy, a clear CTA, and they even threw in a financial incentive--sign me up for a Google Cloud Platform!
4. Nurture your clients
Think of your clients like plants--water them regularly, but too much and the plant will die, too little and it will wilt. Keep in touch with your clients by sending follow up emails after a showing, check out Contactually, a real estate CRM. Especially if they didn’t seem particularly interested--send them some other listings of homes that you think may interest them. I’ve read online that you should follow up daily--however, use your discretion. The last thing you want to do is scare a potential client away because you sounded like a clingy boyfriend with an anarchy bomber.
Set up your landing page of your website so that visitors can subscribe to your newsletters. A lot of retailers do this offering a discount to subscribers--you can do something similar by offering a free eBook, homebuyer’s guide, etc. These emails are very valuable as you can then send monthly newsletters to keep your clients connected. MailChimp is my favourite email marketing platform because it’s so easy to use AND it’s free.
For clients that you’ve closed the deal with, it’s a no-brainer to send a thoughtful gift after the sale. Follow-up with these buyers a month and a year after the purchase to maintain long-lasting relationships and even get referrals.
Since real estate marketing also relies heavily on word of mouth, try to implement a referral system with your clients. Chances are, if the client had a positive experience with you, like are likely to recommend you to someone else in their network.
5. Keep your friends close.. And your enemies even closer..
Enemies probably isn’t the right word to refer to your competition (at least for most people), but it goes without saying that the closer you monitor your competition, the more you can learn from them. There are a variety of tools you can use to check up on your competition online, such as Alexa (paid), and Quick Sprout (free). Compare how your sites perform in terms of SEO and SEM strategies and their social media presence.
It doesn’t have to be all online--realtors will advertise using different mediums as well: ads at the bus stop, on the radio, etc. Take a look at this gem:
If you are able to implement these 5 tips into your real estate marketing strategy, you will be seeing leads in no time. Once you have the basics, it’ll be easy to add in more advanced and innovative strategies to grow your clientele. Until then, trial and error baby, trial and error.