You’ve opened your doors, put out all of your new materials to give to customers, but traffic is slow coming to your door.
Or your agency has been around for a while, while you’ve been successful in the past, your traffic has recently slowed. Whether you are a real estate agent who is looking forward to opening your own business, or perhaps an established agency that is looking for new marketing ideas, I found five great real estate marketing ideas for you!
Make the Internet do the work for you.
Research has shown that over 90% of buyers use the Internet to start the process of researching and buying houses. This means that real estate agents must have an online presence, where they’re engaged and interacting with clients and other real estate agents. This means you need a presence on social media sites, such as Faceboook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat.
Additionally, we have become a social sharing society. You may have a great site, but you need to bump up the wow factor a little bit, and add ways for prospective clients to share their possible home choices via email with family and friends, or on social media. When people share houses they love on social media, they may not buy it, but someone else who sees it may feel the urge to buy it, before you even have contact with them.
One thing the Internet does help you do better? Checking out your competition. Do your homework. Research those salespeople you are in direct competition with. How do their websites look in comparison to yours? Do they have an active social media presence? Are there aspects of their website or social media presence you could do better? Remember, you are looking at their websites in order to improve your own, and not repeat the mistakes your competitors have made. Finally, be sure your name and contact information are all over your webpage, so that prospective clients find it easy to contact you. You may want to consider using a chat feature, so that someone can be available to your clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even if you aren’t.
If you like to write, think about creating content in order to generate leads for your business. If you are a good writer, you can make your own content and blogs for your website. If words aren’t your thing, you can hire a content writer to help your website look very professional and sound professional as well.
Another way to get customers to visit your website and perhaps contact you about a house is to create virtual tours of homes. Customers like virtual tours, because they allow them to have a look at the house and the surrounding area before they visit in person, so they can decide if they want to contact you for a visit or not. Not only does this bring customers to your door, it also gives you more time to show homes to people who are really interested.
Be sure that your website tells a powerful story of home buying and home ownership. If customers can become invested in your story, they may be invested enough to buy a house.
Along the lines of virtual tours, experts say that real estate customers also seem to like animated video. Various real estate agencies use cartoons as a way of introducing customers to the ins and outs of buying a house, financing, or videos that feature parts of the city or landmarks that people who are not from the area would want to know. Animated videos offer a different, humorous way to deliver mundane information. If you have a flair for the visual arts, there are several websites that will help you develop cartoons for free.
Pinterest boards offer a different way for you to give your customers information and images for listings. Pinterest gives you the opportunity to create a board for each property you are trying to sell, as well as boards for ideas on changing the look of your home, both inside and outside. If the customer is a Pinterest fan, and many real estate customers are, they will be drawn to your boards, and perhaps your agency as well.
Be sure that all of your social media and website formats are mobile friendly, because many people view Internet information over their mobile phones. You wouldn’t want to miss a sale based on the fact that your potential client is viewing your site on a mobile phone. Be sure everything, including your photos, are mobile ready.
Finally, think about asking clients for a testimonial about your service. If they love your service, ask them to review you on Zillow or on Google, to further get your name out there. Testimonials are seen by potential clients as very important. They need to be able to feel they can trust you, and positive reviews will go a long way towards making new clients feel comfortable with you. If you can, get a photo with them and their new homes and post it to your website with wonderful, personal words about the client and their new home.
Invest in photography.
While many real estate agents don’t look at photography as a vital part of their business, it is. Customers look at pictures as the front door of your real estate business, so use those website visits as a way to highlight your town or area as someplace special, in addition to the houses and properties you want to sell. Be sure that the photos on your website are high-quality photos of homes you want to sell and town landmarks or area specialties.
If you are a great photographer, and your photos of houses are spectacular, then keep on taking photos. However, if your photography skills are less than beautiful, and may even work against your sales, hire a professional photographer with experience taking photos of homes and architecture or properties. While this might cost you a little bit more up front, it will pay off in the long run, as gorgeous photos may sell a house far better than you could, especially if the potential client looks at houses online first.
Insist on taking photos yourself? Try taking a photography class, either online or onsite. These classes, especially one on real estate photography, may help your photos stand out to potential clients.
Put your name out there.
Your job in getting your name out starts with your business card. Be sure that your card makes an impact on people you give it to. Make certain your logo is simple but impactful, and that you hand your cards out to as many people as possible.
In addition, you need to put your name out there as much as possible. There are many strategies you can use to help improve your visibility in your community:
You could offer to sponsor or help to sponsor festivals, local sports teams, or school events. Even if you just contribute money or time, it will allow you to get your name out there on the backs of t-shirts, flyers for events, and program pamphlets. In addition to name recognition, sponsoring programs and activities allow the community to see that you are a vital member of the community.
Creating a newsletter to send out via email to potential clients or contacts, that advises people about local events, upcoming open houses, the current bank rates on mortgages, houses that have recently sold or are brand new on the market, and any seminars on real estate you’ll be hosting in the neighborhood.
Stay connected to potential clients via email, offering them solutions on their next steps they can take if they want to buy a house. For example, if they have come to a seminar you have sponsored about buying your first home, you could send them an email with additional information on first-time home buying. If they came to an open house, send them an email with other available homes in the area that are on the market. If they came by for a second look, email them information on home financing options. By targeting potential clients with emails targeting their specific needs.
Think about hosting a webinar, and put that on your website. Many people are looking for informational videos about real estate that they can look at when they have time. They may be looking for information on how to decide on a new home, or pitfalls to look for when you are buying a new home. If your webinar is live, leave time for a question and answer session, so that customers get an opportunity to ask what they have on their mind. In line with webinars is the podcast idea. You can always do short podcasts about specific topics, such as how to get the best mortgage rate and what a FICO score is, and place those on your website as well.
Because you are trying to get your name out in the local area, think about publishing a column on real estate in a local newspaper. Remember, you are not writing an ad, but instead showing how much you know about a particular topic, such as how to handle an inspection that doesn’t go the way you want, or the rising price of houses and bigger number of housing starts in the area is a signal for good, rather than a signal for a bad economy, downtown living versus suburban living or other areas you feel need to be addressed in your local market.
You can also make yourself available to your neighbors by hosting seminars, complete with refreshments, of course. Many people have never purchased a home before and are interested in learning more information about home buying. Although they may not be ready to buy yet, if these people find the information valuable, they will remember you when it does come time to buy a home.
Always keep your brand in mind.
Branding allows you to put your name out in the community at every school and community festival. They are fairly cheap to produce, and people love them, because they’re free. You can put your business name on pencils, pens, cups, koozies -- pretty much anything you can think of to brand can be branded. One of the most popular branded items in my area are baseball hats in the summer and handwarmers in the winter. I see the baseball hats all over my community, especially when the sun is strong. You may want to consider partnering with local businesses to have them share your brand with their customers. Go and visit local businesses and see how you can help each other. It may be that you get them cups for their business to give away and they give you magnets from their business to pass out to customers. It can’t hurt for a group of businesses to team up, split the cost and double your reach.
After you sell a house, think about continuing the relationship with the clients. Give them a care package at closing, with freebies from local businesses, such as gift cards for movies, sports/entertainment events, or restaurants. Write them a thank you note to tell them how much you appreciated their business and you hope they will be happy in their new house. Remember, the more gracious and appreciative you are, the more likely they will be to remember your name and address when their friends ask who they used for a real estate agent. You can also send your clients birthday cards, anniversary cards or holiday cards to show you still remember them, as people always love being remembered. You may also want to reward former clients when they refer others to you, perhaps a monthly raffle drawing or a free service, such as a car detail or a free house cleaning for referrals.
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